Arbeiten des Kölner Universalien-Projekts : akup
Institut für Sprachwissenschaft, Universität zu Köln. Hrsg. der Reihe: H. Seiler
- Posession as an operational dimension of language (1981)
- In this study I want to show, above all, that the linguistic expression of POSSESSION is not a given but represents a problem to be solved by the human mind. We must recognize from the outset that linguistic POSSESSION presupposes conceptual or notional POSSESSION, and I shall say more about the latter in Chapter 3. Certain varieties of linguistic structures in the particular languages are united by the fact that they serve the common purpose of expressing notional POS SESSION. But this cannot be their sole common denominator. How would we otherwise be able to recognize, to understand, to learn and to translate a particular linguistic structure as representing POSSESSION? There must be a properly linguistic common denominator, an invariant, that makes this possible. The invariant must be present both within a particular language and in cross-language comparison. What is the nature of such an invariant? As I intend to show, it consists in operational programs and functional principles corresponding to the purpose of expressing notional POSSESSION. The structures of possessivity which we find in the languages of the world represent the traces of these operations, and from the traces it becomes possible to reconstruct stepwise the operations and functions.
- Possessivity, subject and object (1982)
- The basic question is whether POSSESSOR and POSSESSUM are on the same level as the roles of VALENCE, two additional roles as it were. My research on POSSESSION has shown (Seiler 1981:7 ff.) that this is not the case, that there is a difference in principle between POSSESSION and VALENCE. However, there are multiple interactions between the two domains, and these interactions shall constitute the object of the following inquiry. It is hoped that this will contribute to a better understanding both of POSSESSION and of VALENCE.
- Possessive constructions in Tolai (1982)
- Possessive constructions are grammatical constructions which contain two nominals and express that the referent of one of these nominals belongs to the other. The kind of relationship denoted by possessive constructions is not only that of ownership (1), as the term "possessive" might suggest, but also that of kinship (2), bodypart relationship (3), part/whole relationship (4) and similar relationships [...]. The following investigation will start with possessive constructions on phrase level, i.e. possessive phrases, and then deal with possessive constructions on clause level.
- 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.