This article concentrates on nominal possessives (John's friend) rather than on verbal possessives (John has a friend). In John's friend, John is the POSSESSOR, and friend describes the entity possessed (the POSSESSEE). Nominal possessives constitute a major construction type in the languages of the world. In contrast with a sortal noun (e.g., person), friend is a (two-place) RELATIONAL NOUN: a person counts as a friend only in virtue of standing in a particular relationship with another individual. Relational nouns are an important element in the study of possessives because the content of a possessive typically, perhaps characteristically, depends on the content of a relational nominal. Possessives provide particularly compelling support for type shifting as a general principle of syntactic and semantic composition. Possessives also inform debates involving definiteness, binding, and a wide variety of other semantic phenomena.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Semantics|
|Number of pages||22|
|State||Published - Dec 23 2011|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities(all)
- Social Sciences(all)