Morpho-syntactic categories and the expression of possession
3-4 April 2009, The University of Manchester
Organised by Kersti Börjars, David Denison and Alan Scott
The possessive in Germanic raises a number of issues in relation to morpho-syntactic categories such as affix, phrasal affix and clitic. Historically, the ‘s which now marks the possessive developed from a case marker which showed all the characteristics of an affix. With only a few exceptions, studies of the element in modern varieties of languages like English and Swedish assume that it is a straightforward clitic. However, one outcome of the work carried out as part of our project so far is that the modern ‘s shows some properties which are uncharacteristic of a clitic, for instance in that speakers appear to avoid so-called ‘group genitives’.
For this workshop, then, we are interested in papers that shed light on what the linguistic expression of possession can tell us about the nature of morpho-syntactic categories, in Germanic languages or other languages whose possessive markers illustrate properties which do not make them straightforwardly classifiable as affixes or clitics. We welcome historical, descriptive, typological and theoretical papers.
The programme is available from the link below:
- Conference programme (PDF, 55 KB)
The papers are listed below, with hyperlinks pointing now to actual presentations or handouts. A collection of revised and edited papers is to be published by John Benjamins.
Confirmed invited speakers:
- Cynthia Allen (Australian National University, Canberra), Complex possessors and their alternatives in early English (PDF, 98 KB).
- Stephen Anderson (Yale University), The English determiner genitive is a special clitic (PDF, 4.169 MB)
- Kersti Börjars, David Denison & Alan Scott (University of Manchester), Expression of possession: structural factors (PDF, 210 KB).
- Liliane Haegeman (University of Gent), Prenominal possessors in West Flemish (PDF, 140 KB)
- Richard Hudson (University College London), A cognitive analysis of the word ‘S’ (PDF, 73 KB). [Or as PowerPoint presentation (Powerpoint, 487 KB)].
- Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm (Stockholm University), A Mozart sonata and the Palme funeral: The structure and uses of proper-name compounds in Swedish (PDF, 944 KB).
- Cathy O’Connor (Boston University), Joan Maling (Brandeis University/NSF) & Barbora Skarabela (University of Edinburgh), Nominal categories and the expression of possessors: A cross-linguistic study of probabilistic tendencies and categorical constraints (PDF, 4.736 MB).
- John Payne (The University of Manchester), The oblique genitive in English (PDF, 219 KB).
- Benedikt Szmrecsanyi (University of Freiburg), What happened to the s-genitive? The English genitive alternation in Modern English
- Miriam Butt & Tina Bögel (Universität Konstanz), Urdu ezafe – phrasal affix or clitic? (PDF, 708 KB).
- Kearsy Cormier & Jordan Fenlon (University College London), Modality effects in nominal possessive constructions: The “his genitive” in signed and spoken languages (PDF, 235 KB).
- Teo Juvonen (University of Helsinki), The morpho-syntactic nature of the possessive -s in Late Middle and Early Modern English: From sermons to private correspondence (PDF, 686 KB)
If you have any questions regarding the workshop, please do not hesitate to contact one of us directly.