On Fri, 9 Aug 2002 09:32:31 -0700 Joe <[log in to unmask]> writes:
> Has anyone thought of a case which marks a genetive, but marks it on
> the posessed, not the posessor? I'll make up an example --

> Does this exist in any natlangs?

It exists in Semitic languages like Arabic and Hebrew, where it's called
the "Construct case" or "Construct state" of the noun.
In Arabic if i remember correctly the words in the construct state are
generally the same as when they aren't in the construct state.  In Hebrew
however, because the two words (or more) are now considered one
phonological word, certain vowel changes can occur.
The biggest non-vowel changes Hebrew has in the construct state:

singular feminine nouns ending in /O/, written with a silent |h| at the
end, now end in /at/:
malka = queen
malkat = queen (of)
malkat britanya = (the) queen of britain

plural masculine nouns ending in /i:m/, now end in /ej/:
she`onim = clocks
she`oney = clocks (of)
she`oney ha-hheder = (the) clocks of the room

The vowel changes that occur vary depending on the structure of the word:
/hak-kol/ = 'the all, everything'
/kOl haS-So:m@ri:m/ = 'all of the guardians'

/ma3a;s`E/ = 'act' (/a;/ = ultrashort /a/, /s`/ = |ssin|, originally
something like /L/)
/ma3a;s`e b@reSi:t/ = 'act of creation'

However, most of the vowel changes don't really matter much in Modern
Israeli Hebrew, since certain of the vowels merged with eachother.  The
-ah/-at and -im/-ey alternations, however, are still around.

My conlang Rokbeigalmki has construct states too.  Based on the Hebrew
vowel-alternations that make it feel like the ends of the words are being
stressed, in Rokbeigalmki you stress and slightly lengthen the last vowel
of each word in the compound.  The compounds are marked with ^s.

waju /wadZu/ = house
^waju^gaheish-a /wadZu:gahe:jS?a/ = '(the) house of the elder'

-Stephen (Steg)
 "there is darkness all around us;
  but if darkness *is*, and the darkness is of the forest,
  then the darkness must be good."
     ~ song of the BaMbuti in troubled times