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Colloquial German, experiencers and the construct state

From:Carsten Becker <naranoieati@...>
Date:Sunday, August 14, 2005, 14:50

Since Tarsyanian is a mainly head-marking language, it uses
the construct state instead of the genitive. (Colloquial)
German (Henrik has mentioned this more than once IIRC),
although mainly dependend-marking, also has this feature:

In colloquial German,

  1) dem     Mann sein Haus
     the.DAT man  his  house
     "to the man his house"

is one of two common variants used instead of the standard

  2) das     Haus  des     Mannes
     the.NOM house the.GEN man.GEN
     "the house the man's"

The other variant would be

  3) das     Haus  von dem     Mann
     the.NOM house of  the.DAT man
     "the house of/from the man"

which is IMO actually more grammatical than (1), but this
is not my point.

That colloquial German uses the construct case in (1) is
obvious, but why is "dem Mann" ("to the man") in the dative
case? Is it seen as an experiencer or why is it? Note that
German often uses the dative case for experiencers
(e.g. "Mir ist kalt", "To me is cold"), though not as
consistently as Icelandic (or Tarsyanian) as was proved
in the thread about "quirky subjects" we've had recently.
There are as well some prepositions that govern the dative
case (like "von" in 3). Another interesting thing is that
German puts the possessee - the head of the genitive NP -
before the possessor, unlike English which places it after
the possessor.

I've just come across this question because I'm working on
Tarsyanian nouns and their cases right at the moment.


Edatamanon le matahanarà benenoea eibenem ena Bahis
Tenena, 15-A8-58-7-5-1-15 ena Curan Tertanyan.


Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>