Edith A Moravcsik edith at CSD.UWM.EDU
Wed Jan 20 18:07:24 UTC 1999

To Marcel Erdal:

Dear Marcel,

In your message regarding how to express phrases such as "my share
of the estate" or "John's branch of the family" in Turkish,
you mentioned that in the corresponding Turkish expressions
"my" and "John's"  would be genitives and "of the family"
and "of the estate" would be uninflected forms. You also noted
that as far as agreement marking on the possessum (e.g. "branch") was
concerned, 1st or 2nd person would take priority over third person - i.e.,
the possessum would carry a single agreement affix
chosen in accordance with the person hierarchy.

My question is this: if 'of the family' is expressed
as an uninflected noun, then what evidence is there for calling it a
possessor? And, if it is not a possessor, then one would
not expect it to control agreement on the possessum ("branch"). Thus
the single agreement marker on the possessum could be accounted
for without assuming a competition between two agreement
controllers ("my" and "of the family") and without invoking
the person hierarchy to resolve the conflict.

If "of the family" turns out not to be a possessor, then Turkish is
like Hungarian and Finnish in that, of the two English
genitive expressions - "my" and "of the family" - only the first  can be
expressed as a possessor.

Edith Moravcsik

			 Edith A. Moravcsik
			 Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics
			 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
		         Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413

			 E-mail: edith at uwm.edu
		         Telephone: (414) 229-6794 /office/
				    (414) 332-0141 /home/
		         Fax: (414) 229-2741


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