Grammar » 37 » Possession (advanced)

There are ways of expressing two or even three levels of relationships within the same sentence, i.e. when the possessor has its own possessor:

anaanaga my mother
anaanama aninga my mother's brother
anaanama aningik my mother’s two brothers
anaanama aningit my mother’s brothers (3+)

The -ma ending relates the root word back to me, but it also relates the root to another person or people.

Note that the word that follows -ma must take the ending -nga (in the singular), -ngik in the dual or -ngit in the plural to show that it is part of the possessive relationship.

The ending -ma could be followed by an object as well as a person:

nukaq a younger sibling of the same sex
nukarma umianga my younger sibling’s boat
panik daughter
panimma nunasiutinga my daughter’s car

Note also in the above examples that -ma changes the final -k of a noun root to -m and final -q to -r, while -nga deletes a preceding consonant.

The following table sets out the variations of this type of construction:

anaanama aninga my mother's brother
anaanatta aninga our (2+) mother’s brother
anaanavit aninga your (1) mother's brother
anaanassik aninga the brother of your (2) mother
anaanassi aninga the brother of your (3+) mother
anaanangata aninga his/her mother's brother
anaanangatta aninga the brother of their (2) mother
-ngita anaanangita aninga
anaanangita aninga the brother of their (3+) mother


Remember, in the third person, if you want to name the possessor, you add the ending -up to the end of the name or noun:

Simiuniup nunasiutinga Simiuni’s car
angutiup qimmingit the man’s dogs

From the table above, we can use the endings -ngata (singular) and -ngita (dual/plural) to build even more complex layers of relationships:

ataatama piqatingata umianga my father’s friend’s boat; the boat of my father’s friend
piqativit nuliangata aninga your friend’s wife’s brother; the brother of your wife’s friend
Simiuniup nunasiutingata kiinga the key to Simiuni’s car
angutiup qimmingita anungit the man’s dogs’ harnesses; the harnesses of the man’s dogs