Genitive of possession

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Bilbo Baggins, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Senior Member

    Manhattan, NY
    American English
    Hello everyone,

    I've just learned of the genitive of possession. My text uses three types of examples: both possessor and possession are definite, both are indefinite, and the possessor is definite while the possession is indefinite.

    However, my text does not discuss the possessor-indefinite possession-definite scheme. My text says that for the possessor is definite and the possession is indefinite model, we break the two nouns apart with a preposition. For example, بَيتٌ لِلرَجُلِ for "a house of the man." Would I do the same for the possessor-indefinite possession-definite scheme? For example, if I wanted to say "The house of a man" would it be: أَبَيتُ لِرَجُلٍ ?

    Thanks.
     
  2. AndyRoo Senior Member

    London
    English
    No - the house of a man is بيتُ رجلٍ . This structure is called إضافة iDaafa, and I think you can find lots of threads on it here.
     
  3. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Senior Member

    Manhattan, NY
    American English
    I'm confused; according to my text, what you posted above would be translated as: "a house of a man". My text says that when the possessor is indefinite, so is the possession automatically.
     
  4. AndyRoo Senior Member

    London
    English
    بيتُ رجلٍ definitely means "the house of a man", so either your text is wrong or you are misreading it somehow. The first part of an idaafa structure is always definite (in meaning), but never has ال .
     
  5. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Senior Member

    Manhattan, NY
    American English
    I see the problem. You're right as is my text. However, my original post has the preposition "Li" attached to "a man". Read it again and tell me what you think.

    Thanks.
     
  6. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    Actually, all can be correct. بيتٌ لرجلٍ - البيتُ لرجلٍ - بيتُ رجلٍ - بيتٌ للرجلِ - البيتُ للرجلِ - بيتُ الرجلِ. There are nuances in meaning of course, some are إضافة and others are not.

    I don't know why your texts says that the possession becomes indefinite automatically because that is not always the case.
     
  7. AndyRoo Senior Member

    London
    English
    Do you mean بَيتٌ لِلرَجُلِ ? This means "a house of the man". It's not an idaafa because it has the preposition ل . Idaafa's are only formed by nouns joined directly together (the last noun with or without ال).
     
  8. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    Indeed, for me your text is right. I also think it is possible to translate بيتُ رجلٍ by "the house of a man" but in arabic grammar بيتُ is indefinite.

    What are the references of your text please?
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  9. AndyRoo Senior Member

    London
    English
    I don't think that's right. In "بيتُ رجلٍ" ,the word بيتُ is definite - it is defined by the following noun.

    Just to back this up:

    بيت رجل الجميل means "the beautiful house of a man". The adjective must agree with the noun, so بيت must be definite.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  10. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    Sorry, my English is bad so I'll explain in French and then I'll try to summarize the explanation in English in another post unless someone does it.

    L'annexion apporte :

    - Soit une détermination (ta3rîf) ce qui est le cas lorsque le mudhâf ilayhi est défini.
    - Soit une spécification/particularisation (takhsîs) ce qui est le cas lorsque le mudhâf ilayhi est indéfini

    Le mudhâf ne sera défini que si l'annexion apporte une détermination (ta3rîf) mais si l'annexion apporte une spécification/particularisation (takhsîs) alors le mudhâf sera particularisé/spécifié (مُخَصَّص) mais il ne sera pas défini.

    Maintenant effectivement l'expression " بيتُ رجلٍ" est moins vague que "بيتٌ" car elle nous fournie un information supplémentaire, il est question d'une maison appartenant à un homme et non à une femme ou autres. Ici le mudhâf ilayhi apporte une "spécificité" ou "particularité" ainsi donc le mudhâf est dit "particularisé" ou "spécifié" (مُخَصَّص) mais il n'est pas dit défini (معرفة).

    It's a good question, for me, we must to write بيت رجل جميل without the definite article.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  11. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    Hi,

    Read this in arabic :

    أ- الإِضافة نسبة بين اسمين ليتعرف أولهما بالثاني إن كان الثاني معرفة، أو يتخصص به إن كان نكرة، مثل: (أَحضرْ كتاب سعيد وقلم حبر) فـ(كتاب) نكرة تعرفت حين أُضيفت إلى سعيد المعرفة، و(قلم) نكرة تخصصت بإضافتها إلى (حبر) النكرة أيضاً.

     
  12. AndyRoo Senior Member

    London
    English
    بيتُ رجلٍ جميلٌ to me would read: "the house of a man is beautiful". I don't know if it can also be read as "a beautiful house of a man".

    The example in the Arabic text of قلم حبر, meaning "an ink pen" - I believe this is a kind of exception to the idaafa rule that the first noun is definite. But I think this is only used when denoting the material from or for which a thing is made (I think the word مخصص in your example applies here).

    There are other examples: e.g. قطعة لحم a piece of meat, براد شاي a teapot, ساعة ذهب a gold watch.
     
  13. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    The مبتدأ must be definite in a nominal sentence so this is only viewable as an إضافة followed by a صفة
    There exists no 'idaafa rule that the first noun is definite' as far as I know.
     
  14. AndyRoo Senior Member

    London
    English
    Doesn't بيت رجل mean "the house of a man" and بيت الرجل mean "the house of the man"?
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011
  15. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    It's a very interesting topic...

    In general the mubtada is defined so I think you understand this sentence like "the house of a man is beautiful" because for you the word بيتُ is defined.

    You may be right, I try to understand with you ...

    But I think this is just one example to illustrate the rule mentioned just before:
    ... الإِضافة نسبة بين اسمين ليتعرف أولهما بالثاني إن كان الثاني معرفة، أو يتخصص به إن كان نكرة
    It seems that this rule is general. What do you think?

    In any case, it is a very interesting question.


    EDIT :

    Source : A Grammar of the Arabic Language - Wright, William, William Robertson Smith, and M J de Goeje p198 V2.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011
  16. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Senior Member

    Manhattan, NY
    American English
    No, no. I didn't have that second laam that I highlighted in red. I attached the Li directly to an indefinite rajul, and I had the definite article attached to bayt.

    Not according to my text. I'm using A New Arabic Grammar by Haywood and Nahmad. My text says that بيت رجل
    means "a house of a man".
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011
  17. clevermizo Moderator

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    I'm not sure if there's a rule that the مضاف is automatically معروف but perhaps that's the case. (I think this has been discussed before but I can't find the thread right now.)

    At any rate, we might better compare بيت رجل to the English construction "a man's house".

    Does this mean: the house of a man or a house of a man?

    Honestly, if I wanted to make sure with absolute certainty that I was saying "a house of a man" I would say بيتٌ لرجلٍ and not use إضافة.

    To me, with بيت رجل the "important" information being conveyed is that the man is "a man" and the "house" goes along for the ride as its his house. Again, I bring up the English "a man's house." There are more emphatic structures we could create to stress the indefiniteness. We could say أي بيت لأي رجل "any house of any man". To me it depends at the moment of utterance what information needs to be conveyed.

    Just my two.
     
  18. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Senior Member

    Manhattan, NY
    American English
    How would you translate: البيتُ لرجلٍ
     
  19. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    I modified my post #15 to add a passage from a book.

    I think : "The house of a man"

    .............

    Here is an author who agrees with AndyRoo: http://arabic.tripod.com/GenitiveConstruction.htm
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
  20. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Senior Member

    Manhattan, NY
    American English
    At long last! I hope this is right; I would like closure.

    My book disagrees with the first.
     
  21. AndyRoo Senior Member

    London
    English
    After consulting a few sources, it would seem that most agree that بيت رجل means "a house of a man" and not "the house of a man". I apologise for all my misleading statements above :eek:. It's weird this seems to be a not uncommon mistake.

    So I guess for "I visited a beautiful house of a man", this would be one way of saying it:

    زرتُ بيتَ رجلٍ جميلًا

    though to me the vowels look a little strange with the fatHa on بيت but tanwiin on جميل.
     
  22. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Senior Member

    Manhattan, NY
    American English
    Cool. Thanks for your help.
     

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