Wals chapter 110: Periphrastic Causative Constructions coded German as "sequential but no purposive".

Is there an example of periphrastic causative constructions in German?

  • 5
    Your question has a lot of extraneous information which is not pertinent to your question, which is why people are voting to close it giving the reason "unclear what you're asking". If you're able to edit your question and state exactly what your question is and what research you've already done, then we'll be able to help you better.
    – OmarL
    Aug 20, 2018 at 15:50
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    Also, paragraphs, italics, and capitalisation, please (plank? jung?): this is a wall of impenetrable text. Surely this is not what your thesis looks like. Aug 20, 2018 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


I am a native speaker of German and I am aware what causatives are. Apart from some fossilised causatives like fallen, fällen there are no grammaticalised causatives in Modern German.

The closest construction I can think of is the construction machen + present participle that sounds biblical and archaic, e.g., in the following example from the Luther Bible translation Der HERR macht die Blinden sehend.

  • thanks before professor jung passed away he provided the example for non-periphrastic : Sie lässt ihren Hund auf dem Bett schlafen! So for periphrastic on the other hand can we consider your example with machen? Thanks and best regards! Aug 23, 2018 at 14:42
  • Rereading the WALS chapter and understanding what "periphrastic causative construction" means, the lässt + infinitive construction violates criterium 3 (having "no specific meaning"), because German lassen means a lot of things beside "pure causation", e.g., "to allow", or "to let". The machen + Present Participle construction is better in this respect, although not really perfect. Aug 23, 2018 at 15:23
  • thanks that is exactly what I wanted to know! now I can ask my other questions regarding german. Aug 23, 2018 at 15:42

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