Chapter

Possession and ownership in Manambu, a Ndu language from the Sepik area, Papua New Guinea

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald

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/9780199660223.003.0004

Series: Explorations in Linguistic Typology

Possession and ownership in Manambu, a Ndu language from the Sepik area, Papua New Guinea

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A salient feature of the Manambu of the Middle Sepik River Basin, and of many related languages, is a focus on clan ownership of ancestral names and totems. Possession of totems is expressed differently from other kinds of possessive relationships. This chapter offers an extensive analysis of numerous possessive structures in Manambu (including part-whole and other relationships) and various techniques of expressing predicative possession. The choice betweenseveral different constructions is determined by the nature of the possessive relationship, and also by the focus on the possessee, the possessor or the relationship itself. Identification construction is employed to express ‘belonging’ to a clan, and for identifying oneself with a clan's totem. At the end, we offer correlations between attitudes to possession and the systems of values in the traditional Manambu society.

Keywords: possession; ownership; totem; clan; Papuan languages; Ndu languages; spart-whole relationships

Chapter.  7206 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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