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 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
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
>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