Konso Causative
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Konso Causative. Maarten Mous. Causative:. subject causes the action no argument is removed mostly transitive. Intransitive Causative:. i awd-é s3 bright-pf ‘It is midday/totally bright.’. Intransitive Causative:. waaqa i awd-ish-é god s3 bright-caus-pf ‘The weather is clear again.’.

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Konso Causative

Maarten Mous


  • subject causes the action

  • no argument is removed

  • mostly transitive

Intransitive causative
Intransitive Causative:

i awd-és3 bright-pf‘It is midday/totally bright.’

Intransitive causative1
Intransitive Causative:

waaqa i awd-ish-égod s3 bright-caus-pf‘The weather is clear again.’

Indirect causatives
indirect causatives:

i pur-sh-é he exchangedi pur-sis-é he let somebody exchangei pur-aciis-é he let somebody exchange

Analytic causative
Analytic causative:

aka dee-óo i kod-ethat come-dep 3 make-pfHe made him come.

Analytic causee nominative
Analytic: causee nominative:

aka atte dee-t-óo i kód-e

that you:nom come-2-dep 3 make-pf

He made you come.

Morpho causee accusative
Morpho: causee accusative:

D'inoote aná (*antí) pisha fol-aciis-é

Dinote me:acc (*me:nom) water heat-icaus2-pfDinoote let me boil water.

Konso oromo
Konso <> Oromo

The Konso indirect causatives do not simply add agents to the verb frame.


causative marker = agent


causative of agentive intransitive: 2 x CAUS

causative of patient oriented intransitive: 1 x CAUS


d’ug- ‘to drink’ > d’ugsiis ‘to make drink’

gog ‘be dry’> gogs ‘make dry’

(Dubinsky et al. 1988:486)

But konso
But Konso:

  • qora i kok-é-nwood.pl 3 dry-pf-plThe wood is dry.

  • D'inoote qora kok-sh-éDinote wood dry-caus-pfDinote dried the wood.

But konso1
But Konso:

  • pisha i xar-é-nwater.p 3 boil-pf-pWater boiled

  • isheetá aanna i xar-iss-éshe milk 3 boil-caus:f-pfShe boiled milk

But konso2
But Konso:

  • Anto i keer-éAnto 3 run-pfAnto ran

  • Anto Dinoote keer-sh-éAnto Dinote run-caus-pfAnto made Dinote run.


  • actually the situation is more complex in Oromo and the rule does not hold.

Form of simple causative
Form of simple causative

verb meaning causativeaff‑ be smothered aff-ish‑alt‑ approach indirectly alt-ish‑arm‑ weed arm-ish‑

d’ot‑ stab dot-ish‑waad‑ hurry waad-ish‑pas‑ loose pas-ish‑

daash‑ give daash-ish‑ajuj‑ order, command ajuj-ish‑

qah‑ flee, run away qah-ash‑nah‑ be good hearted nah-ash‑miih‑ be spoilt miih-ish‑

xaay‑ let down xaay-(i)sh‑ ‘lift up onto shoulder’

Form of simple causative1
Form of simple causative

yo’ ‘want more than needed’

CAUS: i yoosh‑é 3.m < yo’‑sh‑é i yo’issé 3.f< yo’‑sh-t-é

caus –sh:

  • deletion of glottal stop, compensatory lenghtening;

  • epenthetic vowel *CCC, assimilation

Form of simple causative2
Form of simple causative

underlying gloss surface meaningi sook-sh-é 3-go.out-caus-pf isooshshé he took outis-sook-ish-t-é 2-go.out-caus-2-pf issookissé you took out in-sook-ish-n-é 1-go.out-caus-1pl-pf insookinné we took out

S as morphologically conditioned variant if verb der follows
s as morphologically conditioned variant: if verb. der. follows

i oor-é he returnedi oor-sh-é he let return, he called backi oor-s-ad-é he took back for himselfi oor-s-at-am-é it was taken back

S as morphologically conditioned variant not for sh of stem
s as morphologically conditioned variant (not for sh of stem)

base meaning middle/passivedoosh‑ gulp down doosh-ad‑dish‑ plant dish‑ad‑duush‑ lose weight duush‑am

S as morphologically conditioned variant only before certain morphemes
s as morphologically conditioned variant: only before certain morphemes

hedd-ish sew heddis-a sewing hedd-ish-ampay tailorhedis‑am passive

Two indirect causatives
Two indirect causatives

  • i pursh-é he exchangedi pur-sis-é he let somebody exchangei pur-aciis-é he let somebody exchange

Only indirect causatives
Only indirect causatives

  • i eenn-ay he milked*i een-sh-ayi eenn-acis-ay he let somebody milk


  • i kutt-ad-é he grewi kutt-ish-é he took care of a childi kutt-aciis-é he let someone else take care of a child


  • i paaq-é he is illi paaq-sh-é he took care of a patienti paaq-aciis-é he let somebody take care of a patient


  • pirreeta oorra dam-sh-émoney people eat-caus-pfMoney fed the people.

  • pirreeta oorra dam-sis-émoney people eat-icaus1-pfMoney fed the people.


  • Mammó damtáa oorra dam-sh-éMammo food people eat-caus-pfMammo fed the people.

  • Mammó oorra damtáa dam-aciis-éMammo people food eat-icaus2-pfMammo ordered the people to eat food.


  • Dinoote inna muk-sh-éDinote boy sleep-caus-pfDinote made the boy sleep

  • Dinoote inna muk-sis-éDinote boy sleep-icaus1-pfDinote made the boy sleep by using a sleeping pill.

More indirect
More indirect

  • Dinoote Ongaye Til-opá paq-sis-éDinote Ongaye Dila-dir leave-icaus1-pfDinote made Ongaye evacuate to Dila.

  • Dinoote Ongaye palet-aysho oppa ale paq-aciis-éDinote Ongaye village-his to away leave-icaus2-pfDinote organized his village to chase Ongaye away.


The function of the causative is to add an external cause, which is expressed in the subject, to a state of affairs. The syntactic correlate of adding an agent argument as subject for most but not allverbs is the consequence of the meaning of the causative suffix. Transitivity is corollary.


The form of the causative is ‑sh although there is

lexical evidence for s at an earlier stage of the language.

The addition of an epenthetic vowel i and assimilation

of sh when followed by a consonantal inflectional

suffix can be accounted for by general phonological



The double causative in Konso expresses a more

indirect, less involved, and less controlled causer in

subject position. This lesser degree of involvedness is

typically realised by a third factor, whether human or

not, but this mediator need not be expressed,

nor even implied.


The other indirect causative in Konso which is

etymologically a double causative added to a middle

derivation is even more indirect when compared to

the double causative. This is the effect of the

spontaneous action meaning of the middle suffix.

the indirect causative ‑aciis is more common than

the double causative ‑sis