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Re : Mandatory possession

From:From Http://Members.Aol.Com/Lassailly/Tunuframe.Html <lassailly@...>
Date:Thursday, October 7, 1999, 11:13
Dans un courrier dat=E9 du 07/10/99 08:28:11  , Christophe a =E9crit :

> Hi all, > =20 > I want to add in Chasma"o"cho the feature of mandatory possession=
> and > I need some information about it. > =20 > I know that in languages having this feature, words needing=20 > mandatory > possessives refer generally to the family. Are there other kinds of > words that need this (I'm thinking of parts of body maybe, but are there > others?). >=20
1. Ainu uses that a lot with all kinds of nouns to make a general concept into a specific item, Shibatani writes : apa > apaha : door > (one's) door unu > unuhu : mother tek > teke, tekehe : hand 2. note also that personal verbal affixes are affixed to nouns as possessive adjectives : kore : give, he gives a-kore : i give maci : his wife a-maci : my wife ku : drink, he drinks ku-p : one that someone drinks ci-ku : we drink ci-ku-p : what we drink =3D "beverage".
> Also, in the case of mandatory possession, how regular are the=20
> that use it? That's to say, do those words behave just like any other > word, just having always a possessive marking that is the same that for > the ones that don't need it, or do those words have different roots > depending on the possessor, or is the root and the possessive so blended > that you can't recognize really a common root for all forms of the same > word? > =20
Ainu possessive endings change with possessor, otherwise i guess Shibatani would call them "articles".
> And finally, how languages that have mandatory possession manage=20
> use > the words having this feature when possession is completely irrelevant > (for instance, when speaking of "a mother" in general)?
"a mother" is "someone's mother" : inuhu. his mother is "nuhu". In that way, ainu is like other asian languages which pre-suppose determination, i.e., take for granted that the default topic of a sentence is someone or something concrete you're talking about, not an abstract stuff nobody knows. if you say "blue", this rather means that someone or something around you or you're talking about is blue. if you say "mother" without polite or humble form, it is "his/her mother". now if you want to generalize, you say "someone's mother" and people get it right that you don't want to refer to anybody in particular. but try speaking that way and you'll realize you don't speak of abstract stuff in general so often - aside the conlang list. same for "tense" : the only question is "is it done ?" and the answer is "not yet - still - already". same for number : "well, of course the guys i'm talking about are plural since i told you "they" in the beginning of our chat (you sucker !)". Do they use a
> different word than the one with mandatory possessives? And when the > possessor appears (like in "Peter's mother"), do they use a different > word or just use a construction like: "Peter's his mother"? > =20
Ainu would say "Peter mother". But if possessor is 2nd or 3rd pers., then possessive affixes seem to be affixed to "mother". note also that "my" can be expressed with "i have" : ku-kor ku-nupe ku-nukar rusuy i-have i-brother i-see want i want to see my brother ku- is 1st. pers. for so-called "intransitive" verbs while a- is 1st. pers. for "transitive" verbs. now something funny : a-maci =3D "my wife". ku-nupe =3D "my brother". i guess it means ku- is used as possessive with intransitive verb and a- with transitive verbs, but Shibatani does not explain that - does he ? anybody with his "Languages of Japan" ?
> Thank you in advance for your answers.
and questions. mathias