۱۰•۴. Possessive Genitive

In the possessive genitive, the nucleus belongs or appertains to the modifier (cf. possessive composition, and see also 15•۳•f. The Possessive Object).

In Persian, the possessive genitive is always endocentric. The nucleus and modifier of the possessive genitive (like the genitive phrase itself) are normally noun phrases:

possessive_EN

منزلِ سلمی که بادش هر دم از ما سد سلام

پر صدایِ ساربانان بینی و بانـگِ جرس

Hafez (14th Century AD)

نی حریفِ هر که از یاری بُرید

پرده‌های‌ش پرده‌هایِ ما درید

Rumi (13th Century AD)

Possessive genitive phrases can also have a metaphorical meaning:

دستِ روزگار، چشمِ شب، پنجه‌یِ اجل

محتسبِ «آمنا و صدقنا» سر از گریبانِ شرع بر آورد.

Nezami Aruzi (11th and 12th Century AD)

چشمِ شب از خواب چو بر دوختند

چشمِ چراغِ سَحَر افروختند

Nezami Gandjavi (12th and 13th Century AD)

Although possessive pronouns always appear as enclitics, phrases with these pronouns do not count amongst possessive compounds but rather asyndetical possessive genitive phrases, because they are not lemmas (see 7•۲•b.): /bærɒdær-æm/ برادرم, /færmɒn-eʃɒn/ فرمان‌شان.

Contents

a. Pluralization of Possessive Genitive Phrases

Both the nucleus of a possessive genitive phrase and also its modifier can appear in pluralized form. However, the number of the genitive phrase corresponds with the number of the nucleus:

  • /dæst-e mæn/ دستِ من (singular)
  • /din-e tɒziɒn/ دینِ تازیان (singular)
  • /færzændɒn-e nɒxodɒ/ فرزندانِ ناخدا (plural)
  • /kɒrgærɒn-e ʃæhr-dɒrihɒ/ کارگرانِ شهرداری‌ها (plural)

In Persian, the following points are notable:

  1. If the modifier is appellative-indefinite, the suffix /-hɒ/ is added to the end of the possessive genitive phrase in order to pluralize it:
    Singular Plural
    /næʔl-e æsb/ نعلِ اسب /næʔl-e æsbhɒ/ نعلِ اسب‌ها
    /bænd-e ʃælvɒr/ بنـدِ شلوار /bænd-e ʃælvɒrhɒ/ بنـدِ شلوارها
  2. One feature of Persian language is that the nucleus of possessive genitive can also be in the plural without inflectional suffixes, provided that it refers to inanimates (see 3•۱•e.):

    برگِ اشجار از ترک‌تازیِ نسیمِ اسحار ترکِ علوِّ سردار گرفتند.

    Djovaini (13th Century AD)

    آوازِ مؤذّنان مؤدیانِ صلوه را از خواب بیدار می‌کردند.

    Djovaini (13th Century AD)

    جانِ گرگان و سگان از هم جداست

    متّحد، جان‌هایِ شیرانِ خداست

    Rumi (13th Century AD)

b. Definiteness of Possessive Genitive Phrases

The definiteness of the possessive genitive phrase correspondences with the definiteness of its modifier:

  • /pedær-e pærvin/ پدرِ پروین (definite)
  • /ʤɒn-e ensɒn-i/ جانِ انسانی (indefinite)

The following points are notable in Persian:

  1. If the modifier is appellative-indefinite, the definiteness of the genitive phrase conforms to the definiteness
    of the nucleus. In this case, the article is added to the end of the genitive phrase:
    with the enclitical article /-i/ with the enclitical article /-e/
    /næʔl-e æsb/ نعلِ اسب /næʔl-e æsb-i/ نعلِ اسبی /næʔl-e æsb-e/ نعلِ اسبه
    /bænd-e ʃælvɒr/ بنـدِ شلوار /bænd-e ʃælvɒr-i/ بنـدِ شلواری /bænd-e ʃælvɒr-e/ بنـدِ شلواره
  2. If the modifier is definite, the nucleus can only become indefinite by breaking the possessive genitive. Two methods are common in Indo-European languages:
    • By dissolving the genitive. In this case, the original modifier appears as an origative adverbial and attributes the original nucleus:
      definite indefinite
      /soxæn-e piʃvɒ/ سخنِ پیشوا /soxæn-i æz piʃvɒ/ سخنی از پیشوا
      /ketɒb-e sæʔdi/ کتابِ سعدی /ketɒb-i æz sæʔdi/ کتابی از سعدی
    • It is, however, common application to pluralize the possessive genitive phrase and make it as an origative adverbial to the attribute of a counting numeral:
      definite indefinite
      /soxæn-e piʃvɒ/ سخنِ پیشوا /jek-i æz soxænɒn-e piʃvɒ/ یکی از سخنانِ پیشوا
      /ketɒb-e sæʔdi/ کتابِ سعدی /do tɒ æz ketɒbhɒ-je sæʔdi/ دو تا از کتاب‌هایِ سعدی

c. Adjectival Possessive Genitive Phrases

The nucleus and the whole possessive genitive phrase can rarely be adjectival phrases. In Persian, this occurence is noted in the following cases:

  1. In the attribution of nomina patientis by subjects (see 4•۱•b.): /gereftɒr-e fæɣr/ گرفتارِ فقر, /koʃte-je eʃɣ/ کشته‌یِ عشق

    Also, other adjectival phrases which structurally do not count among nomina patientis can generate possessive genitive phrases with their causers: /bimɒr-e ɣæm/ بیمارِ غم, /sær-gærm-e kɒr/ سرگرمِ کار

  2. In the attribution of nomina agentis by direct objects (see 4•۲•b.): /ɒʃeɣ-e kɒr/ عاشقِ کار, /bɒzænde-je ɣomɒr/ بازنده‌یِ قمار
  3. In the attribution of nomina patientis and nomina agentis by adverbials (see 4•۱•b. and 4•۲•b.): /mæʃhur-e ɒlæm/ مشهورِ عالم, /gujɒ-je em-ruz/ گویایِ امروز
  4. If an adjectival phrase acts as a modifier of possessive genitive, and attaches to the nominal differential pronoun /ɣæjr/ غیر (see 7•۴•b.). In this way, the adjectival phrase becomes negative (see 4•c•b.): /ɣæjr-e æxlɒɣi/ غیرِ اخلاقی, /ɣæjr-e moʤɒz/ غیرِ مجاز

d. Partitive Genitive

Partitive genitive is an especial variant of possessive genitive in which the nucleus represents a subset of the modifier.

The partitive genitive phrase (like its nucleus and modifier) is a noun phrase.

d•a. Nominal Categories of Partitive Genitive Phrases

  1. The definiteness of the partitive genitive phrase corresponds with the definiteness of the nucleus:

    یک کدامِ شما (indefinite)

    هر دویِ شما (definite)

  2. In Persian, a partitive genitive phrase is in the plural if it refers to several entities, while in most other Indo-European languages the number of the nucleus determines the number of the partitive genitive phrase. Please note the following example:

    یک در سدِ ایرانیان به او رای دادند.

    In this example, یک در سد (= ۱%) is in the singular, but as the partitive genitive phrase refers to several persons, it is in the plural.

  3. Another feature of Persian language is that the number of the partitive genitive phrase corresponds with the number of its modifier:

    دو تاشان rd Person plural) جواب دادند.

    سه نفرِ شما nd Person plural) قبول شده‌اید.

    بیشترِ ما st Person plural) از این کار خرسند نیستیم.

    This occurence should not be mistaken for the verbal discord in the number and in the person which occurs if the following pronouns are applied as nuclei of partitive genitive phrases:

d•b. Syntax of Partitive Genitive Phrases

  1. The nucleus (and the partitive genitive phrase) is normally definite:

    بزرگ‌ترینِ شاهان، بیشترِ نویسندگان، بیشترِ کشور، بقیّه‌یِ کار، اکثرِ مردم، همه جایِ ایران، بخشِ بزرگ‌ترِ سود

    Please note the following aspects of this case:

    • The nominal associative pronoun ending with a vowel (/hæmæ/ همه and /ʤomlæ/ جمله) can also become asyndetically nuclei of the partitive genitive (see 7•۹•b.):

      جملـه بیگانگان /ʤomlæ bigɒnegɒn/، جملـه‌یِ بیگانگان /ʤomlæ-je bigɒnegɒn/

      همه دشمنان /hæme doʃmænɒn/، همه‌یِ دشمنان /hæme-je doʃmænɒn/

      همه نام‌دارانِ /hæme nɒm-dɒrɒn/ آن مرز را

      چو توس و چو کاووس و گودرز را

      Ferdowsi (10th and 11th Century AD)

      سرخیلِ سپاهِ تاج‌داران

      سرجمله‌یِ جملـه شهریاران /ʤomlæ ʃæhriɒrɒn/

      Nezami Gandjavi (12th and 13th Century AD)

    • Demonstrative Determiner phrases are always definite. Nevertheless, they cannot appear as nuclei of partitive genitive. Instead, the superset can attribute the determiner phrase as an origative adverbial:

      آن گروه از مردم، همان گوشه از کار، فلان گروه از مخالفان

  2. If the subset is indefinite, no partitive genitive can normally be generated in Persian. Instead, the superset attributes the subset as an origative adverbial:

    گروهی از مردم، دسته‌ای از شاگردان، تکّه‌ای از نان، گوشه‌ای از کار، کمی از بار، کمی از کتاب‌ها، نیمی از راه، نیمی از ساختمان‌ها، بسیاری از ایرانیان

    However, the following indefinite noun phrases can also appear as nuclei of partitive genitive phrases:

  3. Possessive pronouns can become modifiers of partitive genitive phrases, regardless of which definiteness the nucleus has:
    • With definite nuclei:

      بزرگ‌ترین‌شان، بقیّه‌شان، اکثرشان، بخشِ بزرگ‌ترش

    • With indefinite nuclei:

      گروهی‌شان، دسته‌ای‌تان، یک بخش‌ش، نیمی‌اش، بسیاری‌شان، خیلی‌هامان، بعضی‌هاتان

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