ERIC Number: ED422723
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
Inalienable Possession in Mandarin.
Kliffer, Michael D.
Inalienable possession (iposs) in Mandarin Chinese has traditionally been thought restricted to associative (genitive) phrases where the possessor is juxtaposed to the possessum. In addition to such phrases, this analysis looks at five other possibilities where intrinsically relational nouns arise: zero anaphora; double subjects; passive of bodily effect; discontinuous possessor construction; and retained object construction. In each case, the discussion involves meaning differences with regard to the genitive construction and the semantics of participating nouns. Although body parts and kin terms, the most typical inalienables, are each found in nearly all six structures, the presence of peripherally inalienable terms such as personal effects and even inalienable tokens casts doubt on the possibility of a formal definition for Mandarin iposs. This is one more instance of the non-bi-uniqueness of iposs, a cross-linguistic category that continues to resist a rigorous morpho-syntactic definition. Ways in which these findings bear on iconicity and prototype questions are discussed. (Contains 42 references.) (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A