Possession/modification by simple juxtaposition

Jan Rijkhoff linjr at HUM.AU.DK
Sat Nov 22 21:51:00 UTC 2008

Here is an example from Bukiyip (Conrad 1991: 60):

   Manohweh   buwul
   Manohweh   pig
   'Manoweh's pig

and one from Nasioi (Rausch 1912: 119, 120)

   Mateasi   bauran
   Mateasi    daughter
   'Mateasi's daughter'

Conrad, Robert J. (with Kepas Wogiga). 1991. An outline of Bukiyip grammar (Pacific Linguistics C-113). Canberra: Australian National University.
Rausch, P.J. 1912. Die Sprache von Südost-Bougainville, Deutsche Salominsinseln. Anthropos 7, 105-134, 585-616, 964-994.

Jan Rijkhoff
Dept. of Linguistics, University of Aarhus
Ndr. Ringgade 1, Building 1410, Office 338
DK-8000  Aarhus C, DENMARK
Map: http://www.au.dk/en/hum/lingvist/map.htm
Phone: (+45) 8942 6550   *   Fax (+45) 8942 6570
E-mail: linjr at hum.au.dk
Home page: http://person.au.dk/en/linjr@hum

"Spencer, Andrew J" <spena at ESSEX.AC.UK> writes:
>We are interested in finding languages that express possession and adjectival modification in the same way, namely, by means of pure juxtaposition, without any other morphosyntactic marking (agreement, adpositions, case marking etc.). In other words, we’re looking for languages with the following construction types (head-initial/head-final; the linear order doesn’t matter to us and the language doesn’t have to have a consistent head position):
>good book:             book good // good book
>the name of (the) boy: name [(the) boy] // (the) boy name
>Gwen’s book/mother:    book/mother Gwen// Gwen book/mother
>A language which is close to what we’re looking for is Spoken Welsh (head-initial):
>good book:
>llyfr   da     
>book    good   
>the name of the boy:
>enw   y    bachgen
>name  the  boy
>the name of a boy:
>enw    bachgen
>name   boy
>Gwen’s book:   llyfr Gwen   
>Gwen’s mother: mam Gwen   
>However, in Welsh, adjectives take the soft mutation when they modify FEM.SG nouns, so this isn’t a ‘pure’ example of the language type we’re looking for.
>If you know of a language with these properties please contact Andrew Spencer: spena at essex.ac.uk.
>We’ll put together a synopsis of the replies. (You don’t need to reply to the whole list.)
>Andrew Spencer, University of Essex
>Irina Nikolaeva, School of Oriental and African Studies

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