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Re: Possessive Suffixes

From:Christian Köttl <christian.koettl@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 17, 2005, 20:38
The relationship between the Akkadian possessive 
suffixes, personal pronouns and independent 
possessive pronouns is evident when looking at 
the genetive-accusative forms of the personal 
pronouns. As you assume, it is quite 

    Possessive suffix | personal pronoun (Gen.) | possessive pronoun
1  ja (i:) (?a)        ja:ti                     ju:m (m.) jattum (f.)
2m ka                  ka:ta                     ku:m (m.)
2f ki                  ka:ti                     kattum (f.)
3m Su                  Sua:ti                    Su:m (m.)
3f Si                  Sia:ti                    Sattum (f.)

A similar relationship can be found in the plural.

Btw, the Akkadian accusative suffixes, used to 
indicate a pronominal object by attaching to the 
verb, are similar to the possessive suffixes in 
the singular, but to the personal pronoun 
genetive-accusative in the plural. So in Akkadian 
it is obvious that those suffixes are really just 
the pronouns attached to nouns or verbs, resp..

In Middle Babylonian (and later on), the 
possessive pronouns were replaced by /attu/ + a 
possessive suffix.

In the course of time, the pronominal suffixes 
and the pronouns diverged. Just two examples for 
development on those suffixes:
In New Babylonian (10 - 7 cent. BC)/-i:/has 
developed into /-a:/; /-Su/ often becomes /-S/. 
Personal pronouns changed as well, but 

May this post be more informative than my last one. ;-)

>Christian Köttl wrote: >(snips) >[Akkadian] >> The possessive suffixes were in the singular >> -ja "my" >> -ki "thy", >> -ka "thy",fem.plk >> -Su "his" >> -Sa "her" >(snip etc.) > >How, if at all, do the suffixed forms relate to the free forms of the >pronouns? > >For example, in all the Austronesian/Malayo-Polynesian languages I can think >of, there's a pretty clear relationship between the two: > >I-sg. *aku -- poss.sfx. -ku almost everywhere >II-sg. *kamu -- poss. -mu almost everywhere (*kamu may have been a pl. form >originally, not sure) >(also *kaw ~*kahu -- sfx. -ko in a few; definitely the sing., originally) >(III-sg. see below) -- > >Suffixes for the plurals are much less common, but where they occur: >I-pl.incl. *kita -- sfx. -ta >(I-pl. excl. *kami -- no sfx. attested AFAIK; it would probably have been >?*-mi, thus falling together with-- >II-pl. *miu (Moluccan *kimi) -- sfx. -mi >III-pl. *sida -- sfx. -da (often > -ra) > >There was also a possessive/attributive particle *ni, which shows up in N - >N possessives and idioms like *taqi ni aNin (shit (of) wind =) cloud, and >also shows up in the usual III-sg. suffix-- > >III-sg. *ia, poss. *ni ia > **nya > -nya in some langs. (/-ña/ in those few >that have a palatal nasal, like Ml/Indo), but more often -na, and this too >is near-universal. > >This *ni particle is probably present in some variant forms, also >widespread: >Isg **-Nku, Ipl-inc. **-nta, IIIpl **-nda (perhaps trivially in the forms >with initial nasal) > >The general lack of suffixes for the plural seems to be due to the >development of politeness/status distinctions and/or occasional loss of the >incl./excl. distinction, and/or frequent generalization of sing. forms to >the plural, esp. in III person. > >In Ml/Indo. the I and II-sg. suffixes are informal; the more usual >construction is collocation, using alternate pronoun forms: > >aku, -ku in familiar speech, e.g. rumah/ku 'my house' >saya 'I' non-intimate: rumah saya >and similarly in II-sg, where words like bapak 'father' or titles are used >in lieu of familiar engkau or kamu, so rumah bapak '(your) house' (note >rumah bapak saya 'my father's house') > >III-sg. -nya can also be plural, also respectful II-- as, darimana asal/nya >(from.where origin/poss.) 'where do you come from?'; alternate III-pl rumah >mereka (+ 'they') > >Here's the set of suffixes in Buginese: >SING. >-ku >-mu (sing. only AFAIK) >-na both sg. and pl. (pl. also N+na maneng (all) for clarity)-- also used in >N - N, e.g. bola/na Ali 'Ali's house' > >PLUR. >-ta (both I-incl./excl, also polite II-sg/pl (alt. + maneng in pl.) >(-keng I-excl., full pronoun i/keng ult. < *kami, but both forms are >obsolete) > > >Here's the set in Kisar, a Moluccan language: >-u Isg (<*-ku or *-Nku) >-mu II sg/pl >-n(V) III sg/pl > >-d(V) (<**nta) Ipl in/ex. --(V)is 0 or a V determined by rule > >But very closely related Leti has: >-u >-mu sg. only >-nV sg/pl > >-mi II pl. > >Leti retains the Ipl in/ex distinction, but has lost the suffixes, cf. >Kis. ik makrom/do (we master/poss) 'our master (relig. Our Lord)' >Let. it matrum/na (generalizing the III sfx.) > >Also, the old IIIpl *-da survives in Leti as a plural marker (-ra), but not >in Kisar. > >I don't have my Fijian dictionary at hand, but I know it has reflexes of the >singulars, *-ku, *-mu, *-na. It would be interesting to look at the plurals, >since Fij. has dual-trial-multiple. Will check. > >A multi-language study of the relationship between full/poss.-suffix pronoun >forms has probably been done, somewhere, but I don't know of any. Could be >interesting, though I'd suspect there's usually a pretty clear relationship, >just as in AN.
-- -------------------------------------- Christian Köttl Johann-Strauß-Gasse 20/1 1040 Wien Tel. 0676 597 99 31 -------------------------------------


Gregory Gadow <techbear@...>HUMOR but vaguely on topic: Merriam-Webster ranks neo-logisms