Láadan/Lessons/11

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Possessive Markers[edit]

[(Aux) Verb (Neg) CP-S CP-Possessive]

In Láadan, there are several Possessive Markers that can be used, to describe how something belongs to something else. The Possessive marker will always come before any other ending markers.

You cannot add the Possessive marker to someone's name. You must add a pronoun to the sentence, that will "hold" the Possessive marker.

Remember that when using a Possessive marker, it is usually part of some larger case phrase, such as "He ate my sandwich" - sandwich would have the possessive marker, but the whole case phrase would also include "my". In the case of an object having a Possessive marker, the Possessive marker goes first, and then the marker of that CP as a whole. (Suzette Haden Elgin (1988), A First Dictionary and Grammar of Láadan, Second Edition, p. 50 )

Suffix Meaning Description
-tha by reason of birth Your eyes, hands, etc.
-thi by reason of chance Something that you acquired by luck or by chance. (Lotto winnings?)
-the for unknown or unacknowledged reason Something that you ended up with inexplicably.
-thu the false (“partitive”) possessive False ownership, "A dress of velvet", "A heart of stone", etc.
-tho other (purchase, gift, law, custom, et cetera) Used when not certain of the reason of ownership, but certain that there was one, and it is legitimate.

(Suzette Haden Elgin (1988), A First Dictionary and Grammar of Láadan, Second Edition, p. 50 )

Examples[edit]

Simple possessives:

Láadan English Vocab words
oyi letha My eyes. oyi = eyes, le = me
ana lethe My food. ana = food
eba letho My spouse. eba = spouse

Possessives in a sentence:

Láadan English Vocab words
Báa aril yod eba netho? Will your spouse eat? aril = future, yod = to eat
Báa thal ana nethe? Is your food alright? thal = good

Possessive markers on objects:

Láadan English Vocab words
thom letho My pillow thom = pillow
Bóo dama ra ne thom lethoth. Please don't touch my pillow. dama = to touch with the skin, ne = you

Object marker and possessive for a name:

Láadan English Vocab words
Bíi eril eb le belid Meri bethoth wa. I bought Mary's house.

Here, bethoth is be-th-oth, singular-third-person, object-marker, and possessive-marker.


Notes[edit]