Year of publication
- 1983 (1) (remove)
- Adnominal and predicative possessive constructions in Melanesian languages (1983)
- According to the present state of research, there seems to be no language which shows possessive classifiers and possessive verbs corresponding to English "to have" at the same time. In classifier languages predicative possession is expressed by verbless clauses, i.e. by existential clauses ("there is my possessed item"), equative clauses ("the possessed item is mine" "that is my possessed item") or by locative expressions ("the possessed item is near me"), in which the classifier in the case of non-inherent possession marks the nature of the relationship. While most Melanesian languages, as for instance Fijian, Lenakel, Pala and Tolai are classifier languages, Nguna, a Melanesian language spoken in Vanuatu, only shows traces of the Melanesian possessive classifier system, but, in contrast to the other Melanesian languages, it has a possessive verb, namely 'peani' "to have". In order to show how the Nguna possessive constructions deviate from the common Melanesian type, we shall start with a brief description of the Melanesian possessive constructions in general, and that of Fijian in particular.