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Re: Alienable/inalienable possession

From:Doug Dee <amateurlinguist@...>
Date:Sunday, February 5, 2006, 0:36
In a message dated 2/4/2006 10:08:21 AM Eastern Standard Time,
carbeck@GOOGLEMAIL.COM writes:

>Would there be transplants in a >society that speaks a language with an alienable/ >inalienable distinction?
There's no reason there shouldn't be. The grammatical category of "inalienable" does not have to correspond exactly to the class of things that cannot be acquired or given away (just as the grammatical category of "feminine" doesn't have to correspond exactly to the class of female things). So, you can certainly have kidneys be inalienably possesed even while the speakers of the language talk about who's giving away a kidney to whom. Doug