Expressions of similarity

Expressions of similarity from an Africanist and
typological perspective

Paris 16/17 July 2012

The programme of the international workshop “Expressions of similarity from an Africanist and typological perspective” (16/17 July 2012), which I am organising together with Martine Vanhove in Paris (CNRS-campus Villejuif), is available here.

I will present a paper on the grammaticalisation of the similative morpheme ‘like’ into a purpose clause marker. Baskeet will be shown to be one of the languages that use the morpheme marking similar manner (‘like’) to mark purpose clauses (‘so that’, ‘in order to’). See the examples below.*

(1)
di’-pen ‘like a granary’ (di’ ‘granary’)
neeni-pen ‘like you’ (neeni ‘you’)
pe asini-pen ‘like her (own) husband’ (pe REFL, asini ‘husband’)

(2)
naas-aa       sumts-in   taana  botints-akkay-pen             te  ts’aap-i    eedd’-ine
man-mDEF  name-fDEF  1sACC  forget.CAUS-PFV.NEG-like  1s  write-CV  take-PERF
In order not to forget the man’s name, I wrote it down.’

(NB: Purpose clause marking is just one of many functions of –pen ‘like’ in Baskeet.)

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*Update (20/08/2012): I have corrected the transcription of the Baskeet similative morpheme from –peen to –pen, as I have realised during my last fieldtrip that the vowel is definitely short.

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