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Re: Questions on Inalienable Possession Prefixes

From:Sylvia Sotomayor <kelen@...>
Date:Monday, December 2, 2002, 0:52
Hi all,
A while back I asked for some input regarding inalienable possession.
I got some good feedback, and now that it is a holiday and I have
time to codify things, here is how inalienable or inherent possession
works in Kélen:

Inherent Possession
Kélen contains a small group of approximately 100 nouns that are
inherently possessed. This group includes body parts and bodily
functions as well as 6 mental functions. It does not include kinship
terms. These words are indistinguishable from inanimate nouns when
the possessor is in the 3rd person. Only when the possessor is in the
1st or 2nd persons does the form vary:

pa leháLa anpíññe;
'My neck hurts.'

pa rikú anpíññe kéñ;
'Does your hand hurt?' or 'Do your hands hurt?'

pa jólle anpíññe;
'Her head hurts.' or 'Someone's head hurts.'

pa Li-kíTje jaróña anwúla;
'Kithje's eyes are brown.' or 'Kithje has brown eyes.'

Note that the number of both the possessor and the possessee is
generic. It is assumed to be singular or paucal/collective, whichever
is semantically appropriate. To force a distibutive meaning, the
full-form pronouns can be used:

pa liéT leháLa anpíññe;
'(Each of) our (various) necks hurt.'

pa sáenne jaróña anwúla;
'(Each of) their eyes are brown.' or 'The two of them have brown

pa ankíri japíra jawáhúñ;
'The family's teeth are bad.' or 'The family has bad teeth.'

Serial nouns in Kélen are assumed to be renaming each other, so when
inherent possession is referenced in a larger construct, the
relational pa becomes a possessive particle:

ál ñarra le pa letáka jahúwa lá; or
ál ñarra pa letáka jahúwa lá;
'You just broke my arm!

ñalla Li-málren pa jatáka jahúwa; or
ñalla pa Li-málren jatáka jahúwa;
'I broke Málren's arm.'

The six mental functions are -céx- 'hope', -kíñ- 'wish, want', -kúñ-
'need', -tól- 'think, believe', -tút- 'intend, will', and -wól-

pa lekíña ñi le rá jamára;
'I want that I go home.' or 'I want to go home.'

pa rikúña anlúha kéñ;
'Do you need help?'

pa jatóla tele jaTúna-mma;
'She thinks that I took her book.'

pa Li-kíTje jatúta ñamma li-xéjelke manóña;
'Kíthje intends that he make Xéjelke dead.'

temle játténa jé lewóla;
'He gave answer to my doubt.' or 'He reassured me.'

In the Eastern dialect, the 3rd person inherently possessed form has
a separate animate form using the prefix sa-. For example:

pa satáka jahúwa;
'Her arm is broken.'

pa jatúmse japíra anáNNena;
'The túmse's teeth are sharp.'

In the examples above was one instance of association or non-inherent
possession. This was in the sentence:

pa jatóla tele jaTúna-mma;
'She thinks that I took her book.'

The suffix -mma denotes association with some 3rd person entity. Like
the inherent possessive marker (and the reduced pronouns), the
association suffixes are generic in number. These are laid out in the
table below:

Person  Independent Form        Suffix*
1p      ánle                    -(n)le
2p      ánrie                   -(n)rie
3p      ámma                    -(m)ma
*(loses initial nasal when following a sonorant)

For example:

Tó jaTúna ámma málren;
'This is Málren's book.'

Tó jaTúna-mma;
'This is his book.'

Tó jaTúna-nle;
'This is my book.'

Tó jaTúna ánle liér;
'This is our (yours and mine) book.'

ñalla jahúwa jacéla ámma hémal;
'I broke Hémal's bowl.'

In the Eastern dialect, the independent forms have been lost. For

Tó jaTúna-mma málren;
'This is Málren's book.'

Tó jaTúna-nle liér;
'This is our (yours and mine) book.'

A peculiarity of association is that the object being associated with
must have number. Therefore, statives cannot carry an associative
suffix. Thus emotions (an abstract quality) are turned into singular
nouns (a specific instance) when used with an associative suffix.

pa sáen annúra;
'He is angry.'

sele anmíra to janúra-mma
'His anger frightens me;

Comments? Questions?
Sylvia Sotomayor

The Kélen language can be found at:

This post may contain the following characters:
á (a-acute); é (e-acute); í (i-acute); ó (o-acute); ú (u-acute);
ñ (n-tilde);