[Lingtyp] 'until' clauses in Africa

Joey Lovestrand joeylovestrand at gmail.com
Wed Jan 5 20:48:29 UTC 2022

I've also heard French speakers in Chad use the word *jusqu'à* on it's own
(no complement of any kind) to mean "for a very long time". This usage is
apparently attested in other countries as well:



On Wed, Jan 5, 2022 at 4:11 PM Denis Creissels <
denis.creissels at univ-lyon2.fr> wrote:

> Dear Jesus Francisco,
> 'Until getting tired' as a way of expressing 'for a very long time' is
> pervasive in West African languages, and is also found in local varieties
> of European languages (for example 'jusqu'à fatigué' in Ivorian French). I
> know of no general analysis of this construction, but the reason is
> probably simply that that, syntactically, it behaves like any until-clause.
> Note that the West African verbs commonly glossed 'tire' commonly have a
> wider meaning, including 'bother', 'cause problems'.
> Best,
> Denis
> ------------------------------
> *De :* Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> de la part de
> Jesus Francisco Olguin Martinez <olguinmartinez at ucsb.edu>
> *Envoyé :* mercredi 5 janvier 2022 16:56:31
> *À :* lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
> *Objet :* [Lingtyp] 'until' clauses in Africa
> 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.
> Best,
> --
> Jesús Olguín Martínez
> Ph.D. Candidate, Dept. of Linguistics
> *University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)*
> http://www.linguistics.ucsb.edu/people/jesús-olguín-martínez
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