Possession and Ownership: A Cross-Linguistic Typology (Explorations in Linguistic Typology)

Possession and Ownership: A Cross-Linguistic Typology (Explorations in Linguistic Typology)

By: R. M. W. Dixon (editor), Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (editor)Paperback

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Possession and Ownership brings together linguists and anthropologists in a series of cross-linguistic explorations of expressions used to denote possession and ownership, concepts central to most if not all the varied cultures and ideologies of humankind. Possessive noun phrases can be broadly divided into three categories - ownership of property, whole-part relations (such as body and plant parts), and blood and affinal kinship relations. As Professor Aikhenvald shows in her extensive opening essay, the same possessive noun or pronoun phrase is used in English and in many other Indo-European languages to express possession of all three kinds - as in 'Ann and her husband Henry live in the castle Henry's father built with his own hands' - but that this is by no means the case in all languages. In some, for example, the grammar expresses the inalienability of consanguineal kinship and sometimes also of treasured or sacred objects. Furthermore the degree to which possession and ownership are conceived as the same (when possession is 100% of the law) differs from one society to another, and this may be reflected in their linguistic expression. Like others in the series this pioneering book will be welcomed equally by linguists and anthropologists.

About Author

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald is Distinguished Professor, Australian Laureate Fellow, and Director of the Language and Culture Research Centre at James Cook University. She is a major authority on languages of the Arawak family, from northern Amazonia, and has written grammars of Bare (1995) and Warekena (1998), plus A Grammar of Tariana, from Northwest Amazonia (Cambridge University Press, 2003), in addition to essays on various typological and areal features of South American languages. Her other major publications, with OUP, include Classifiers: A Typology of Noun Categorization Devices (2000), Language Contact in Amazonia(2002), Evidentiality (2004), The Manambu Language of East Sepik, Papua New Guinea, (2008), Imperatives and Commands (2010), Languages of the Amazon (2012), and The Art of Grammar (forthcoming). R. M. W. Dixon is Adjunct Professor and Deputy Director of the Language and Culture Research Centre at James Cook University. He has published grammars of a number of Australian languages (including Dyirbal and Yidin), in addition to A Grammar of Boumaa Fijian (University of Chicago Press, 1988), The Jarawara Language of Southern Amazonia (Oxford University Press, 2004;, paperback 2011) and A Semantic Approach to English Grammar (Oxford University Press, 2005). He is also the author of the three volume work Basic Linguistic Theory (Oxford University Press, 2010-12) and of an academic autobiography I am a linguist (Brill, 2011).


1. Possession and ownership: a cross-linguistic perspective ; 2. Ownership, part-whole and other possessive-associated relations in Nelemwa ; 3. Possession in Moskona, an East Bird's Head language ; 4. Possession and ownership in Manambu, a Ndu Language from the Sepik area, Papua New Guinea ; 5. Possession in Martuthunira ; 6. Possession in Nanti ; 7. Possession and association in Galo language and culture ; 8. Possessive constructions in Chinese ; 9. Possession in Hone ; 10. Possession in Lipke ; 11. Possession in Wandala ; 12. Spirits of the forest, the wind, and new wealth: defining some of the possibilities, and limits, of Kamula possession ; 13. Being and belonging: exchange, value, and land ownership in the Western highlands of Papua New Guinea ; 14. Possession and also ownership - vignettes

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780198723004
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 342
  • ID: 9780198723004
  • weight: 526
  • ISBN10: 0198723008

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