[Lingtyp] head-initial double-marked possessives

David Beck dbeck at ualberta.ca
Fri Mar 1 14:37:15 UTC 2019

Hi, all

I’ve had several responses to this request, some in-thread and some directly to me. Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond. I thought I would summarize for the list and make an observation.

Some of the suggested examples have been

Spanish (typical of contact Spanish in Latin America and some informal dialects spoken by non-indigenous populations) (from Christian Lehmann, Liliana Sánchez, Nestor Hernández-Green

su papá de Sara

Hebrew (David Gil)

aviha                                   šel  sara
father.CONSTR:SG.3SGF  of   Sarah

(Mishnaic) Hebrew (Eitan Grossman)

yad-o            ʃel ʕani 
[hand-3sgm  of   poor.msg]
'the hand of a poor man’

Bininj Gun-wok (Evans 2003). (Bill Palmer)

darrkid-no   ngarduk
body-Possr  Possr.1Sg
‘my body’ (Evans 2003: 197)

Sakun (Michael Thomas)

There are a couple of things about this that I find interesting. One is that (aside from the Bininj Gun-wok, though the example does not show a nominal possessor) the other constructions are either wholly or partly periphrastic, assuming that the Hebrew ʃel is indeed a preposition as it appears to be from the glossing. The other is that (unless people on the list know but aren’t saying) the head-initial double-marked possessive seems to be rather rare, as opposed to the head-final double-marked possessive. What I had been hoping to find was the analog to examples like 

Sierra Miwok (Bill Palmer)

[cuku-ŋ]	hu:kiʔ-hy:	
dog-gen	tail-3sg.pssr
[the dog’s] tail

which turn up in Uralic, Quechuan, and lots of other places. At this point I still haven’t found a language that places an inflected possessor on the left and has a possessive or genitive like affix/morpheme on the possessor. (Theorists, start your engines 🙂)

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