Causative purpose adjuncts in Estonian and Finnish: A non-linear approach

Geda Paulsen, Urpo Nikanne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In this article, we examine the form and meaning of a subtype of causative adjuncts, purpose adjuncts, in Estonian and Finnish. The analysis is based on the micro-modular approach of Conceptual Semantics (Nikanne 1990, 2005, 2018; Pörn 2004; Paulsen 2011a, 2011b; Petrova 2011). It provides a non-linear approach to linguistic causation, alternative to the linear models. By the term ‘non-linear’ we mean the involvement of separate levels of conceptual structure that influence the causative reading, and a separation of causation from the temporal flow of the situation. We propose two causative operators for subordinate causative structures, BECAUSE OF and LEAD TO. According to their temporal structures, we separate two types of purpose adjuncts: reason-purpose adjuncts and avoidance adjuncts. The causative effect of purpose is in our analysis related to the notion of intentionality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263–289
JournalNordic Journal of Linguistics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • adjunct
  • Estonian
  • causation
  • Finnish
  • conceptual structure


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