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The Possessive-Benefactive Connection

The Possessive-Benefactive Connection The Possessive-Benefactive Connection1 Frantisek Lichtenberk university of auckland Many languages around the world exhibit possessive-benefactive polysemy, whereby one and the same grammatical element or construction serves to encode possessive and benefactive relations. Bene²ciaries are often construed as new, intended, prospective possessors (e.g., Croft 1991, Pinker 1989). Possessive-benefactive polysemy is also found in various Oceanic languages. The central concern of the present study is an investigation of possessive-benefactive polysemy in Toqabaqita, an Oceanic language spoken in the Solomon Islands, and in closely related languages. In Toqabaqita, one kind of pronominal is used to mark bene²ciaries, possessors, and also recipients. This pronominal continues, historically, one of the possessive classi²ers of Proto-Oceanic. The Proto-Oceanic classi²er was used in attributive possessive constructions when the possessum was an item of food for the possessor. Although in Toqabaqita and some of the closely related languages the etymon no longer functions as a possessive classi²er, it still exhibits some links with the notion of food, and ultimately eating. The development of the bene²ciary-marking function was motivated by the fact that in eating the actor is at the same time an affected entity. There is a link between the notions of eating and being affected by, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceanic Linguistics University of Hawai'I Press

The Possessive-Benefactive Connection

Oceanic Linguistics , Volume 41 (2) – Feb 1, 2002

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9421
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Abstract

The Possessive-Benefactive Connection1 Frantisek Lichtenberk university of auckland Many languages around the world exhibit possessive-benefactive polysemy, whereby one and the same grammatical element or construction serves to encode possessive and benefactive relations. Bene²ciaries are often construed as new, intended, prospective possessors (e.g., Croft 1991, Pinker 1989). Possessive-benefactive polysemy is also found in various Oceanic languages. The central concern of the present study is an investigation of possessive-benefactive polysemy in Toqabaqita, an Oceanic language spoken in the Solomon Islands, and in closely related languages. In Toqabaqita, one kind of pronominal is used to mark bene²ciaries, possessors, and also recipients. This pronominal continues, historically, one of the possessive classi²ers of Proto-Oceanic. The Proto-Oceanic classi²er was used in attributive possessive constructions when the possessum was an item of food for the possessor. Although in Toqabaqita and some of the closely related languages the etymon no longer functions as a possessive classi²er, it still exhibits some links with the notion of food, and ultimately eating. The development of the bene²ciary-marking function was motivated by the fact that in eating the actor is at the same time an affected entity. There is a link between the notions of eating and being affected by,

Journal

Oceanic LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Feb 1, 2002

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