Chapter

Ownership, part–whole, and other possessive–associative relations in Nêlêmwa (New Caledonia)

Isabelle Bril

in Possession and Ownership

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199660223
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745096 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660223.003.0002

Series: Explorations in Linguistic Typology

Ownership, part–whole, and other possessive–associative relations in Nêlêmwa (New Caledonia)

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Possessive constructions in Nêlêmwa are a system of Noun-Noun modification which is not restricted to the expression of ownership, but also include kinship, body-parts, part-whole relations, attributes, as well as non-core meanings such as properties, time relations, and various associative relations. Direct and indirect possessive constructions are constrained by noun classes, with little overlap, they express inherent vs. contingent-transient relations. A smaller noun class requires possessive/relational classifiers. The greatest morphological complexity occurs with part-whole or other relational types, these involve construct/ pertensive morphemes marked by suffixes or by nasalisation of the final vowel of the modified noun, the trace of a former genitive Proto-Oceanic *NV linker or construct suffix *‑N, still attested as -n in other Kanak languages.

Keywords: possession; ownership; part-whole relations; Austronesian languages; New Caledonia

Chapter.  7858 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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