Video encyclopedia

Inalienable possession


Clint Richardson - Definitions: Alien, Inalienable, Unalienable


Inalienable Meaning


Inalienable Meaning


Inalienable truths



In linguistics, inalienable possession is a type of possession in which a noun is obligatorily possessed by its possessor. Nouns or nominal affixes in an inalienable possession relationship cannot exist independently or be "alienated" from their possessor. For example, a hand implies "(someone's) hand", even if it is severed from the whole body. Likewise, a father implies "(someone's) father". Inalienable nouns include body parts, kinship terms, and part-whole relations. Many languages reflect this distinction, but they vary on how they mark inalienable possession. Cross-linguistically, inalienability correlates with many morphological, syntactic, and semantic properties.
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    • Variation among languages 

    • Morphosyntactic strategies for marking distinction 

    • Cross-linguistic properties 

    • Theories of representation in syntax 

    • Other languages