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Re: Alienable/inalienable possession

From:Sylvia Sotomayor <terjemar@...>
Date:Saturday, February 4, 2006, 17:03
On 2/4/06, Carsten Becker <carbeck@...> wrote:
> Hi there, > > I recently started a new project, Ukele [1], which is > supposed to have alienable/inalienable posession. I wonder > how would one express to have something or to give > something away that is inalienable? E.g. a heart transplant > or something? Body parts are usually inalienable, after all. > May there be an evidence that it's a concept rather of > philosophy than language? Would there be transplants in a > society that speaks a language with an alienable/ > inalienable distinction? I bet I've got a PDF on this > floating around on some backup CDs of mine ... However, > according to Payne it seems to me that it's no problem to > give away something that is inalienable, it's just specially > marked for inalienability. I am confused. Does anyone care > to explain? > > Thanks, > Carsten > > [1]
Kēlen has inalienable possession of body parts. The standard, unmarked way to say 'heart' is 'samālle', which means 3p-'heart' or 'his/her/someone's heart'. However, it is also possible to inflect -māll- as an inanimate noun. This would be marked, people would look at you funny, but in the context of a transplant, or the scientist's jars of preserved body parts, it would make perfect sense. The inanimateinflection wold be 'jamālle', which would never be interpreted as 'his/her/someone's heart', but would mean 'a heart, not belonging to anyone in particular' or 'a disembodied heart'. Once it's back in someone's chest, it would be possessed again. As in: temle lemālle to mīþa ā māltanen; The doctor gave me my heart from another. (cool, eh?) temle samālle; S/he gave me his/her heart. (and I'm not quite used to the idea yet) Unlike English, giving someone one's heart is not a declaration of love. :-) Does that help? -S -- Sylvia Sotomayor


Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>