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ERIC Number: EJ1072192
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1578-7044
Strategies of Clausal Possession
Langacker, Ronald W.
International Journal of English Studies, v3 n2 p1-24 2003
Across languages, clauses expressing possession, location, and existence exhibit many similarities. To capture their evident affinity, it is often claimed that possessives derive--synclironically or diaclironically--from expressions of location/existence. This localist account obscures a basic contrast between two broad classes of possessive constructions, those based on HAVE-type predicates and those based on BE-type predicates. These predicates grammaticize from lexical verbs pertaining to different aspects of embodied experience, resulting in subtle semantic differences reflected in contrasting grammatical constructions for clausal possession. Moreover, both HAVE- and BE-type possessives show interesting cross-linguistic variation which should not be ignored from a typological or a cognitive linguistic perspective. Attention to these structural differences does not preclude a unified account of possessive constructions and their close relationship with locatives. These constructions all manifest our ability to mentally access one entity by invoking another as a conceptual reference point.
University of Murcia. Department of English Philology Merced Campus, Calle Santo Cristo 1, Murcia 30071 Spain. Tel: +34-868-88-3406; Fax: +34-868-88-3409; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A