Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sargaĺk Possession

Attributive possession in Sargaĺk has a few small complications:
  • the possessor is in the pegative-genitive case
  • if the possessum is in a locative case or the comitative cases, it remains in those cases
  • if the possessum is in the pegative case, it remains in the pegative case
  • if the possessum is in the nominative case, it will turn into the comitative or the familiar comitative case.
There are two basic ways of expressing "X has Y". The first, and most common with animate nouns has the following structure:
subj.peg1 pronoun.nom2 object.nom2 is
Thus, the owner is the subject, and the possessum is represented by a personal pronoun (agreeing in gender with the possesssum), and a noun phrase, the direct object, that is the possessum itself.
Sometimes, the pronoun agrees with the subject, and most speakers seem to grasp this as meaning the same thing.

This is probably analogous to how the ergative in many languages can be used in constructions along the lines of
noun1.erg noun2 is
for meanings along the lines of noun1 has noun2. The extra pronoun serves to make it ditransitive and thus license the use of the pegative case. 

The other construction uses a dedicated verb, k'ir-. This is common with inanimate nouns, abstract nouns, and with an adjective for object, it expresses some command over a quality - an ability to control or use a quality.
Xivar c'oman k'ir : Xivar has a lot of endurance
Beyond this, k'ir in combination with an infinitive expresses ability:
Osini falməs k'ir-m
Osini read has.fem
Osini knows how to read
Literacy is very unusual in Sargaĺk villages, and so Osini would typically function as the village's record keeper and in an almost semi-diplomatic fashion when interacting with Ćwarmin and later Bryatesle-Dairwueh officials.

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