LINGUIST List 14.1869

Sat Jul 5 2003

Qs: Adnominal Possessives; UPSID/Ling Instruction

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  1. Anette Rosenbach, adnominal possessives and animacy
  2. Zoe Toft, Using UPSID in teaching linguistics

Message 1: adnominal possessives and animacy

Date: Thu, 03 Jul 2003 13:13:49 +0000
From: Anette Rosenbach <>
Subject: adnominal possessives and animacy

Is anyone aware of a OV-language which has 2 adnominal possessive
constructions which differ in the position of the possessor
(i.e. which have both a preominal and a postnominal genitive) and
where there is an animacy-induced preference for either position?
Similar to English (though a VO-language) where human possessors are
preferably realized in prenominal position (1),while inanimate
possessors usually occur postnominally (2).

(1) Johns book
(2) the roof of the house

Is there anything comparable for OV-languages? 

Can anyone help? 

Please reply to, 

Anette Rosenbach 
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Message 2: Using UPSID in teaching linguistics

Date: Fri, 04 Jul 2003 11:06:11 +0000
From: Zoe Toft <>
Subject: Using UPSID in teaching linguistics

Dear all,

As a lecturer in Phonology at the School of Oriental and African
Studies I am hoping to include a series of mini projects based around
UPSID (451) for my students in next year's teaching.

No doubt many of you have already used UPSID in your classes for
exploring issues like documentation, typology, phonetic/phonological
universals: thus I am writing to ask if you would be willing to share
your ideas of projects that worked well, and examples of best

I am gradually drawing up a set of useful files for my students on
UPSID including documentation on how to interpret UPSID data, and
articles written using (or relating to) UPSID, to provide examples to
students as to how UPSID can be used (see below for examples). Any
suggestions for additions to this list would be gratefully received!

I will of course provide a summary of responses to the list.

With best wishes,

Zoe Toft

Epstein, M. (2000) All the sounds of all the worlds
languages. UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics 99:1-3

Maddieson, I. (1984) Patterns of Sounds. Cambridge University Press:

Maddieson, I. (1991) Investigating Linguistic Universals. UCLA Working
Papers in Phonetics 78:26-37

Maddieson, I. (1991) Testing the Universality of Phonological
Generalizations with a phonetically specified segment database:
results and limitations. Phonetica 48:193-206

Maddieson, I. & Precoda, K. (1989) Updating UPSID. UCLA Working Papers
in Phonetics 74: 104-111

Pericliev, V. & Valdes-Perez, R. (n.d.) Differentiating 451 languages
in terms of their segment inventories. Ms available from

Simpson, A. (1999) Fundamental Problems in Comparative Phonetics and
Phonology: Does UPSID help to solve them? ICPhS99 349-352
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