Re: THEORY: genitive vs. construct case/izafe
|From:||Julia "Schnecki" Simon <helicula@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, July 26, 2005, 5:45|
On 7/23/05, tomhchappell <tomhchappell@...> wrote:
> From the Wikipedia article on "Arabic grammar",
> "construct" is the "third horn on the bull"
> whose more familiar two horns are "definite" and "indefinite".
> So, for example, in a Semitic language like Hebrew or Arabic,
> the opposition might be ---
> "the mine" vs "a mine" vs "Solomon's mine".
Now that you mention it --
Until now, I would have said that the construct form of an Arabic noun
(say, _kitAb_ "book"; constr.(nom.) _kitAbu_) is sort of the "basic
form", or at least happens to look like such a basic form (for most
nouns), that never occurs by itself. You can attach an article to it
(to make it definite: _al-kitAbu_ "the book"), or an indefinite suffix
(to make it indefinite: _kitAbun_ "a book"), or a genitive NP or
possessive suffix (to get a possessive construction: _kitAbu-hu_ "his
book", _kitAbu 'l-mu`allimi_ "the teacher's book").
(Kind of like Nahuatl nouns that cannot occur "as such" ["naked" if
you will]... there always has to be either an absolutive suffix
[_xochitl_ "flower", stem _xochi_] or a possessive prefix [_toxochi_
"our flower"] or some sort of plural marking [_xochime_ "flowers"; for
other stems, there may be reduplication instead of a suffix]. A noun
stem can only occur without such affixes [or reduplication] if it is
either incorporated into a verb [_xochimanazque_ "they will lay
flowers"] or if it appears as a non-final part in a compound noun
[_xochicuzcatl_ "garland of flowers"]. But I digress.)
Of course, now that I've done a little research about the construct
state, I know that it's a little more complicated in other Semitic
languages. At the very least, the Hebrew and Maltese construct forms
aren't substrings of the other forms of the same noun. ;-)
Anyway, the definite : indefinite : construct trichotomy does make
sense to me.
> Is that kind of information also part of
> what Julia's question asked for?
I think so. :-) It's something I hadn't expected when I asked the
question, but it certainly feels like something that'll eventually
lead me to fascinating new linguistic realizations if I spend enough
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)