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mandatory possession in Chasma"o"cho

From:Grandsire, C.A. <grandsir@...>
Date:Wednesday, October 13, 1999, 12:48
Hi everybody,

        The text from the Translation Relay helped me to design nouns with
mandatory possessives on them, so here is what I came with:


        Nouns taking mandatory possessives are mainly terms for organs and
family members, plus some other nouns, like 'house' for example (which
in fact means both 'house' and 'home').


        Mandatorily possessed nouns are characterized by the use of a different
root depending on the kind of possessive suffix used on it: a long form
beginning by a vowel, a long form beginning by a consonnant, a short
form beginning by a vowel and a long form beginning by a consonnant.
With mandatorily possessed nouns, the suffixes used are always the basic
ones, not their alternatives (see my post on possessives for a summary
of the possessive suffixes). Also, no other suffix than the ones
corresponding to animate possessors can be used with those nouns, and
they have no free form without suffix. Contrary to all other nouns,
mandatorily possessed nouns don't make any morphological difference
between definiteness and indefiniteness, as well as between normal and
construct state. Finally, the stress of these nouns falls always on the
first syllable of the possessive suffix, or on the last syllable of the
noun if the suffix is only consonnantal.

        Of course, one can find exceptions to this general scheme, but they are
not important, except for some words that blend so much with the
possessive suffixes that we can't see where ends the root and where
begins the suffix. Here are two charts for an animate word: 'ear' and an
inanimate noun: 'house'. Note that the plural forms are not shown as
they are regularly formed by prefixing the article (o for animate and e
for inanimate):

he- before short or long form beginning by a consonnant,
hem- before short form beginning by a vowel,
h- before long form beginning by a vowel.

hec, hetarc /h'Ek, het'aRk/: my ear
hes, heszu"i"ja /h'Es, hes'9jdZ@/: thy ear
heh, he"luum /h'EtS, h'el@wm/: his/her (epicene) ear
hequ"e"va /hek'9jv@/: his ear
hezle"va /hEzle"v@/: her ear
hemin, hesto"ne /hem'in, hEst'on@/: our ear
hemon, hehhe"u"mon /hem'On, heh'2m@n/: your (plural) ear
hemeud, he"u"fadi /hem'9d, h'2P@d@/: their (epicene) ear

insu- before short form beginning with a consonnant,
insub- before short form beginning with a vowel,
in- before long form beginning with a consonnant,
inz (or ins-) before long form beginning with a vowel.

insuc, indarc /inz'yk, ind'aRk/: my house
insus, inszui /inz'ys, ins'9j/: thy house
insuh, inze"li /inz'ytS, inz'el@/: his/her (epicene) house
inqu"e"va /ink'9jv@/: his house
inzle"va /inzl'ev@/: her house
insubin, insti /inzb'in, inst'i/: our house
insubon, inhheum /inzb'On, in'9m/: your house
insubeud, inse"u"madh /inzb'9d, inz'2m@D/: their (epicene) house

NOTE: as I said, those words have no free form. Yet it is sometimes
useful to refer to such a noun without possessor ('the house (whose
owner I don't know)' for example), or at least known possessor. In this
case, the form with 3rd person plural epicene short form possessive
(suffix -eud) is used, and has simply the meaning 'a' or 'the'. So 'the
ear' is 'hemeud' and 'the house' is 'insubeud'.

NOTE 2: When used with an adjective that follows the noun, the adjective
must also carry the same possessive suffix as the noun, as a kind of
"agreement in possession". So 'my woodlike ear' (silly example, but I
can't find another adjective right now) is:
'hec roesze"u"thac' /h'Ek ROjs'2T@k/ or
'hetarc roesze"u"thutarc' /het'aRk ROjs'2T@t@Rk/

        Well, as usual, I welcome all comments and critiques, as well as
comments about other langs that have similar features. :)

        Christophe Grandsire

        Philips Research Laboratories --  Building WB 145
        Prof. Holstlaan 4
        5656 AA Eindhoven
        The Netherlands

        Phone:  +31-40-27-45006