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LINGUIST List 17.3657

Mon Dec 11 2006

Qs: Possessives Cross-Linguistically

Editor for this issue: Kevin Burrows <kevinlinguistlist.org>


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        1.    Alexandra Teodorescu, Possessives Cross-Linguistically


Message 1: Possessives Cross-Linguistically
Date: 10-Dec-2006
From: Alexandra Teodorescu <teodorescumail.utexas.edu>
Subject: Possessives Cross-Linguistically


Dear colleagues,

I’m a PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin and I’m conducting a
cross-linguistic survey of possessive constructions modified by the
adjective ''former''. In English, examples like ''John's former
restaurant'' are ambiguous between two interpretations: on the one hand the
construction refers to ''an object that was formerly a restaurant and is
now owned by John''. On the other hand, it refers to ''an object that used
to be a restaurant owned by John''.

I would be grateful if you could point out to me: (i) other languages that
show this ambiguity, (ii) languages that don't show this ambiguity. In the
latter case, please indicate the reading available. For both cases, an
example with glosses would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your help,
Alexandra Teodorescu

Linguistic Field(s): Semantics

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