This paper presents a novel analysis of the sign POSS found in attributive (1) and predicative (2) possessive constructions in American Sign Language: (1) i-BRUNO POSS-i BOOK ("a book of Bruno's'') and (2) BOOK POSS-i i-BRUNO ("the book belongs to Bruno''). Based on morphosyntactic comparison with verbal predicates in ASL, it is argued that POSS should be classified as a verb of possession, thus providing a straightforward explanation of its appearance in predicative constructions. Attributive POSS possessives are shown to be captured via a reduced relative clause analysis of this predicative structure.
Proceedings of the 30th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Nathan Arnett and Ryan Bennett
Table of contents