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On Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 4:56 PM, Eric Christopherson <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> 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.
>

Sorry, yes, I meant "you cannot attach definiteness to one and not the
other."  The prefix ha- only attaches to the absolute state nouns.

-- 
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