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Re: Genitive relationships

From:Raymond A. Brown <raybrown@...>
Date:Thursday, March 4, 1999, 7:02
At 11:06 am -0500 3/3/99, Brian Betty wrote:
>3-2-99, Pablo Flores wrote: "As you've seen, all Semitic langs do. But >reading those posts I realized a similar thing (totally unrelated) happens >in Welsh! I don't know too much about it, but I understand two noun phrases >in juxtaposition "A B" form a genitive construction "A of B". Is this a >general phenomenon?"
General to what? It is a general phenomenon of the Brittonic Celtic languages. In Welsh if the second noun does not have a definite article the two nouns are simply justaposed: llyfr bachgen (book boy) = a boy's book ci merch (dog girl) = the girl's dog. mam Huw (mother Huw) = Huw's mother prifddinas Cymru (capital Wales) = the capital of Wales The definite article may _not_ precceed 'prifddinas' in the last example since the 2nd noun makes the whole phrase definite. Indeed, the more common construction has the definite article before the second noun, thus: llyfr y bachgen (book the boy) = the boy's book ci'r ferch (dog the girl) = the girl's dog Cornish behaves in the same way. Breton is similar but, unlike its sister langs, it has developed an indefinite article and this is used before the second noun in such constructions. The Gaelic Celtic languages also have similar constructions with the same rule about the definite article, but in those languages the second noun (and the article) is in the genitive case. This was also the origin of the Brittonic construction, but the latter languages lost case distinction early on.
> >It is common to have 2 nouns AB as a genitive phrase, but actual construct >forms are strictly Egypto-Semitic as far as I can tell.
Certainly nothing like the construct forms of noun A occur in the Celtic langs Ray.