Possession and association in Galo language and culture

Mark W. Post

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 and association in Galo language and culture

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This chapter exhaustively describes the grammar of possession in Galo, a Tibeto-Burman language of the Tani branch spoken in North East India. In the noun phrase grammar, we focus on the functions and semantics of genitive constructions. A section on the predicate grammar then discusses constructions headed by existential verbs, posture verbs, verbs of association and entitlement, verbs of temporary possession, and “propensity predicates”. Adopting a cultural-evolutionary perspective in conclusion, we argue that the concept of “possession” is not well-represented either in Galo language or in Galo culture, and that a more general concept of “association” instead most likely underlies the linguistic structures discussed.

Keywords: possession; association; external possession; Tibeto-Burman languages; posture verbs; genitive marking; anthropological linguistics; evolutionary linguistics

Chapter.  6641 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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