S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 36 Number 1/4 (2000)
Weight as a Linguistic Variable in “a/an X of Y("s)” Constructions
- Hah, Eung-Cheon
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.36 No.2, pp. 309-323
- We investigate how the complement of a preposition can var,' in such a complicated but interesting area of research as possessive genitive constructions of the "a/an X of Y( 's)" type and what are the factors to determine such variations. It is interesting to note that while such constructions as a friend of Einstein, a friend of Einstein's are possible. the pronominalization of Einstein - not of Einstein's - in those constructions results in ungrammaticality, as seen in 'a friend of him, a friend of his. Furthermore, there is a pair of constructions like 'a book of my father, a book of my father's, which shows contrast with the pair of a friend of Einstein, a friend of Einsrein's. Although this array of data seems quite irregular at first sight, this paper demonstrates that they are in fact never unpredictable, by claiming that 'weight' as a linguistic variable is a working factor in those constructions. Crucially we assume that the absolute genitive is required when a strict sense of possession is involved. To be brief. this paper tries to give a unified and principled account for some apparent irregularities in natural language.
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