5.2. CAUS

Definition of the CAUS functor

The CAUS functor (cause) is assigned to modifications with the meaning of cause of an event or state expressed by the governing word (i.e. the cause proper) but also to modifications with the meaning of a reason/motive motivating certain behaviour.

CAUS modifications comprise a wide range of various causal meanings; not only the most general causal meanings but also e.g. the source of the validity of the event or its effects. These semantic differences are expressed by various means. The semantic variation is also given by the used noun (if the modification is expressed by a prepositional phrase).

Modifications with the CAUS functor mainly modify verbs (and their nominalized forms). CAUS modifications can, however, also modify non-derived nouns ( světlo jen od malé lampičky (=lit. light only of (a) small lamp); bolest od rány nožem (=lit. pain from (a) wound caused_by (a) knife) ; smrt z hladu (=lit. death of starving ).

Forms. CAUS modifications are primarily expressed by a dependent clause. In case of semantic condensation, a modification with the CAUS functor can also be expressed by a prepositional phrase or adverbial expression.

The basic forms of CAUS modifications are:

Figure 7.25. The CAUS functor

The CAUS functor

Díky vaší pomoci jsme to stihli včas. (=lit. Thanks (to) your help - (we) it made in_time.)

5.2.1. Borderline cases with the CAUS functor

Borders with the manner functors . When a modification with the CAUS functor is expressed by a noun, prepositional phrase or by an adverbial expression, it can border on other adjunct functors, esp. on the functors expressing manner and its special variants (see Section 6, "Functors for expressing manner and its specific variants"). In unclear cases in which the causal meaning is not obvious, the modification is assigned a functor with a more general meaning. Cf.:

  • Muselo zákonitě.CAUS dojít k chybě. (=lit. (It) had_to naturally come to (a) mistake.)

  • Zákonitě.MANN zvolí nástupce. (=lit. Legitimately (he) will_choose (a) successor.)

Border with the REAS functor. A dependent clause with the meaning of the CAUS functor corresponds semantically to a paratactic connection of clauses with the connectives neboť (=as/since/because/for) , vždyť , totiž ; the root of such a paratactic structure is assigned the REAS functor (see Section 12.1.8, "REAS"). These two functors differ in the fact that when using the CAUS functor, the expressed lexical content is presented as both formally and semantically dependent, while when using the REAS functor, the expressed lexical content is presented as formally independent and, from the semantic point of view, the two paratactically connected contents retain their semantic independence as the consequence of formal parataxis. Cf.:

  • Protože to byl.CAUS veselý chlapík, měli jsme ho rádi. (=lit. As he was (a) jolly guy (we) - him liked.)

  • Měli jsme ho rádi, vždyť.REAS to byl veselý chlapík. (=lit. (We) liked - him - after_all (he) was (a) jolly guy.)

See also Section 6.2, "Coordination and apposition".