The role of benefactives and related notions in the typology of purpose clauses

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Across the world’s languages, adverbial clauses of purpose provide an important constructional environment for the occurrence of benefactive and semantically related markers. Based on a recent cross-linguistic study of purpose clauses (Schmidtke-Bode 2009), the present paper provides a systematic survey of the variegated functions of benefactives in the encoding of purposive relations. It will be argued that the particular distribution of benefactive markers across different types of purpose clauses is well-motivated from an ‘integrative functional’ point of view, which combines cognitive, functional and diachronic explanations for linguistic structure.


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