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Re: Alienable/inalienable possession

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Saturday, February 4, 2006, 17:57
Sylvia Sotomayor wrote:

> 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. > > 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. (snip exs.)
Something like that IMO is probably the way to go... Timorese (aka Atoni, Dawan) has something similar-- inalienable poss. is marked with the suffixes -k, -m, -n (1,2,3 (sing.) resp.), generic with -f--thus atèn 'his/her heart/liver', atef 'heart/liver, in general'. I suppose as in, "We're having liver for dinner", perhaps "The dr. gave me a new heart", maybe "...shaped like a heart", but the available grammar is silent on the exact usage. Fijian of course has its lovely 4-way possession: 1. inalienable 2. edible 3. drinkable 4. generic, alienable.