Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


Oxford Handbook of Corpus Phonology

Edited by Jacques Durand, Ulrike Gut, and Gjert Kristoffersen

Offers the first detailed examination of corpus phonology and serves as a practical guide for researchers interested in compiling or using phonological corpora

New from Cambridge University Press!


The Languages of the Jews: A Sociolinguistic History

By Bernard Spolsky

A vivid commentary on Jewish survival and Jewish speech communities that will be enjoyed by the general reader, and is essential reading for students and researchers interested in the study of Middle Eastern languages, Jewish studies, and sociolinguistics.

New from Brill!


Indo-European Linguistics

New Open Access journal on Indo-European Linguistics is now available!

Query Details

Query Subject:   'like'/'manner' as Purpose Clause Marker
Author:   Yvonne Treis
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  General Linguistics
Historical Linguistics

Query:   Dear colleagues,

I am looking for languages in which a morpheme meaning 'like' or
'manner' is used to mark purpose clauses.

Here are some examples from Kambaata (Cushitic, Ethiopia) to clarify
what I am looking for. In Kambaata, the enclitic morpheme =ga 'like' is
used, among others, in the following constructions:

Noun=‘like’ means 'like / in the manner of Noun'
adanch-o=ga ga'l-a agg-oomm
cat.SG-fGEN=LIKE shard-mOBL drink-1sPFV
'I drank from a shard LIKE a cat.'

Relative clause=’like’ functions as a complement clause e.g. with verbs
of cognition ('know'), perception ('hear'), utterance ('say'), manipulation
('tell s.o. to do, cause s.o. to s.o.)
ayeeti-la y-itaanti-'e=ga
'I know THAT (lit. ''like'') you will say to me ''Who is [this]?!''.

Relative clause=’like’ functions as a purpose clause ('in order to'/'so
mann-u [...] hoog-umb-o=ga
people-mNOM become_tired-3mNEG.REL-mOBL=LIKE
'They [= horses] carry people so that (lit. ''like'') they don't become
tired.' (A translation that better reflects the Kambaata word order: 'So
that (lit. ''like'') people do not become tired, they [= horses] carry

Cross-linguistically, it is widely attested that 'like' can grammaticalise
into a complement clause marker (usually via a quotative function) but I
haven't come across many examples of 'like'/’manner’ being used as a
marker of PURPOSE clauses outside of Ethiopian languages. (In Ethio-
Semitic, North Omotic and East Cushitic languages, however, it is quite
common to use ‘like’/’manner’ as a purpose clause marker.) The only
non-Ethiopian example I could find so far is quoted in Schmidtke-Bode
(2009: 76).

Supyire (Gur: Mali, Carlson 1994: 586)
Pi na wyige turu
they PROG hole.DEF dig.IMPF
ba pi gu m-pyi
like they POT FP-do
si lwOhO ta mE
SUBJ water get like
'They are digging the hole in order to get water.' (lit. ''They are digging
a hole as if they were to get some water.'')
(NB: In the example above, tone marking was left out; E = open 'e', O =
open 'o')

Do you know of other languages in which 'like' or 'manner' is used as a
marker of purpose clauses? I’d be interested to know about languages
that 1) use ‘like’/’manner’ in purpose but NOT in complement clauses,
2) languages that use ‘like’/’manner’ in purpose AND complement
clauses, 3) languages that use ‘like’/’manner’ as the primary means to
mark purpose clauses, 4) languages that use ‘like’/’manner’ as one out
of several means to mark purpose clauses, etc.

Any comments and references would be much appreciated! I will post a
summary if there are enough responses.

Yvonne Treis

Carlson, Robert 1994. A grammar of Supyire. Berlin, New York: Mouton
de Gruyter.
Schmidtke-Bode, Karsten 2009. A typology of purpose clauses.
Amsterdam, Philadelphia: Benjamins.


Dr Yvonne Treis
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Centre Georges Haudricourt, Bat. C
7, rue Guy Môquet B.P. 8
94801 Villejuif Cedex
LL Issue: 22.3269
Date posted: 16-Aug-2011


Sums main page