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Possession and Ownership$
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Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199660223

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660223.001.0001

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

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

(p.65) 2 Ownership, part–whole, and other possessive–associative relations in Nêlêmwa (New Caledonia)
Possession and Ownership

Isabelle Bril

Oxford University Press

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

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