Expressing the notion of purpose in English and Spanish instructions
Using a corpus of written consumer product instructions in English and Spanish, this paper provides a comparative description of the type and frequency of expressions used to convey the notion of an action’s PURPOSE or its goal. Based on our own observations and suggestions from previous literature, we present eight factors relevant to the choice between purpose expressions in both languages: the semantic relation underlying the purpose expression, the scope of the expression, whether the purpose expression constrains how the action is performed, whether the goal of the action is a process or a product, whether the goal is contrastive with some other possible goal, whether the information status of the goal needs to be expressed, whether the agent of the action needs to be specified, and whether the goal is optional. These features are either involved in the choice of which expression to use, in determining the placement of the expression in relation to the matrix action clause, or both. The paper presents the mappings between these features and the choice and placement of appropriate purpose expressions in each language.
Published online: 03 December 2001
Cited by 2 other publications
Jones, Rodney H.
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