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On Mon, 8 Mar 1999, Raymond A. Brown wrote:

> At 11:49 am -0800 7/3/99, Sally Caves wrote:

> >Also shared by both language groups:  the fact that
> >you can apply the definite article in the genitive juxtaposition but
> >only to the possessor, never the possessed:  "book the boy,"
> >never "the book boy," or even "the book the boy."
>
> This, I admit, is a more striking similarity and one which, together with
> the verb-first business got me thinking in terms of a Semitic-Celtic
> relation many, many years ago.  Indeed, it seems many people have quite
> independently noted these things and at some stage wondered about a
> Celtic-Semitic connexion.

In most languages (that I have enough knowledge of), the genitive
construction defines the thing possessed enough that no definite
article is needed; you don't say "the boy's the book" in English
either, because "the boy's" also fulfills the function of "the". In
Dutch: Jans boek "John's book" (colloquial: Jan z'n boek "John his
book"); het boek van Jan "the book of (=belonging to) John".

   Irina

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