Predicative possession in Medieval Slavic Bible translations Predicative Possession in Early Biblical Slavic

Julia McAnallen


Late Proto-Slavic (LPS) had an inventory of three constructions for expressing predicative possession. Using the earliest Slavic Bible translations from Old Church Slavic (OCS), and to a lesser degree Old Czech, a number of conclusions can be drawn about the status of predicative possession for LPS. The verb iměti ‘have’ was the most frequent and least syntactically and semantically restricted predicative possessive construction (PPC). Existential PPCs with a dative possessor appear primarily with kinship relations, abstract possessums, and in a number of other fixed construction types; existential PPCs with the possessor in an u + genitive prepositional phrase primarily appear with concrete and countable possessums. Both existential PPCs call for an animate, most often pronominal, possessor. The u + genitive was the rarest type of PPC in LPS, though it had undoubtedly grammaticalized as a PPC.

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