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LINGUIST List 19.3545

Thu Nov 20 2008

Qs: Possession/Modification by Simple Juxtaposition

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        1.    Andrew Spencer, Possession/Modification by Simple Juxtaposition

Message 1: Possession/Modification by Simple Juxtaposition
Date: 20-Nov-2008
From: Andrew Spencer <spenaessex.ac.uk>
Subject: Possession/Modification by Simple Juxtaposition
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We are interested in finding languages that express possession and
adjectival modification in the same way, namely, by means of pure
juxtaposition, without any other morphosyntactic marking (agreement,
adpositions, case marking etc.). In other words, we're looking for
languages with the following construction types (head-initial/head-final;
the linear order doesn't matter to us and the language doesn't have to have
a consistent head position):

good book: book good // good book
the name of (the) boy: name [(the) boy] // (the) boy name
Gwen's book/mother: book/mother Gwen// Gwen book/mother

A language which is close to what we're looking for is Spoken Welsh

good book:

llyfr da
book good

the name of the boy:

enw y bachgen
name the boy

the name of a boy:

enw bachgen
name boy

Gwen's book: llyfr Gwen
Gwen's mother: mam Gwen

However, in Welsh, adjectives take the soft mutation when they modify
FEM.SG nouns, so this isn't a 'pure' example of the language type we're
looking for.

If you know of a language with these properties please contact Andrew
Spencer: spenaessex.ac.uk.
We'll put together a synopsis of the replies.

Andrew Spencer, University of Essex
Irina Nikolaeva, School of Oriental and African Studies

Linguistic Field(s): Typology
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