Dative external possessors in Ossetic


  • Natalia Serdobolskaya Institute of Linguistics RAS
  • Oleg Belyaev Lomonosov Moscow State University; Institute of Linguistics RAS; Pushkin State Russian Language Institute


LFG, possessor, dative, genitive, Ossetic


Ossetic has two ways of marking possessors: by genitive or by dative. In the latter case, the dative NP has to be doubled by a possessive proclitic on the possessum. In this paper, we argue that while genitive NPs are adnominal, dative possessive NPs attach at clause level. We show that the dative is structure shared with poss inside the noun phrase, and the proclitic acts as an agreement marker, annotated similarly to subject markers in pro-drop languages. We further demonstrate that the Ossetic construction, while superficially similar to “double possessives” in Hungarian and Germanic, should be analyzed in a different way; most importantly, Ossetic lacks a NP/DP-internal position for the dative possessor.