(Fwd) Re: Query: Periphrastic Future

Mon Apr 29 13:52:49 UTC 1996

Forwarded message:
From:     Self <LILINOV1/LEHMANN>
To:       colinh at OWLNET.RICE.EDU
Subject:  Re: Query: Periphrastic Future
Date:     Mon, 29 Apr 1996 13:51:39

There is another Papuan language, Kobon (genetically related to Andy's Ka=
lam, =

if I am not mistaken), that does the same. See Davies's account in the Li=
ngua =

Descriptive Studies volume.
Another language with a similar construction is Korean.
German has a periphrastic construction `X macht sich ans V-inf' meaning `=
X is =

preparing/going to V', e.g. `Paul macht sich ans Klavierspielen' `Paul is=

about to play the piano.' The construction is illuminating in that it mak=
es =

the detransitivization of the `do' auxiliary explicit which is presuppose=
d by =

the other languages, too. Like the other languages, the full verb complem=
ent =

is taken in a directional/purposive relation.
The literal meaning/etymology of the construction is less clear. If `mach=
t =

sich' meant `prepares himself', then a different preposition (`zu' or `f=81=
r') =

would be expected. There is, however, a phraseme `X macht sich an Y heran=
' =

meaning 'X approches Y'; e.g. `Paul machte sich an das Gebaeude/die Frau =

heran' `Paul approached the building/the woman.' This might be at the bas=
is =

of the periphrastic future.
Christian Lehmann
Universitaet Bielefeld

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