Dubitative mood

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For the unrelated verb form in Eskimo languages, see Dubitative mood (Eskimo).

Dubitative mood (abbreviated DUB) is an epistemic grammatical mood found in some languages, that indicates that the statement is dubious, doubtful, or uncertain.[1] It may subsist as a separate morphological category, as in Bulgarian, or else as a category of use of another form, as of the conditional mood of Italian.

An example can be taken from Ojibwe, an Algonquian language of North America. Verbs in Ojibwe can be marked with a dubitative suffix, indicating that the speaker is doubtful or uncertain about what they are saying. So aakozi means "he is sick," while aakozidog can be translated as something like "he must be sick; I guess he's sick; maybe he's sick; he might be sick."[2]


  1. ^ Loos, Eugene E.; Anderson, Susan; Day, Dwight H. Jr.; Jordan, Paul C.; Wingate, J. Douglas. "What is dubitative mood?". Glossary of linguistic terms. SIL International. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  2. ^ Native Languages: Ojibwe and Cree (PDF). The Ontario Curriculum. Ontario Ministry of Education. ISBN 0-7794-3384-X.