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.
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.
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