Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Possessive Suffixes

From:Christian Köttl <christian.koettl@...>
Date:Thursday, May 19, 2005, 20:49
> > >In Middle Babylonian (and later on), the >>possessive pronouns were replaced by /attu/ + a >>possessive suffix. > >It seems that this same element /attu/ is found in the feminine possessive >pronouns. Or is this just coincidence?
-t- itself was commonly used in Akkadian as a feminine suffix, e.g. /rabium/ big, great (m.) /rabi:tum/ big, great (f.) /damqum/ good (m.) /damiqtum/ good (f.) -t- is affixed to noun roots ending in a single consonant or ending in a vowel, which is then lengthened. It is formed as -at-, if the root is ending on a geminal consonant or if its a primary noun root ending in two different consonants. There are some more rules for that, but it is enough to explain the female suffixes for the independent possessive pronouns, like /jattum/ (f.) for /ju:m/ (m.), meaning "my". The morphology becomes even clearer by citing Old Assyrian with /ja:?um/ as the masculine form; the feminine form was again /jattum/. Now, for the attu- + possessive pronoun replacing the independent possessive pronoun, I should have posted the nominative case of the personal pronoun. I have used the genitive-accusative forms because they resemble the possessive suffixes. The nominative forms were ana:ku (I, m.+f.), /atta:/ (thou, m.), /atti:/ (thou, f.). The forms for the third person were derived from a different source, an anaphoric pronoun. I guess that the source of /attu-/ is the nominative pronoun. Compare /attu:ka/ "thy" with /atta:/, "thou". However, this could be completely rubbish as well ;-)
> >>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 >>differently. > >With the former, was /i:/ > /a:/ a common change with New Babylonian? >
This was no common change but a form by analogy. Originally, the suffix for the 1st person sg. could be /-ja/ after a vowel and /-i:/ after a consonant. After a /-u:/-ending, /-ja/ became -/?a/. In analogy to /-ja/ and /-?a/, /-i:/ was changed. Christian.