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On 2012-02-24 17:36, Gary Shannon wrote:
> When I took German in high school, about a hundred years ago, I remember
> wondering if the English possessive marker ('s) might not be a contraction
> of "his", as in "the man his car" =>  "The man 'is car." =>  "The man's car."
>
> I never found out.

Around the 16th century many people believed it was so,
leading to coining _the quene her servant_, _the men
their wives_ and the like (_his_ was the regular
genitive also of _it_ back then). As others have said
they were wrong, however: the English possessive //s//
is the old genitive singular of the a-stems,
parallelled in other Germanic languages.

=========

I can offer Adam an ACADEW:

My conlang Euia Twas has an enclitic particle //ir//,
always unstressed and subject to sandhi funniness,
which attaches to the posessed in a genitive
construction _pwrwxa dip_ "person-of island"
'islander' *and* to the antecedent of a relative clause
_pwrwxa cyryt xati_ "person-who speak/person-of
speaking truth" 'a person who speaks the truth', in
both cases being the only maker of the construction,
*and* to the heads of attributive adjectives, since in
Euia Twas the head is an antecedent and the adjective
is a verb: _bryha bwten_ "tree-which green(s)" 'a
green tree', _cwir unky_ 'bird-which small'.

/bpj