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Differences between Genitive and Possessive - UniLang

Differences between Genitive and Possessive

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Differences between Genitive and Possessive

Postby ltrout » 2015-02-19, 1:49

I am having a hard time with Genitive and Possessive cases/pronouns.
Is genitive like the room's color, while possessive is my dog?
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Re: Differences between Genitive and Possessive

Postby linguoboy » 2015-02-19, 2:36

ltrout wrote:I am having a hard time with Genitive and Possessive cases/pronouns.
Is genitive like the room's color, while possessive is my dog?
Depends on the language. In general, "genitive" is the term used for a case which has a broader usage than simply indicating possession. For instance, if you review this list of uses for the Latin genitive, you'll see that only the first is possessive in the narrow sense of the word.
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Re: Differences between Genitive and Possessive

Postby ltrout » 2015-02-19, 3:04

linguoboy wrote:
ltrout wrote:I am having a hard time with Genitive and Possessive cases/pronouns.
Is genitive like the room's color, while possessive is my dog?
Depends on the language. In general, "genitive" is the term used for a case which has a broader usage than simply indicating possession. For instance, if you review this list of uses for the Latin genitive, you'll see that only the first is possessive in the narrow sense of the word.

So basically, possessive is just the OWNER of the noun? While genitive could be the owner, the person who currently has it, etc.?
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Re: Differences between Genitive and Possessive

Postby linguoboy » 2015-02-19, 5:15

ltrout wrote:So basically, possessive is just the OWNER of the noun? While genitive could be the owner, the person who currently has it, etc.?
Um...no. Did you actually look at the page I linked to?
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Re: Differences between Genitive and Possessive

Postby Mentilliath » 2015-02-19, 7:09

The basic function of the genitive case is to show a relation between two nouns (i.e. a noun that is modified by another noun). The most common relation is possession (where one noun possesses the other), but there are other noun relations that the genitive can show, such as description (where one noun describes the other) "person of color" or origin (where one noun comes from the other) "the art of Germany", etc.

"The room's color" would be an example of a possessive genitive. The possessor is put into the genitive case; the object of the possession can be in any other case. In the sentence "look at the room's color", "color" is accusative, while "room's" is genitive. In English we mark the genitive with an apostrophe-s or with the preposition "of" (e.g. "the color of the room" vs. "the room's color").

"My dog" is different. This is a noun phrase using a possessive adjective, "my". This adjective will be in whatever case the noun "dog" is in.
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Re: Differences between Genitive and Possessive

Postby ltrout » 2015-02-19, 23:03

linguoboy wrote:
ltrout wrote:So basically, possessive is just the OWNER of the noun? While genitive could be the owner, the person who currently has it, etc.?
Um...no. Did you actually look at the page I linked to?

Yes.. I actually DID look at it..
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Re: Differences between Genitive and Possessive

Postby linguoboy » 2015-02-19, 23:07

ltrout wrote:Yes.. I actually DID look at it..
Please don't get defensive. It's just that all the examples you gave in the post I was replying to were possessive uses. Some languages do distinguish morphosyntactically between the owner of something and who currently has possession of it, but these are distinguished as "inalienable possession" and "alienable possession" respectively, not as "possessive" and "genitive".

Mentilliath wrote:The basic function of the genitive case is to show a relation between two nouns (i.e. a noun that is modified by another noun). The most common relation is possession (where one noun possesses the other), but there are other noun relations that the genitive can show, such as description (where one noun describes the other) "person of color" or origin (where one noun comes from the other) "the art of Germany", etc.
Thanks, Mentilliath. That's a better explanation than I was capable of.

It's worth pointing out that, in many languages (Latin prominent among them), it is possible by various means to make verbs into nouns. Since the arguments of the verbs are also nouns, the relationship between them and the verbal noun is now a relationship between two nouns. Thus, it is often marked with the genitive.

And example from the page linked to is coniuratio Catilinae "Catalina's plotting". One can think of this as a nominalisation of the clause coniurat Catilina "Catalina plots" (with Catilina in the nominative case as the subject of the verb). So-called "objective genitives" are also possible, e.g. caedes Caesaris "Caesar's slaying", a possible nominalisation of cecidit Caesarem "[he] killed Caesar [acc.]".
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Re: Differences between Genitive and Possessive

Postby Ashucky » 2015-02-19, 23:27

You can also take a look here for the various uses of genitive: http://www.frathwiki.com/Cases_in_Classical_Laef%C3%AAv%C3%AB%C5%A1i#Genitive (sadly there are no examples but that's an obsolete version of the conlang).

Actually, I'll just quote what I have on genitive from the grammar book I'm writing for Laefêvëši:

Genitive is used as:
a) The subject of the negated verb álaj ‘to be’ when it is used as a full lexical verb (and not as a copular verb):
Ánside kállas htánaj. ‘Ánsi isn’t at home.’

b) The direct object of a negated transitive verb:
Lállake ríkau. ‘I don’t see the house.’
Kénna nárau. ‘I don’t have the book.’

c) The case governed by certain verbs (usually reflexive verbs or reflexive in meaning):
Irói hkíallasse jáþas. ‘Irói is afraid of snakes.’

d) The logical subject of the verbs zýndlaj (ipfv.) and zýlaj (pfv.) ‘to run out of’, and vjezýlaj ‘to be short of, not have enough of’:
Eáide nø vjezýllas. ‘We’re short of water.’
Þíerau nø zýllais. ‘We’ve run out of food.’

e) The measured noun after certain numerals (see the section on numerals), nouns and adverbs denoting a measure or amount:
ðást eáide ‘a glass of water’
lúe áisas ‘five songs’
wárij altúsas ‘a lot of days’

f) Various relationships between one noun group and another, especially possession, authorship, connection, belonging:
i. Possession and authorship are normally indicated by a possessive adjective, rather than the genitive, formed from the noun (see section Possessive adjectives):
môvairi klás ‘actor’s name’
Ánsiiri nár ‘Ánsi’s book’

ii. However, it the noun is qualified by an attributive adjective (qualitative adjective) or a possessive pronoun when used in its full or short forms (if the clitic form of the possessive pronoun is used, then the noun can be formed into a possessive adjective), or if a name is used with a surname, or if a possessive adjective cannot be formed from a noun, then the genitive is used:
rík sóirite/sóutto téanau (full forms) – sjóttéaniri rík (clitic form) ‘my friend’s house’
nár Ánside Jávanau ‘Ánsi Jávan’s book’

iii. If possession is not of one person in particular but very general, it may be indicated by the use of the genitive:
wáiþ néonjau ‘dreams of the students’

Such phrases can also be translated with relative adjectives in -ili. The difference is that the genitive construction emphasises the noun in genitive, whereas the adjectival construction emphasises the noun:
néonjili wáiþ ‘dreams of the students / student dreams’

iv. It should be noted that the above examples (a to c) allow for another construction – namely using the egressive instead of the genitive. See the section on egressive for more information about this.


v. Belonging and other relationships (part of, type of, subject or object of verbal noun) are also indicated by the genitive:
hámnaj sásas ‘the colour of blossoms’
niónoi náras ‘reading (of) books’

g) The case governed by certain adjectives:
lûisi šián ‘full of joy / filled with joy’

h) An adverbial phrase of time or manner:
Nóattaure sušíntau. ‘I’ll return in April.’

An alternative to the genitive with adverbial phrases of time is inessive, used especially when emphasising the time. See the section on inessive for more information.

i) A descriptive attribute qualified by an adjective (either in its full form or in its clitic form) following the verb álaj ‘to be’ (copula):
Alĕn láh máisite sónniljau. – Alĕn láh máissónnailjau. ‘I’m in a good mood today.’

-----
The bottom line is, you can use genitive for almost anything, just like other cases, and possession can be only a small part of the use of genitive.
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Re: Differences between Genitive and Possessive

Postby Ahzoh » 2015-02-20, 14:49

My goodness, Ashucky, I was not aware the Genitive could be used for so many thing.
I wonder if the construct state could be used for similar things.
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Re: Differences between Genitive and Possessive

Postby linguoboy » 2015-02-20, 15:51

Ashucky wrote:The bottom line is, you can use genitive for almost anything, just like other cases, and possession can be only a small part of the use of genitive.
At some point, though, its usage becomes so broad that another name would be more appropriate. For instance, if you have a case which covers not only nouns modifying other nouns but also objects of prepositions and objects of verbs, the traditional designation would be "oblique".
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Re: Differences between Genitive and Possessive

Postby Ashucky » 2015-02-20, 16:02

Ahzoh wrote:My goodness, Ashucky, I was not aware the Genitive could be used for so many thing.
I wonder if the construct state could be used for similar things.
Yeah, cases can be a lot of fun and used in various constructions and phrases and whatnot. And I assume you could use the construct state for more than just one or two purposes. Using cases to designate more than just one or two things adds a lot of versatility to the language, IMO.

linguoboy wrote:
Ashucky wrote:The bottom line is, you can use genitive for almost anything, just like other cases, and possession can be only a small part of the use of genitive.
At some point, though, its usage becomes so broad that another name would be more appropriate. For instance, if you have a case which covers not only nouns modifying other nouns but also objects of prepositions and objects of verbs, the traditional designation would be "oblique".
I did say "almost". :) The assumption was that there is more than just one case in the language.
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Re: Differences between Genitive and Possessive

Postby Ahzoh » 2015-02-20, 16:32

Well, now I wonder what other uses one could use with nominative and accusative...
Also the allative ("towards noun") and ablative ("away from noun")...
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Re: Differences between Genitive and Possessive

Postby kevin » 2015-02-20, 17:31

linguoboy wrote:For instance, if you have a case which covers not only nouns modifying other nouns but also objects of prepositions and objects of verbs, the traditional designation would be "oblique".

Isn't the genitive case in German like that, actually? Sure, only with some prepositions, and with rather few verbs, but it happens.

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Re: Differences between Genitive and Possessive

Postby linguoboy » 2015-02-20, 17:50

kevin wrote:
linguoboy wrote:For instance, if you have a case which covers not only nouns modifying other nouns but also objects of prepositions and objects of verbs, the traditional designation would be "oblique".
Isn't the genitive case in German like that, actually? Sure, only with some prepositions, and with rather few verbs, but it happens.
As you say, these uses are marginal (as is the usage of the genitive in contemporary colloquial German generally) and are pretty clearly extensions of prototypically genitive usages. For instance, the genitive prepositions (e.g. statt, trotz, wegen) are fairly transparently derived from common nouns (e.g. Statt, Trotz, Weg).
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Re: Differences between Genitive and Possessive

Postby Ahzoh » 2015-02-20, 19:14

My only uses for the Genitive...

Role of the Genitive:
•Used to indicate possessor
•Used to represent the subject of a reflexive verb
•Used to indicate the measured noun in a non-numeral construction

Role of the Construct State:
•Used to indicate the possessed
•Used to indicate the numeral
•Used to indicate the measuring noun in a non-numeral construction
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Ashucky
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Re: Differences between Genitive and Possessive

Postby Ashucky » 2015-02-20, 19:15

Ahzoh wrote:Well, now I wonder what other uses one could use with nominative and accusative...
Also the allative ("towards noun") and ablative ("away from noun")...
Similarly to the genitive, you can use accusative in adverbial phrases (temporal, etc.). You can also use them complementary with prepositions: "in + nominative" = location, "in + accusative" = direction. Also, check what various natlangs use those cases for, and expand their use (eg. "I got this [from a friend]" <- ablative can be used here easily (unless you use it like that already)).
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