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Lesson 40
Purpose Case


Vocabulary

domid

elephant [dom (remember) + mid (creature)]

ezha

snake

lath

to be celibate by choice

owáano

Conjunction: therefore

rile

silence

rúsho

to be bitter (flavor)

thé–

Prefix (verb): about to VERB, any minute

thod

to write

ub

balm

wedeth

to be clear

Purpose Case

[(Aux) Verb (Neg) CP–S CP–Purpose]

The ending used to mark a Case Phrase as the Purpose for what is in the statement. The Purpose Case ending is “–wan,” which means “in order to, for the purpose of.”

The difference between the Cause Case and the Purpose Case may seem a bit abstruse. Partly this is because in English we answer the question “Why…?” either with a Cause or with a Purpose—the nature of the reply is left entirely up to the answerer. As an example, if I were asked why I’m going home, I’m free to answer, “Because I’m tired,” (Cause) or, “So I can rest,” (Purpose); both answers are germane to a “why” question.

Láadan places this burden on the questioner instead. The words “bebáawáan” (Cause) and “bebáawan” (Purpose) are not so ambiguous as the English “why.” Once the question is asked, the respondent may answer the question or not—indeed, she may answer the other question if she wishes. However, it will be evident that the question has been “ducked.”

Along with the Cause Case comes the conjunction “úwanú” (why; for what purpose). Not a question-word, “úwanú” introduces a clause that fulfills the Purpose case-role, as in the English sentence, “I know why (for what purpose) birds fly.

Suzette Haden Elgin coined a limited set of conjunctions like “úwanú.” Her formation in this set for “why” was “widahuth.” Unfortunately, “widahuth” was a very English type of “why” that made no distinction between the Cause and the Purpose. With “úwáanú” and “úwanú” at our disposal, we won’t be using “widahuth” here, but you should recognize it if you should happen upon it.

Examples

Bíi hal Ána wa.

Anna works.

Báa hal Ána bebáawan?

Why (to what end) does Anna work?

Bíi hal Ána beyewan wa.

Anna works for some purpose.

Bíi hal Ána hiwan wa.

Anna works for this purpose.

Bíi hal Ána loshewan wa.

Anna works for money.

Bíi hal Ána rawan wa.

Anna works for no purpose in particular.

Bíi hal Ána losh rawan wa.

Anna works even though money may ensue.


Bíi hal Ána tháawan wa.

Anna works for wellbeing.

Bíi hal Ána tháa onidathowan wa.

Anna works for the family’s wellbeing.

Bíi hal Ána tháa onida bethawan wa.

Anna works for her family’s wellbeing.

It is to be hoped that this observation is wholly superfluous at this juncture, but, like all its fellows, the Cause case ending does move to the end of the Possessive phrase.

Bíi lothel Méri úwanú hal Ána wa.

Mary knows why (for what purpose) Anna works.

Exercises

Translate the following into English.

1

Báa thóláad ne oyunan úwanú eril náahulanin háawith?

2

Bíi eril théthel Elízhabeth anath edethiwan we.

3

Bíi eril di shoná wáa, “Bóo mewam nezh lohilewan.”

4

Bíi aril mebithim Ánetheni i Másha melasha ilisháadewan wo.

5

Bíi eril ban eduthahá ubeth hoberídan lethodim shewan wa.

6

Báa eril bel odá losheth henedim bebáawan?

Incorporate the second noun as a Purpose; translate into English before and after.

7

Bíi medibáa ehená daleth woho wi.

bedi—i om

8

Bíi ilehul Méri diháth wáa.

lishid

9

Báa ril wéedan bedihá áabeth?

bebáa

10

Bíi eril mesháad ábedá heshehothedim elahelaya aril wa.

amedara

11

Bíi im ehomá nudim i núudim wo.

thod

12

Báa lámála Hérel ruleth?

ra

Note the word in Purpose case in #11. “Thodewan” means “for the purpose of writing.” If we simply add “dalel” (object; made-thing) to “thodewan,” the result would be “dalelethodewan” which literally translates to “object for the purpose of writing” and means “writing implement.” There is an abbreviated, “familiar” form, “thodi,” that means the same thing.

Translate the following into Láadan.

13

Suppose the man works slowly in order to be responsible.

14

[promise] I shall carry the container of tools to the road in order to help.

15

Some (many) ones stay at the barn in order to be safe.

16

Why (for what purpose) did the linguist pause in creating the language?

17

Do some (many) birds eat insects in order to continue to thrive?

18

Are the female clergy standing silently for the purposes of celibacy-by-choice?

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Answers

1

Have you just heard why (for what purpose) the child resumed studying?

2

Elizabeth was about to (any minute) get food to share (for sharing) (I dream).

3

The peacemaker said, “Prithee, you few, be still in order to pay attention internally.”

4

Anthony and Marsha will meet at the ocean (in order) to swim (I guess).

5

The physician gave a balm to my great-aunt/great-uncle for the purpose of comfort.

6

Why (for what purpose) did the weaver take/bring the money to the east?

 

7

Philosophers question everything (obviously).

Bíi medibáa ehená bediwan—i omewan wi.

Philosophers question everything in order to learn—and to teach (obviously).

8

Mary pays extremely close attention to the speaker.

Bíi ilehul Méri diháth lishidewan wáa.

Mary pays extremely close attention to the speaker in order to sign.

9

Is the student reading the book?

Báa ril wéedan bedihá áabeth bebáawan?

Why (for what purpose) is the student reading the book?

10

The farmers came to the park after the celebration.

Bíi eril mesháad ábedá heshehothedim elahelaya aril amedarawan wa.

The farmers came to the park after the celebration to dance.

11

The education-specialist travels hither and thither [I’m guessing].

Bíi im ehomá nudim i núudim thodewan wo.

The education-specialist travels hither and thither for the purpose of writing.

12

Is Carol petting the cat?

Báa lámála Hérel ruleth rawan?

Is Carol petting the cat for no purpose?

 

13

Bíi rilrili hal withid lóolonal áheshewan wa.

14

Bé aril wida le dim edethuth wethedim denewan wa.

15

Bíi mebenem beyen róomathesha yomewan wáa.

16

Báa eril nóohel edaná daneth bebáawan?

17

Báa meyod babí beyen zhubeth nátháawan?

18

Báa ril methib mewoludi wowíitham rilenal lathewan?

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