[tied] Evening/Night (was Re: The "Mother" Problem)

From: elmeras2000
Message: 36309
Date: 2005-02-14

--- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, Piotr Gasiorowski <gpiotr@...>

> An inflected phrase is something of an oxymoron. To be sure,
> can be derived from a phrase in English, e.g. <South American> <--
> [[South America] -an], or <do-gooder> <-- [[do good] -er] provided
> the phrase itself is a sufficiently fixed one (a stable
collocation, and
> arguably a lexical item). The "Saxon genitive" <'s>, by contrast,
> follow just any kind of noun phrase, not only a set one, as in
> Queen of England's> but also an arbitrary one, like <my poor
> uncle Jerome's>. In my opinion, it's preferable to regard <'s> as
> enclitic postposition, and the Modern English genitive as an
> construction. The whole question is mainly a terminological one,
but I'm
> opposed to using the term "inflection" too loosely, since if we do
> some important typological distinctions become blurred.

But what do we do if a linguistic community does not care about this
and blurs things anyway? Do we then say they didn't do that?

In my language, which is Danish, this happens quite regularly: Take
a noun phrase like <ham du ved vi så i går> "the one you know we saw
yesterday"; now suppose that person forgot an umbrella here and
someone asks whose umbrella it is, then the only unforced reply will
be <ham du ved vi så i gårs> "the one you know we saw yesterday's",
with an -s hanging on the adverb.

How is this analyzed? If the umbrella belonged to an already-known
person by the name of <Peter>, the response would be <Peters>, and
everybody would say <Peters> is the genitive of <Peter>. Now, the
functional relationship between <Peter> and <Peters> is exactly the
same as the one obtaining between <ham du ved vi så i går> and <ham
du ved vi så i gårs> - and the formal relationship is also the same.
That looks like valid reason to treat them in a parallel manner.