2 Order of possessor and possessum

This feature is described more fully in chapter 2.


This feature (based on WALS feature 86, by Matthew S. Dryer) concerns the word order within attributive possessive constructions, i.e. the order of the possessor noun phrase with respect to the head noun (or possessum).

We restrict ourselves to the position of possessive noun phrases containing (full) nouns, rather than those involving only a pronominal word or affix. This is because in some languages pronominal possessors occur in different positions than nominal ones.

Whether or not the construction involves other words or affixes on the head or the possessor noun is irrelevant for this feature. For example, in a number of pidgins and creoles a third person possessive pronoun is placed between the possessor and the possessum (cf. Feature 38 “Marking of possessor noun phrases”).

The term possession is used in this context in a broad sense, including of course ownership like the old lady’s dog but also (a) kinship relations and possession of body parts, as in Mary’s mother and Mary’s foot, and (b) the subjective and objective genitive with action nominals, where the possessor would be the subject or object in a sentential paraphrase, e.g. the teacher’s efforts or the pupil’s detention.


Magnus Huber and the APiCS Consortium



Language Value Lexifier Details Source
Id Primary text Analyzed text Gloss Translation Type Language Audio Details