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Re: Construct state and/or genitive case in Semitic langs

From:Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Date:Sunday, May 21, 2006, 13:44

Jim Henry writes:
>... > What about when possessed nouns in Finno-Ugric > languages get personal suffixes; is this related to > construct state, or is there another general term to cover > such personal suffixes and the Semitic construct state?
I think in a thread we had a few months ago, it was said that the constructions that repeat the possessive particle are different. It seems to happen in many langs (including colloquial German). It's not construct state, but the noun is used with a possessive that can be used alone, too. In German: dem Mann sein Buch the.DAT man.DAT his book (In contrast to the standard construction, this uses dative case instead of genitive.) Finnish structure is virtually identical I think, but a normal genitive is used. Same for Hungarian and many African langs, IIRC. The difference is that 'sein Buch' simply means 'his book', so the modification is no category of the noun, but a possessive pronoun/affix added, while the construct state, if it can be used alone in the lang in question, is more an expression of definiteness (as in Arabic), and it is a category of the noun. **Henrik