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Declined nouns

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Cabaire
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Germany
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 Message 25 of 33
28 June 2013 at 2:14am | IP Logged 
Quote:
unlike English this ending is applied even to things, abstract entities and whole phrases

I thought, yes, you can! The man I saw yesterday crossing the street's behavoiour was outragious, where the 's makes the whole phrase "The man ... street" a possessive, is a valid sentence in English, isn't it?

Edited by Cabaire on 28 June 2013 at 2:15am

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tarvos
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 Message 26 of 33
28 June 2013 at 9:58am | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
tarvos wrote:
Dutch has lost its genitive in the same manner that
the Scandinavian languages have. You can use a genitival phrase to sound poetic,
archaic, or to avoid repeating "van" which is the usual construction for genitives and
possessives. Dutch can even revert to a garpegenitiv.


Danish, Norwegian and Swedish have certainly not lost their genitival -s, and
unlike English this ending is applied even to things, abstract entities and whole
phrases (which has lead some grammarians to dispute that it could be a case ending at
all - but who cares?). And we don't have a Nordic alternative to Dutch "van", so the
future of -s seems bright.



Yeah to me that is a possessive suffix, but we do have the 's in some circumstances,
especially place and proper names. (Peter's boek, Jan's boek).

However for you the -s is the productive construction, whereas for us it's only for
people and animals, else a construction with "van" is preferred.

Edited by tarvos on 28 June 2013 at 10:01am

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Iversen
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 Message 27 of 33
28 June 2013 at 1:02pm | IP Logged 
Cabaire wrote:
Quote:
unlike English this ending is applied even to things, abstract entities and whole phrases

I thought, yes, you can! The man I saw yesterday crossing the street's behavoiour was outragious, where the 's makes the whole phrase "The man ... street" a possessive, is a valid sentence in English, isn't it?


Well, I would call it a borderline case. But you are right, in English it is actually allowed to attach a genitival -s to a whole phrase. For instance I would (as a non-native speaker) accept it in for instance "Peter, Paul and Mary's old songs". However I have also learnt to prefer "of" with dead or abstract entities, but I see examples like "Situated in the south-central part of North West England, Manchester is England's third biggest city" all the time, so who(m) should I believe?
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montmorency
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 Message 28 of 33
28 June 2013 at 2:34pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
Cabaire wrote:
Quote:
unlike English this ending is applied even to
things, abstract entities and whole phrases

I thought, yes, you can! The man I saw yesterday crossing the street's behavoiour
was outragious
, where the 's makes the whole phrase "The man ... street" a
possessive, is a valid sentence in English, isn't it?


Well, I would call it a borderline case. But you are right, in English it is actually
allowed to attach a genitival -s to a whole phrase. For instance I would (as a non-
native speaker) accept it in for instance "Peter, Paul and Mary's old songs". However I
have also learnt to prefer "of" with dead or abstract entities, but I see examples like
"Situated in the south-central part of North West England, Manchester is
England's third biggest
city" all the time, so who(m) should I believe?



Iversen,

To me, that 's in your Manchester sentence doesn't apply to a phrase, but simply the
word Manchester, so it's just a perfectly normal sentence, although I think some people
wouldn't like that long dangling phrase, but that's probably a style issue more than
anything.


But I would not like to write Cabaire's sentence, although I might say it in
conversation.



There are some odd situations where I have to stop and think. If I want to talk about a
house where I live with my wife, I might start to say (or to think)

"My wife and I....", but of course I can't say "I's"...it's just that politeness
normally forces us into phrases like "my wife and I" (instead of "me and my wife", but
then I stop and realise it's:

"My wife's and my house...".

(just possibly: "My wife and my house..." but that just sounds wrong to me, if I have
time to think about it).


But if I lived in a ghastly menage a quatre with Peter, Paul, and Mary, I might start
to say

"Peter, Paul, Mary and my house...", but that wouldn't sound quite right so should it
be:

"Peter's, Paul's, Mary's and my house...", but that would sound horrible, so I would
probably compromise on
"Peter, Paul, Mary's and my house", and that's really the same as your P,P,M example I
think.


I'd have to look at each case individually I think (because I don't really know any
rule), but in writing, generally if you find yourself applying 's to a very long
phrase, it could probably be better written another way.


A bit like George Orwell and his so-called "rules", ignore all the above if by
following them, the result would be something barbaric.


EDIT: Oops - I meant that the apostrophe-s applies to the word "England" (and not to
the rest of the phrase), Sorry for the confusion.



Edited by montmorency on 29 June 2013 at 3:17pm

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montmorency
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 Message 29 of 33
28 June 2013 at 2:47pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
tarvos wrote:
Dutch has lost its genitive in the same manner that
the Scandinavian languages have. You can use a genitival phrase to sound poetic,
archaic, or to avoid repeating "van" which is the usual construction for genitives and
possessives. Dutch can even revert to a garpegenitiv.


Danish, Norwegian and Swedish have certainly not lost their genitival -s, and
unlike English this ending is applied even to things, abstract entities and whole
phrases (which has lead some grammarians to dispute that it could be a case ending at
all - but who cares?). And we don't have a Nordic alternative to Dutch "van", so the
future of -s seems bright.



hm....again, I can't give a rule, but some things and entities could take apostrophe-
s....

...the car's headlight
...the government's predicament...

...while others might sound odd:

"....the window of the house..." rather than "the house's window".

".....the crux of the matter.." rather than "...the matter's crux"
(but that's a set phrase or cliché).

Phrases, I am much less sure about (see other post), at least in the formal written
language.


[the danger faced in modern written English is the spurious apostrophe-s (where no
possessive/genitive is intended) - I almost did it myself somewhere above, but
corrected it - and I see it all the time now, even from "educated" sources. Perhaps in
a few years' time, such usage will be deemed "correct"].


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Josquin
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 Message 30 of 33
28 June 2013 at 3:54pm | IP Logged 
darkwhispersdal wrote:
Old English has four cases that I know of (Nom, Acc, Gen, Dat).

There are some remnants of an instrumental case in Old English as well.
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Марк
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 Message 31 of 33
28 June 2013 at 7:44pm | IP Logged 
Josquin wrote:
darkwhispersdal wrote:
Old English has four cases that I know of (Nom,
Acc, Gen, Dat).

There are some remnants of an instrumental case in Old English as well.

Personal pronouns had it.
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stelingo
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 Message 32 of 33
28 June 2013 at 9:12pm | IP Logged 
Cabaire wrote:
Quote:
unlike English this ending is applied even to things, abstract entities and whole phrases

I thought, yes, you can! The man I saw yesterday crossing the street's behavoiour was outragious, where the 's makes the whole phrase "The man ... street" a possessive, is a valid sentence in English, isn't it?


this sentence doesn't sound right to me. Very cumbersome.


1 person has voted this message useful



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