'like'/'manner' as Purpose clause marker

Yvonne Treis yvoennche at GMAIL.COM
Tue Aug 16 12:13:28 UTC 2011

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

who.PRED-DISBELIEF      say-2sIPFV-1sO.REL=LIKE             know-1sIPFV

'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

(A translation that better reflects the Kambaata word order: 'So that (lit.
"like") people do not become tired, they [= horses] carry them.')


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
ba           pi            gu           m-pyi

they       PROG    hole.DEF              dig.IMPF              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


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

Schmidtke-Bode, Karsten 2009. A typology of purpose clauses. Amsterdam,
Philadelphia: Benjamins.





Dr Yvonne Treis

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

LLACAN - UMR 8135 du CNRS 

Centre Georges Haudricourt, Bat. C 

7, rue Guy Môquet B.P. 8 

94801 Villejuif Cedex



 <http://cnrs.academia.edu/YvonneTreis> http://cnrs.academia.edu/YvonneTreis


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lingtyp/attachments/20110816/92449378/attachment.htm>

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list