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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 s.th., 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


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