Re: Possession and genitivity
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Monday, May 2, 2005, 19:02|
On Sunday, May 1, 2005, at 09:55 , # 1 wrote:
> Carsten Becker wrote:
>> On Saturday 30 April 2005 20:45 CEST, Joseph Bridwell wrote:[snip]
>> French has (1) le livre du garçon and (2) une pièce du
>> papier, the same as in English actually.
> French only has (1)...
It does have (2) but the second should be _une pièce DE papier_ :)
> "Une pièce du papier" isn't a good translation for "a sheet paper"
I agree - it's a very bad translation.
> "Une pièce du papier" would be "one of the paper's pieces"
Yep - it means "a piece of _the_ paper" or "the paper's piece".
Joseph meant, I am sure, "une pièce de papier" - 'a piece of paper' (which
is rather less precise than a sheet of paper"
> "A sheet paper" could be "un papier en feuille", wich is not even
Eh??? I was under the impression 'a sheet of paper' was _un feuillet (de
papier)_ - 'of paper' is often omitted in English also if the context is
clear. I do agree, however, it is not possession.
> (I use could "could" because that's not a sentence I've ever heard
> do I understand what that sentence really means), I'd have understand
> if it'd been "A paper sheet", what would've been "Une feuille de papier"
> that is no more of a possession than the other is)
BUT "une feuille de papier" or "un feuillet (de papier) *IS* a sheet of
Yes, I agree it is not possession - that is precisely what I have been
saying in my last two (at least) emails.
> French doesn't seems to share what y'all now call "false possession"
With respect, you seem to give a different meaning to _all_ than I do.
I have noticed only _one_ person say that some people call this
construction _false possession_ (and 'false' means 'not true', 'faux',
that is: it ain't possession!). I am an L1 English speaker and I managed
to live for over 65 years without hearing the term.
I replied that more than 50 years I had called the construction 'partitive'
- and the French I am familiar with is full of partitive constructions
expressed with 'de', 'du', 'de la', 'des' - which is also the same
construction that is used to express possession!
> since a
> few days, a translation of one of your false possessive phrase is simply
> possessive in French.
Nor is it possessive in English - that's FALSE means! It looks like
possessive, but it ain't.
> French uses the preposition "de"(of) to mark
> possession but the next noun ought to have an article
> "le chien du voisin" (du = "de" + "le") = the neightbour's dog
> "la robe de ma soeur" = my sister's dress
> The only situations when the possessor can't have an article is when it
> is a
> proper name (so that carries its own definitness) or a pronoun (for which
> the possessive articles are there to mean that kind of meaning)
All very true, and precisely the same applies to "of" when used to show
(real) possession in English - but _partitive_ often also has a definite
j'ai mangé _du_ pain
I think you have perhaps been misled by the term 'false possession' -
which we do _not_ all use :)
It simply means: "a construction that use _of_ but does not show
French is full of constructions that use _de_ but do not express
possession, therefore French has 'false possession' Q.E.D. :)
But IMO the term 'false possession' is a strange (and potentially
misleading) way of expressing the construction:
une fueille _de papier_
a sheet _of paper_
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]