Possession in Moskona, an East Bird’s Head language

Gloria J. Gravelle

in Possession and Ownership

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199660223
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745096 | DOI:

Series: Explorations in Linguistic Typology

Possession in Moskona, an East Bird’s Head language

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The complexity of possession relationships in the Moskona language is demonstrated grammatically by the multiple strategies which are employed in noun phrases and in predicative possession constructions. In noun phrases, the core relationships are part-whole, possession and kinship. The closer the possession relationship the more direct the marking strategy. The more direct relationships, which are reflected in inalienable noun and some kinship noun possession phrases, are marked synthetically. The less direct relationships in alienable noun possession phrases, are marked analytically. Kinship nouns are distinctive in that they utilize both marking strategies to signal possessive relationships in noun phrases. In predicative constructions, the four types of possession constructions are divided into two types of ‘have’ constructions and two types of ‘belong’ constructions with definiteness playing a defining role within the types.

Keywords: analytic markingsynthetic marking; belong constructions; have constructions; direct possession; indirect possession; alienable; inalienable; indefinite; definite

Chapter.  5854 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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