AW: 'like'/'manner' as Purpose clause marker

Ekkehard König koenig at ZEDAT.FU-BERLIN.DE
Tue Aug 16 13:34:03 UTC 2011

Dear Yvonne,


in Germanic languages SO is generally used both as an exophoric (English
lost that use) and as an endophoric deictic/anaphoric element with the
meaning ‘in the manner indicated’ (by gestures, antecedents or following
expressions). More often than not this expression (and its relevant
counterparts) is also part of a conjunction (SO DASS in German, SO THAT in
English) that encodes purpose especially in clauses with subjects different
from those of the main clause:


(i)                   John has to earn a lot, so that his family can

The translation of your example (4) is exactly of this kind.


In connection with gradable predicates in the main clause we find closely
related comparatives constructions:


(ii)                 John works so hard that he nearly collapses in the

(iii)                John works hard, so that he nearly collapses in the


Your final example comes out in German as either of the following, which
differ slightly in meaning though:


(iv)                Sie graben das Loch SO, dass sie WASSER bekommen.

(v)                  Sie graben das Loch, so dass sie WASSER bekommen.


The general path of grammaticalization or semantic extension thus seems to
go from carrying out an action in such a manner or having a property to such
a degree that this can give rise top some intended effect or result. It is
the cataphoric use of the manner deictic that exhibits this development.


I hope this helps a little.


Best wishes,


Ekkehard Koenig (FU Berlin)


Von: Discussion List for ALT [mailto:LINGTYP at LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG] Im
Auftrag von Yvonne Treis
Gesendet: Dienstag, 16. August 2011 14:13
Betreff: 'like'/'manner' as Purpose clause marker


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

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





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