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Possession and genitivity

From:Herman Miller <hmiller@...>
Date:Friday, April 29, 2005, 4:23
Ray Brown wrote:

> On this one, I think Crystal is slightly (but only very slightly) better: > > "_genitive_ One of the FORMS taken by a NOUN PHRASE (often a single NOUN > or PRONOUN) in LANGUAGES which expresses GRAMMATICAL relationships by > means of INFLECTIONS. The genitive CASE typically expresses a possessive > relationship (e.g. _the boy's book_) or some other similarly 'close' > connection (e.g. _a summer's day_); but there is a great deal of variation > between languages in the way this case used....." > > There is a hint that the relationship is not always 'possession' and a > reference to the variation of use actually found in natlangs. A weakness > in both definitions IMO is that Trask (explicitly) and Crystal (implicitly) > define the case as relation one NP to another. There is no hint in either > definition that it may relate a NP to a VP.
I'm still trying to sort out how possession works in Minza, but the locative case is used in some instances. The genitive case tends to be used for more abstract relationships (shape classifiers, for instance: "a sheet of paper" is "lhazhi rjaxat" with "paper" in the genitive case).
> I still maintain that L.R. Palmer's definition of _genitive_ is better > than either Trask's or Crystal's, namely: > "a noun in the genitive defines and delimits the range of reference of > another noun or verb." > > Tho I would substitute NP for 'noun' and VP for 'verb'.
What are some typical uses of genitives with verbs? (Jarda uses the genitive case for the object of a verb in the antipassive voice, but I don't know how realistic that might be....) How do prepositions fit into this; in languages that have prepositions which govern the genitive case, are these prepositions generally derived from nouns?
> But this is getting away from the thread a bit. I still maintain that in > "my identity", the concept 'indentity' is more clearly something I 'own', > than is 'arrival' in "my arrival". I have no difficulty is regarding 'my > identitiy' as a type of possession. But when it comes to 'my arrival' ....
I guess it depends on how you look at ownership, but in general I'd think you'd have a degree of ownership in the results of your actions. You can have cases in English where both a possessive and a genitive is used, like "my interpretation of this sentence".


Joseph Bridwell <zhosh@...>
Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Patrick Littell <puchitao@...>