Henrik Theiling wrote, quoting myself: > Actually, spoken German also does much of this. Instead of 'er' > ('he'), people say 'der' ('the'), so the definite article may be used > as a pronoun. Using the real pronoun in spoken language often sounds > very awkward to me, like using the wrong register (namely, written > German). The rule applies to the whole set of articles/pronouns in > all cases, gender and number: > > Der hat der den schon gegeben. > The-m-sg-NOM has the-f-sg-DAT the-m-sg-ACC already given > He has to-her him already given > 'He has already given it to her.' That is interesting, thanks. Although I notice that the second 'der' should be 'die', as it's feminine. :-) Incidentally, I have friends who live in this German village: http://www.multimap.com/map/browse.cgi?X=1165000&Y=6500000&scale=25000&coordsys=mercator (Neubrunn), and I visited them in February 2000. So I've seen a bit of this particular part of the German countryside. I've also been to Frankfurt. > > Incidental: the "exception" alluded to here is that the masculine > > gender would indicate the commencement of the action while the > > feminine gender would indicate its conclusion. Hence: > > Well, that's strange, I'd say. :-) But funny. Certainly it is strange. I like exotic features in grammars, and the associations between gender and time in Gzarondan are an idea that I have exploited to the full. :-) > > However, you *can* mark the possessing entity as nominative, bearing in > > mind that the meaning of the sentence will be different. This is called > > the "retropossessive" form. For example, compare: > > > > Ren-ryniu cynt -- her sword > > Reniu-ryn cynt -- she with the sword > > Why would you not simply swap it? Like 'the sword's her'? Maybe > > cynt-ryn > or ren cynt ryn I think you meant to say _cynt-ren_ or _ryn cynt ren_. It's the sword that has the inanimate gender. In English you can say "the dog's master" as easily as "the man's dog" but Gzarondan is a little more strict about the hierarchy of possession when there is one. Of course, not everything is possible in English - you can say "the book's cover" but I would be very surprised to hear "the cover's book". That said, I daresay that there are dialects of Gzarondan in which the retropossessive is not used. Adrian.