Re: Possessive Suffixes
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, May 18, 2005, 18:26|
On Tuesday, May 17, 2005, at 07:11 , Rob Haden wrote:
> On Tue, 17 May 2005 13:17:39 -0400, Roger Mills <rfmilly@...> wrote:
>> 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.
> That's what I was wondering about. How do languages develop possessive
> pronominal suffixes from independent pronouns?
Presumably: independent pronoun --> clitic --> affix.
The possessives in modern Greek are written as encltics, but they are
pronounced as 'one word' with the word they are attached to, so they are
all but suffixes.
Actually they go right back to ancient Greek. Possessive then could be
shown either with independent possessive adjectives or by postfixed
clitics (enclitics), thus:
ho emos pate:r
the my father [nominative]
ho pate:r mou
the father of-me
_mou_ is an enclitic form of the full pronoun _emou_ [genitive]. These
enclitics were, even in ancient Greek, pronounced as one with the word to
which they were attached & could never appear alone; i.e. _pate:r mou_ was
a single phonological word.
The former method died out in Hellenistic Greek and only the method using
enclitics survives in modern Greek.
Although enclitics and suffixes are the more common developments, a Google
search will quickly find languages with possessive procltics (preposited
clitics) and possessive prefixes.
"A mind which thinks at its own expense will always
interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760