Sunday, October 20, 2019

Independent Genitive †Definition and Examples

Independent Genitive s The independent genitive is a construction in which the noun following the possessive form is omitted (such as We stopped at Sams), usually because the context makes the meaning clear without it. English also has independent genitive pronouns  (also called strong  or  absolute  possessive pronouns):  mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours,  and  theirs. Unlike dependent genitive pronouns (or weak possessives), which serve as determiners in front of nouns, the independent genitive pronouns take the place of phrases. For example, in the sentence Thats her book, her is dependent on the noun book, while in the sentence Thats hers, hers is independent. Scholarly Examples and Observations Eternal blue neon, were never closed.When the world is asleep,Darling, come take a seat.You can always eat at Joes,Eat at Joes.(Gary Harrison and Matraca Maria Berg, Eat at Joes. Performed by Suzy Bogguss on Voices in the Wind, 1992)My mother learned that she was carrying me at about the same time the Second World War was declared; with the family talent for magic realism, she once told me she had been to the doctors on the very day.(Angela Carter, The Mother Lode. Shaking a Leg. Penguin, 1998)I like the dry cleaners. I like the sense of refreshment and renewal. I like the way dirty old torn clothes are dumped, to be returned clean and wholesome in their slippery plastic cases.(Fay Weldon, The Heart of the Country. Viking Penguin, 1988)Apples market share is bigger than BMWs or Mercedess or Porsches in the automotive market. Whats wrong with being BMW or Mercedes?(Steve Jobs, quoted by Jason D. OGrady  in Apple Inc. Greenwood, 2009)He crossed Fifth Avenue  at St. Patricks and   recalled walking through the church once - such a tourist thing to do - and watching Lois light a candle.(Rick Hamlin, Reading Between the Lines. Howard Books, 2006) Independent and Dependent Genitives An independent genitive is not followed by a noun: An independent genitive is often used in referring to relationships between people, as in these examples. Notice that this construction has a very specific meaning. The independent genitive a friend of Carolines does not mean the same as the dependent genitive Carolines friend: Independent: We met a friend of Carolines in Spain. Dependent: We met Carolines friend in Spain. The independent genitive means one of Carolines friends, who may or may not be known to the hearer. In contrast, the dependent genitive means one specific friend, who is assumed to be known to the hearer. Independent genitives are also used in reference to places and businesses: (Gerald Nelson, English: An Essential Grammar, 2nd ed.  Routledge, 2011) A friend of CarolinesA colleague of FranksAn old army pal of JimsShe stayed at Rebeccas Rebeccas houseI ran into Jim in Sainsburys Sainsburys supermarketI left my wallet in the barbers the barbers shop Independent Genitive Pronouns Note that most of the independent forms are distinguished from the dependent forms simply by the presence of a word-final -s. The exceptions are the 1st-person independent genitive (mine rather than *mys), and the masculine and neutral forms of the 3rd-person independent genitive (his, its), which are identical to the 3rd-person dependent genitive forms. These pronouns are often described as possessive forms. This is not the most useful label, since the meaning of these forms is not restricted to expressing possession. This is shown in the examples in (27), only the first of which can be said to involve the semantic relation of possession: (27a) I must clean my car. (27b) The professors were not surprised by his failure. (27c) Their hometown is Cambridge. (Martin J. Endley, Linguistic Perspectives on English Grammar. Information Age, 2010) There are four sorts of people. (1) He who says What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yoursthis is the average sort. (And some say, This is the sort of Sodom.) (2) Whats mine is yours and whats yours is minethis is a boor. (3) Whats mine is yours and whats yours is yoursthis is a truly pious man. (4) Whats mine is mine and whats yours is minethis is a truly wicked man. (Tractate  Abot 5:10.  The Book of Jewish Wisdom: The Talmud of the Well-Considered Life, ed. by Jacob Neusner and Noam M. M. Neusner. Continuum, 1996)

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