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Matthew Boutilier wrote:
> and, few semitic languages have construct states that undergo changes as
> drastic as in hebrew (cf. dā*b*ār / d’*b*ar = "word" / "word of").  in
> arabic, when you aren't pedantically speaking with the tanwīn
> case-markings, there's rarely an actual "construct"-marking at all.
> 
> kalb
> dog
> "dog"
> 
> kalb al-rajul
> dog the-man
> "the man's dog"
> 
> 
> so, in my opinion at least, to call this "possessee marking" seems hardly
> appropriate. what you notated as "-CONS" does serve that purpose, but the
> /u/ is truly nothing more than the nominative definite ending, which itself
> is not obligatory.

I was under the impression that the case marker always fused with the article, so you would have _kalburrajul_, _kalbarrajul_, _kalbirrajul_. Or is that just in the written form? (If so, then under what circumstances does the case marker merge with the article in spoken forms?)

And I think the /t/ added to the feminine -a nouns in the construct is the true construct marker.


On Feb 24, 2012, at 2:10 PM, Patrick Dunn wrote:

> BTW, in Hebrew, the construct state also joins the two nouns into a single
> syntactical unit.  They become, in essence, one word: you cannot attach a
> ha- (the) to one part and not another, and you cannot insert an adjective
> between them, AFAIK.
> 
> Keeping in mind it's been years since I've cracked a Hebrew grammar.

Actually, you can only attach the definite article to the *second* part, i.e. the possessor; that imparts the semantics of something like "the car of the man".

With a noun + adjective, OTOH, the definite article has to go on both words, if it's there at all.