The concept underlying the subjunctive

The subjunctive, rightly called a mood in the grammatical sense, gets its name from the fact that it ordinarily does not stand alone (though it can) but is conjoined or sub-joined to a main clause, thus a subordinate clause. In inflected languages with such a mood, an underlying thought reflects the unrealized nature of the action denoted by the verb in the subjunctive.
An example I heard on TV tonight: “They want to see that this chaos continue.” But the speaker, a highly educated person, said, “They want to this that this chaos continues.”
By observing the presence or the lack of the subjunctive among educated people, we can make a rough estimate of how much the subjunctive continues in use. One question I have is how well does the use of it correlate with education. Only corpus studies, if I am using that term correctly, can reveal use patterns of the subjunctive and I don’t know if any of those exist. I have been collecting examples over many years and may get the opportunity some time to put them on my blog.

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