[Lingtyp] predicative possession

Randy J. LaPolla randy.lapolla at gmail.com
Wed Apr 22 13:52:32 UTC 2020

Dear Sergey,
Seems like others have given you a lot of good references. I will just mention that you can get examples and discussion of the Classical Tibetan construction on pp. 269-70 of Stephen V. Beyer’s The Classical Tibetan Language (State University of New York Press, 1992—available online), and an interesting example from a language I did fieldwork on myself, the Qiang language of northern Sichuan Province in China. I say interesting because aside from the type I mentioned in my earlier message, there is also a type structured like “Your book exists” for ‘You have a book’, (both constructions are intransitive) and a third type where the same existential verbs are used (there are several depending on the type of referent) as in the transitive type, but it is causativised, and so the clause is then transitive. The difference depends on alienable/inalienable and other factors. See the attached pages from my grammar for discussion and examples.

All the best,
Randy J. LaPolla, PhD FAHA (羅仁地)
Professor of Linguistics, with courtesy appointment in Chinese, School of Humanities 
Nanyang Technological University
HSS-03-45, 48 Nanyang Avenue | Singapore 639818
http://randylapolla.net/ <http://randylapolla.net/>
Most recent books:
The Sino-Tibetan Languages, 2nd Edition (2017)
https://www.routledge.com/The-Sino-Tibetan-Languages-2nd-Edition/LaPolla-Thurgood/p/book/9781138783324 <https://www.routledge.com/The-Sino-Tibetan-Languages-2nd-Edition/LaPolla-Thurgood/p/book/9781138783324>
Sino-Tibetan Linguistics (2018)
https://www.routledge.com/Sino-Tibetan-Linguistics/LaPolla/p/book/9780415577397 <https://www.routledge.com/Sino-Tibetan-Linguistics/LaPolla/p/book/9780415577397>

> On 22 Apr 2020, at 7:59 PM, Sergey Loesov <sergeloesov at gmail.com <mailto:sergeloesov at gmail.com>> wrote:
> Yes, Randi, this is in particular what I mean! This is the case with various Semic languages I deal with.
> Best,
> Sergey
> On Wed, 22 Apr 2020 at 14:49, Randy LaPolla <randy.lapolla at gmail.com <mailto:randy.lapolla at gmail.com>> wrote:
> Dear Sergey,
> Do you mean languages like Tibetan, that use a construction like “To me this exists” to express possession?
> Randy 
> Sent from my phone
>> On 22 Apr 2020, at 7:25 PM, Sergey Loesov <sergeloesov at gmail.com <mailto:sergeloesov at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> Dear colleagues,
>> could you please advise me literature on the encoding of the notion HAVE/HAVING in the languages that, unlike English, do not have generally applicable and versatile HAVE-verbs? I am interested in the grammaticalization paths in this semantic domain.  (I suspect people call this field “predicative possession.”)
>> Best wishes,
>>  Sergey
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