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Different Possessions

From:Thomas Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Wednesday, April 27, 2005, 15:20
Muke wrote:
> The same difficulty > should surely exist for abstract nouns that, unlike "arrival", are not > easily associated [in English] with a verb or agent: his happiness, > his solitude, his quirks.
Speaking of possession, I thought I'd throw out the three different kinds of possession that Nahuatl has: alienable, inalienable but not a body part, and part/whole possession: alienable: kone:tl --> no-kone:-w-(an) 1SgPoss-child-al.poss-(pl.) 'my child(ren)' inalienable, no-to:ka nonbody-part 1SgPoss-name 'my name' part/whole: omi:tl --> no-omi:-yo 1SgPoss-bone-PW 'my bone' This can sometimes lead to interesting contrasts: noomi:yo 'my bone which is still part of my body' vs. noomi:w 'my bone which I have acquired from somewhere else' or even better notlakayo 'my torso' vs. notlakaw 'my male-lover'. :) I've been wondering whether to steal these ideas from Nahuatl for my conlangs... ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637