Subordination in purpose clauses

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This paper investigates the variation between the indicative and conditional moods in purpose clauses in Finnish. It is argued that the use of the conditional mood can be explained by focusing on the intentional aspect of purpose relations. Due to its semantic origins, the Finnish conditional explicitly marks that the event coded by the purpose clause falls under the scope of the intentional space constructed in the main clause. By comparison, the indicative contributes to the chronological organization of events, highlighting the consequential aspect of a purpose relation. This analysis suggests that the Finnish conditional resembles the subjunctive in how it functions in purpose clauses, drawing a parallel with the French subjunctive. Subjunctive moods mark interclausal relations, as they call upon the interlocutor to interpret the event in the mental space that has been or will be constructed in the surrounding discourse.


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