inalienable possession and core arguments

Paolo Ramat paoram at UNIPV.IT
Fri May 30 08:00:35 UTC 2014

To the references below one could add a lot of articles dealing with the continuum between Verbs and Nouns (i.e. nouns that have an obligatory valency) . E.g. Raffaele Simone, Masdar, ‘ismu al-marrati et la frontière verbe/nom, in Estudios ofrecidos al Profesor J.Jesùs de Bustos Tovar. Madrid, Universidad Complutense 2003: 901-918 (with important references).


Prof.Paolo Ramat
Università di Pavia
Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori (IUSS Pavia)

From: Rijn, Marlou van 
Sent: Friday, May 30, 2014 9:01 AM
Subject: Re: inalienable possession and core arguments

Dear Sergey,

This idea has been around for some time. Below are some standard references.

Lehmann, Christian. 1983. Rektion und syntaktische Relationen. Folia Linguistica 17. 339-378. 
Lehmann, Christian. 1985. On grammatical relationality. Folia Linguistica 19. 67-109.
Partee, Barbara H. & Vladimir Borschev. 2003. Genitives, relational nouns, and argument-modifier ambiguity. In Ewald Lang, Claudia Maienborn & Cathrine Fabricius-Hansen (eds.), Modifying Adjuncts (Interface Explorations Series), 67-112. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Partee, Barbara H. 1997 [1983]. Uniformity vs. versatility: the genitive, a case study (appendix to Theo Janssen. 1997. Compositionality). In Johan van Benthem & Alice ter Meulen (eds.), Handbook of Logic and Language, 464-470. Amsterdam & Cambridge, MA: Elsevier and MIT Press.

Marlou van Rijn


Van: Discussion List for ALT [LINGTYP at] namens Sergey Lyosov [sergelyosov at]
Verzonden: vrijdag 30 mei 2014 7:31
Onderwerp: inalienable possession and core arguments

Dear all,

have you ever read/thought about reinterpreting “inalienable possession” (within noun phrases) in terms of nominal valency? I.e., certain semantic kinds of nouns display valency slots that have to be filled by all means (e.g., a kinship role ‘[one’s] son’, an action noun ‘[one’s] crossing [of something]’), and these core arguments are encoded differently from non-obligatory arguments. In zero approximation, an English example would be ‘Jacob’s son’ as against ‘the son of his old age.’ Akkadian is a language that is keen on morphologically opposing core and non-core arguments in its noun phrases.

  Thank you very much,


Sergey Loesov

Oriental Institute

RussianStateUniversity for the Humanities

6 Miusskaya pl. Moscow 125267, Russia.     

Tel.: (7095) 250-6733, (7095) 250-6994.
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