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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] _or_ 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. Ray =============================================== =============================================== "A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760


Julia "Schnecki" Simon <helicula@...>