[Lingtyp] 'until' clauses in Africa

JOO, Ian [Student] ian.joo at connect.polyu.hk
Wed Jan 5 16:38:30 UTC 2022

Dear Jesús,

In Korean there is a similar adverb: cwuk-e-la 'till death'.
cwuk-e-la il-hay-ss-ta
die-INF-ADV work-do-PST-DECL
'[I] worked hard, lit. until death.'

from Uppsala,
On 5 Jan 2022, 4:57 PM +0100, Jesus Francisco Olguin Martinez <olguinmartinez at ucsb.edu>, wrote:
Dear all,

I hope this email finds you well.

I send you this message because in my sample there are a couple of  African languages (e.g. Tommo So and Bangime) that have a narrative construction in which the until-clause appears with a verb meaning ‘to get tired’ (e.g. I worked I worked until I get tired). Note that this clause does not necessarily denote literal weariness or physical fatigue. Instead, this construction is used in contexts where speakers express that they carried out an activity for a very long time (e.g. I worked I worked for a very long time). In this type of construction,  the first clause in linear order denotes a prolonged activity and is followed by a clause meaning ‘until I got tired’ emphasizing the extreme prolongation of the first situation.

I was wondering if you know any study that has explored this type of construction or if you know any other African languages that have this type of construction.

Thank you very much in advance.


Jesús Olguín Martínez
Ph.D. Candidate, Dept. of Linguistics
University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)


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