Possession in Souw Amana Teru: internally and externally motivated change
journal contributionposted on 02.06.2017 by Musgrave, Simon
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This paper discusses the range of structures used to code possession in the Central Moluccan language Souw Amana Teru. In particular, data is presented to show that this area of the grammar is undergoing change in at least three ways. First, the explicit pronominal coding of alienable possession has almost vanished. Second, the coding of inalienable possession is weakening rapidly. And thirdly, a new strategy now exists for interpreting sequences of two nouns; whereas historically the first noun was the possessor in such structures, it has now become possible for the second noun to be the possessor. The first of these changes can be seen as the result of internally motivated change, but I argue that contact with varieties of Malay has had some influence in the other two cases.