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Semantic Types of the Genitive




The Theory Of The Possessive Postposition

The Limited Case Theory

H. Sweet, O. Jespersen, А.И. Смирницкий, Л.С. Бархударов

IDEA: based on the explicit oppositional approach to the recognition of grammatical categories.

System of cases:

n the possessive (genitive) as the strong member of the categorial opposition;

n the common (non-genitive) as the weak member of the opposition.

Г.Н. Воронцова

IDEA: the English noun has completely lost the category of case - the GENITIVE CASE form is a combination of a noun with a postposition with preposition-like functions.

Reasoning:

1) The postpositional element –‘s is loosely connected with the noun as it can be used not only with single nouns, but also with whole word-groups: somebody else’s daughter

2) There is parallelism of functions between the possessive postpositional constructions and the prepositional constructions, resulting in the optional use of the former: the daughter of somebody else

Criticism: the noun form in -`s is systemically contrasted against the unfeatured form of the noun – we can’t ignore the totality of opposition!

1) "genitive of possessor“: inorganic possession, i.e. possessional relation of the genitive referent to the object denoted by the head-noun

Christine's living-room > the living-room belongs to Christine

2) "genitive of integer“: organic possession, i.e. a broad possessional relation of a whole to its part Jane's busy hands > the busy hands as part of Jane's person

(a subtype - "genitive of received qualification”: the computer's reliability)

3) "genitive of agent“: an activity or some broader processual relation with the referent of the genitive as its subject

the great man's arrival > the great man arrives

(a subtype - "genitive of author“: the committee's progress report)

4) "genitive of patient“: expresses the recipient of

the action or process denoted by the head-noun

the champion's sensational defeat > the champion is defeated

5) "genitive of destination“: denotes the destination, or function of the referent of the head-noun

women's footwear > footwear for women

6) "genitive of dispensed qualification“: some characteristic or qualification, not received, but given by the genitive noun to the referent of the head-noun

a girl's voice > a voice characteristic of a girl

(a subtype -"genitive of comparison“: his perky sparrow's smile > the smile making the man resemble a perky sparrow)

7) "genitive of adverbial”: denotes adverbial factors relating to the referent of the head-noun



yesterday's encounter; Moscow's talks

8) "genitive of quantity“: denotes the measure or quantity relating to the referent of the head-noun

three miles' distance; an hour's delay

 





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