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Re: THEORY: genitive vs. construct case/izafe

From:Julia "Schnecki" Simon <helicula@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 26, 2005, 11:33

On 7/25/05, Henrik Theiling <theiling@...> wrote:
> Hi! > > "Julia \"Schnecki\" Simon" <helicula@...> writes: > > > "Julia \"Schnecki\" Simon" <helicula@...> writes: > > >... > > > Modifier-GEN Modified-X == Modifier-X Modified-CONSTR > > > > Of course. :-) > > Note that I was wrong about the case marking: both systems seem to > mark the head for the phrases case, sorry for that confusion...
> >... > > > In colloquial German, there is > > > a similar construction -- so the 3rd persion possessive pronouns seems > > > common in conjunction with genitive (only Germans colloquial > > > construction uses dative case): > > > > ["dem Vater sein Haus" example snipped] > > > > *grins* I had thought of that as well. You're in Saarbrücken, aren't > > you? > >... > > Yes, but I'm not *from* Saarbrücken.
Yes; you're in but not from Saarbrücken (the animation on your homepage makes that very clear ;) , whereas I'm from but not in Saarbrücken. It's a complicated world we live in. Anyway, you know the dialect and the type of phrase. ;-)
> The examples apply to many > dialects of German, even colloquial High German, so I did not > want to restrict them to Saarlandian or (Western) Palatinian.
Colloquial High German too? Wow. So far, I had only encountered this kind of phrase in High German with a strong dialect "flavor" (what I've heard being referred to as "High German with stripes" in Saarlandian); such a strong "flavor" that I wouldn't call them simply "colloquial" but at the very least "colloquial <insert region/dialect here>" or even "the <insert region here> idea of High German"...
> (Also, English has it, as I learned on this list. Very common.) > > My own dialect does not frequently use that form, though, so I never > say that. More frequently, a construction with 'von' appears ('das > Haus von meinem Vater') in colloquial version, of my dialect, although > I tend not to use them too ofter either, I think.
Now that one ("X von Y" instead of genitive construction) I have heard in variants of German that I'd call "colloquial High German" (and BTW, I use it from time to time, too).
> > I'm not *in* Saarbrücken right now (haven't been in a long time but > > will be sometime in August, but I digress); but I'm *from* > > Saarbrücken, so when I speak German, I tend to use "X sein/ihr Y" > > constructions rather than the proper genitive, "Xs Y" or "Y des/der > > X". > > Yes, it's very common in dialects around here. :-)
Unfortunately I have no idea how far it extends in any direction. I just know that a friend of mine, who comes from the far north of Germany (a few more steps towards the north and he'd be Danish), found my "dem X sein Y" hilarious the first time he heard it... (Wild speculation: It may or may not have something to do with the "à moi (toi, etc.)" that can be added to a French possessive phrase for emphasis (_c'est mon livre à moi_ "that's MY book [and you can't have it]"). Gods know we have more than enough French influence in the SW German dialects...)
> > (Interestingly enough, Hungarian has a similar construction where the > > possessor appears in dative case: e.g. _a fiúnak a könyve_ (IIRC), > > lit. "to-the-boy his-book".) > > That's exactly it. Funny.
I wonder how many other languages (and which ones) have this type of possessive phrase. I used to think it's just a Saarlandian thing (just as I used to think that V2 syntax was just a German thing until I encountered Swedish). I do know some languages that express "to have" with dative case (or a prepositional phrase containing dative, or a case that roughly corresponds to a dative -- "X is by Y" instead of "Y has X"), but these languages don't use the same case/PP for possession ("Y's X" as "X by Y" or some such).
> >... > > > construction to me. And in Mandarin, you can say: 'Zhe shi wo de' = > > > It is *mine*, so also, 'de' is part of the modifier, so this is also > > > more a 'genitive' construction. > > > > Hmm... I remember seeing entries in a Mandarin dictionary that ended > > in _de_ and were translated as adjectives (along the lines of > > <wood>+_de_ "wooden", <poison>+_de_ "toxic", etc.)... > > The 'de' is the general modifier particle used for many things. The > closest in English would probably be: 's . It is used for relative > clauses too, and for forming structures that translate as participles. > So a closer translation would probably be: > > 'of wood' -- noun + modifier particle > 'poisoning' -- verb + modifier particle > > 'de' is a very versatile word in Mandarin. Here are some other > examples: > > 'wo3 de cha2' > I MOD tea - my tea > > 'wo3 he1 de cha2' > I drink MOD tee - (the) tea that I drink. > > 'he1 cha2 de ren2' > drink tea MOD person - (a) person who drinks tea > > 'wo3 he1 cha2 de shi2hou4' > time,instant > - (the time) when I drank tea > > 'he1 de cha2' - tea that is drunk > > 'he1 de ren2' - a person who drinks (something)
That certainly clarifies some of the more mysterious entries containing _de_ in that dictionary... ;-) (And I'm impressed -- what a versatile word indeed...) Regards, Julia -- Julia Simon (Schnecki) -- Sprachen-Freak vom Dienst _@" schnecki AT iki DOT fi / helicula AT gmail DOT com "@_ si hortum in bybliotheca habes, deerit nihil (M. Tullius Cicero)