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Possession as a nominal predicate

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Bilbo Baggins, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Senior Member

    Manhattan, NY
    American English
    Hello,

    How would I say something like "The cup is the man's." ? I don't want to use an intransitive verb that means possession like "belong" or a verb that means "own"; I just want to use an equational sentence.

    Would I say: الفِنجانُ هُوَ لِلرَجُل
     
  2. lukebeadgcf

    lukebeadgcf Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    American English
    Sure. You could also say. الفِنجانُ لِلرَجُلِ
     
  3. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Senior Member

    Manhattan, NY
    American English
    Really? I was thinking about that, but I thought that maybe your expression would be translated as "The man's cup" i.e. the Li+... construction was another way to denote possession instead of idafa.

    Thanks.
     
  4. clevermizo Moderator

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    It's true, but context makes it clear. الفنجان للرجل is as much a complete sentence as الفنجان على الطاولة.

    If you wanted to use الفنجان للرجل instead of the إضافة structure فنجان الرجل, again context would determine how we use it.

    Here are some things I just thought up:


    الفنجان للرجل.
    The cup belongs to the man/is the man's.

    الفنجان الذي للرجل كبير
    The cup that belongs to the man is big.

    which stands as an alternative (though more wordy :) ) to:

    فنجان الرجل كبير
    The man's cup is big.

    But I don't think we can say(??):

    الفنجان للرجل كبير:cross:

    because الفنجان is definite. We can however say:

    فنجانٌ للرجل كبير
    A cup that belongs to the man is big.

    because فنجان is indefinite and doesn't require a relative pronoun for the subordinate clause.


    Remember although the ال س ل ص stands as an alternative wording for an إضافة occasionally, it's still a prepositional phrase. It works the same way as في، على or any other. For example, what I said above would be true if it were الفنجان على الطاولة instead of الفنجان للرجل:

    الفنجان على الطاولة
    الفنجان الذي على الطاولة كبير
    :cross:الفنجان على الطاولة كبير
    فنجان على الطاولة كبير


    Although I always say that there's never one-to-one translation I think for this example, you can analogize between English " X's Y" and Arabic إضافة and English "X belongs to Y/belonging to Y" and Arabic س لص. Saying الفنجان للرجل is another way to say فنجان الرجل but functions syntactically like the English "the cup belongs to the man".

     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011
  5. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    You don't need to use the hua, actually it seems not so right to me. I would say: الفنجان للرجل.
     
  6. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    I think that الفِنجانُ لِلرَجُلِ is equivalent to an annexation فِنجانُ الرَجُلِ.

    To express the verb "to have" : لِلرَجُلِ الفِنجانُ

    I read this here : http://www.learnarabicfree.info/begin/tohave.php

    What do you think ?
     
  7. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Senior Member

    Manhattan, NY
    American English
    Great input, thanks.

    Interesting rule concerning the relative pronouns; I'll get to those in time. I'm looking forward to using more complex sentence structure.
     
  8. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    No, it's not. الفنجان للرجل is مبتدأ وخبر, it's a complete sentence. While فنجان الرجل is إضافة and it's not a complete sentence (I wouldn't even call it a sentence).

    Actually there is a difference between الفنجان للرجل and للرجل الفنجان. The difference is emphases, the first answers the question: who does the cup belong to or who gets the cup or who's cup is this; while the second answers the question: what does the man get. I don't know if this example clarifies the difference, but you can say something like: الفنجان للرجل وللمرأة القدح; "the cup is for the man, the woman gets the glass".

    Notice that the main difference in the example given in your link is that the cup there is indefinite, so it would be correct to say: للرجل فنجان, but it means "the man has a cup", not "the cup is the man's".
     
  9. clevermizo Moderator

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    Yeah I wouldn't worry too much about that if you're still in an early stage. But suffice to say, when you use لـ it's a subordinate clause in a way. So just like in English, you can't say "The cup belongs to the man is big", but you have to change it to something like "The cup that belongs/belonging to the man is big", etc. The Arabic syntax also has to be changed to suit the context.
     
  10. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Senior Member

    Manhattan, NY
    American English
    Yes, that's the core of my reservations. Because the present indicative of "to be" is usually elided, I wonder how to distinguish between phrases and complete statements. I suppose that many can be interpreted either way depending on the context. However, I assume that some can not. For example, with my original attempt, if I used the huwa between the two definite nouns I assume that that would have to be interpreted as the complete sentence "The cup is the man's." and could not mean anything else. Is this correct?

    Thanks.
     
  11. clevermizo Moderator

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    Context! :D

    Yup! :D

    Yes that's right. When necessary there are ways to disambiguate and that's one of them. And it's always done in certain circumstances that you've learned already (like when you connect two definite nouns: الرجل هو الطبيب, etc.).
     
  12. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Senior Member

    Manhattan, NY
    American English
    Awesome! Thanks.
     
  13. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    It is a useful and clear explanation, thank you.

    The source of my confusion is this http://forum.wordreference.com/showpost.php?p=10975620&postcount=4

    What do you think ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011
  14. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    Well, there's more than one way to express possession; just like in English: the man's cup, the cup of the man, the cup belongs to the man, the cup is the man's, the cup is owned by the man...etc. Choosing which to use depends on context, emphases and the style you use in speaking.
     
  15. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    Thank you.

    Can you translate "فنجانٌ للرجل" by "a cup of the man" ? I think "فنجانٌ للرجل" can not be regarded as a nominale sentence because the word "فنجانٌ" is undefined. What do you think?

    I think كَأْسُ فِضَّةٍ = كَأْسٌ مِنْ فِضَّةٍ but how do you see the phrase "الكَأْسُ مِنْ فِضَّةٍ" ? Is "الكَأْسُ مِنْ فِضَّةٍ" = "كَأْسُ الفِضَّةِ"?

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  16. lukebeadgcf

    lukebeadgcf Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    American English
    This is a nominal sentence, but the subject and the predicate should be reversed للرجل فنجانٌ. The subject فنجان is مبتدأ مؤخّر وجوبا "subject necessarily put later" because it is undefined. للرجل is called خبر مقدَّم "fronted predicate."
     
  17. lukebeadgcf

    lukebeadgcf Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    American English
    كَأْسٌ مِنْ فِضَّةٍ a cup of silver "made of silver"

    كَأْسُ فِضَّةٍ This can mean the same as the latter, since one of the functions of the إضافة is explication or البيان. This is called an إضافة بيانيّة and it describes "the form of the material."

    I would also assume that "الكَأْسُ مِنْ فِضَّةٍ" = "كَأْسُ الفِضَّةِ" meaning "the cup of silver/silver cup."
     
  18. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    Ok, but I think that "فنجانٌ للرجل" is also correct, it is similar to قصر للملك فهد (found on the internet). Also look at this ([FONT=Times New Roman, serif]رأَيٌ لخالد[/FONT] , [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]دارٌ لي[/FONT]) :

    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]-[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]اللام المفيدة للملك أو الاختصاص، كقولك [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]([/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]داري [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]= [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]دارٌ لي[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif])[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]، [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]([/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]رأي خالد [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]= [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]رأَيٌ لخالد[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]) [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]وهذا أكثر ما يقع في الإضافات[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif].[/FONT]

    Source :
    http://www.islamguiden.com/arabi/m_a_r_50.htm

    But there is a problem in this passage: the words "[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]دار[/FONT]" and " "[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]رأي[/FONT]"are defined in the phrases "[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]داري[/FONT]" and "[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]رأي خالد[/FONT]" but they are undefined in the phrases [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]دارٌ لي[/FONT] and [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]رأَيٌ لخالد[/FONT]. I'm confused.

    Thank you for these details, I wonder if الكَأْسُ مِنْ فِضَّةٍ is a nominal sentence because Mahaodeh said "...الفنجان للرجل is مبتدأ وخبر, it's a complete sentence".

    What do you think ?
     
  19. lukebeadgcf

    lukebeadgcf Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    American English
    I think they are just trying to describe the relationship between the مضاف and the مضاف إليه to be one of possession (الملك), and so they used ل to illustrate that. Nonetheless, رأي لخالد and دار لي are, according to my sources, incorrect.

    Yes, this is a nominal sentence. The مبتدأ is الكأس and the خبر is من فضة which is متعلق بمحذوف "attached to an omitted word;" namely, كائن or another derivative of ك و ن.

    I have reservations about this sentence though. It would make more sense to me من الفضّة
     
  20. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    Thank you. Please what are the sources of which you speak?
     
  21. lukebeadgcf

    lukebeadgcf Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    American English
    William Wright A Grammar of the Arabic Language
     
  22. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    Thank you, if you have pages that would be good, otherwise I'll look in the book ...
     
  23. lukebeadgcf

    lukebeadgcf Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    American English
    vol. ii pg. 253 §116
     
  24. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    Thank you. Ok but this passage concerns the nominal sentence, if the mubtada is undefined and the khabar is a shibhu jumlah then the inversion is required.

    But I think the phrase "فنجانٌ للرجل" is not a nominal sentence. But the question is "Is it correct?"

    Why the phrase "كَأْسٌ مِنْ فِضَّةٍ" would be correct and the phrase "فنجانٌ للرجل" would be incorrect?

    The phrase "كَأْسٌ مِنْ فِضَّةٍ" is from the book you mentioned.
     
  25. lukebeadgcf

    lukebeadgcf Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    American English
    It is not correct as a sentence. It WOULD be considered a nominal sentence but it is not correct.

    Wright uses كأس من فضة to describe the meaning of كأس فضة and to illustrate the nature of the relationship between the مضاف and the مضاف إليه here. But just like فنجانٌ للرجل, it could not stand alone as a sentence. By the way, من does not work the same way as ل. In للرجل فنجان, the particle ل denotes possession, whereas in كأس من فضة, the particle من denotes "the relationship which subsists between the part and the whole, the species and the genus" (a cup of (composed of) silver).

    I still think it's strange that فضة isn't الفضة. It's as if the cup were made of a single piece of silver.
     
  26. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    Thank you. This phrase is used : http://www.google.fr/#sclient=psy&hl=fr&source=hp&q=%22%D9%83%D8%A3%D8%B3+%D9%85%D9%86+%D9%81%D8%B6%D8%A9%22&aq=f&aqi=&aql=f&oq=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=b29f1ce6351728e8&biw=1488&bih=830

    and "كأس من الفضة" is used also : http://www.google.fr/#q="كأس من الف...gc.r_pw.&fp=b29f1ce6351728e8&biw=1488&bih=830

    So Why the phrase "كأس من الفضة" would be correct and the phrase "فنجانٌ للرجل" would be incorrect?
     
  27. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    Question to all (lukebeadgcf, clevermizo, Mahaodeh...) :

    How you please translate these phrases :

    A friend of Zaid.
    A book of the teacher.
    A palace of the king of France.
    A student of this school.

    And how to distinguish / to translate these phrases :

    A door of a house.
    The door of the house.
    The door of a house.
    A door of the house.

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  28. clevermizo Moderator

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish

    Ok so I would either do the following:

    صديق زيد، كتاب المعلم، قصر ملك فرنسا، طالب هذه المدرسة

    However, I think you're asking because you want to make sure you can say for sure that صديق، كتاب، قصر and طالب are interpreted as not معروفة.

    To be sure they are "indefinite" (to be emphatic), I would say صديقٌ لزيد, كتابٌ للمعلم إلخ. These are not normal as nominal sentences I guess, but I think they're fine as a phrase where the prepositional phrase is attributive to the indefinite noun. For example

    على الطاولة كتاب للمعلم

    There is a book of the teacher('s) on the table.

    There's also the expression فعل من أفعاله, for example:

    رأيت صديق من أصدقاء زيد في الشارع أمس
    Yesterday, I saw a friend of Zaid's on the street.

    هذا هو قصرٌ لملك فرنسا
    This is a castle belonging to the king of France.

    ليس أحمد طالبا لهذه المدرسة
    Ahmad is not a student of this school.


    However, I would not say, and I think this conforms with Luke's comments above:

    صديقٌ لزيد
    :cross:
    for: Zaid has a friend.
    but: لزيد صديقٌ.

    Similarly, I would not say كتابٌ للمعلم to mean "A book belongs to the teacher." I would say للمعلم كتابٌ in inverted structure.

    To me كتاب للمعلم is not a complete sentence, but للمعلم كتاب is a complete sentence.
     
  29. lukebeadgcf

    lukebeadgcf Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    American English
    بابُ بيتٍ
    بابُ البيتِ
    البابُ لبيتٍ
    بابٌ للبيتِ
     
  30. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    Thank you very much for your helpful answers.

    I did not say that "فنجانٌ للرجل" was correct as a complete sentence (nominal sentence). On the contrary, I mentioned this rule : “if the mubtada is undefined and the khabar is a shibhu jumlah then the inversion is required.” But I wanted to know if "فنجانٌ للرجل" was correct as a phrase (incomplete sentence) meaning "a cup of the man".

    I'm sorry for my bad English.


    The problem is that the rule says that the mudhaaf is defined if the mudhaaf ilayhi is defined, therefore the words صديق، كتاب، قصر and طالب are necessarily interpreted as معروفة and your annexations mean:

    The friend of Zaid.
    The book of the teacher.
    The palace of the king of France.
    The student of this school.

    I agree with that. صديقٌ لزيد means "a friend of Zaid" and كتابٌ للمعلم means "a book of the teacher".

    Ok, Thank you. “a castle belonging to the king of France” is equivalent to “a castle of the king of France” ? (un château/palais du roi de France). C'est vrai que c'est mieux de dire “un château/palais appartenant au roi de France")...

    It is not possible to say “ رأيت صديقٌ لزيد في الشارع أمس ” ?

    Thank you very much, I would say the same thing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  31. lukebeadgcf

    lukebeadgcf Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    American English
    Meaning "I saw a friend of Zeid's..." with "friend" in the accusative, this is correct.

    I think you could probably use فنجان للرجل the same way. As a phrase it is valid depending on the context. Maybe it couldn't occur with فنجان in the nominative, but I haven't thought about it.

    No worries! It's not bad.

    Désolé pour le mauvais français
     
  32. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    Yes you are right, I repeated the error ! Thank you.


    Clevermizo said "
    على الطاولة كتاب للمعلم" so why not this "على الطاولة فنجان للرجل" ?

    Votre français est correct, pas d'inquiétudes !
     
  33. lukebeadgcf

    lukebeadgcf Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    American English
    Yes, you could say that. The difference is that in these sentences, كتاب and فنجان respectively are the subjects, على الطاولة is the fronted predicate and للرجل and للمعلم respectively are added descriptive phrases or شبه جلمة متعلقة بكتاب/فنجان.

    In للرجل فنجان, the phrase للرجل is considered the خبر متعلق بحذوف. I'm not sure my إعراب is perfect--maybe Rayloom can check it--but my point is that between the two sentences (للرجل فنجان and على الطاولة فنجان للرجل), the syntactic relationships are different, which is what allows for the difference in word order, and what makes the rules Wright describes regarding predicate/subject inversion inapplicable.
     
  34. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    I have not yet studied this part of the grammar but thank you very much for your helpful answers.

    ....

    Source : http://arabic.tripod.com/GenitiveConstruction.htm
     
  35. lukebeadgcf

    lukebeadgcf Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    American English
    Yes I agree. I actually put بابٌ لمنزلٍ first, then changed it to بابُ منزلٍ because I thought it simpler, but both are correct.
     
  36. Lark-lover

    Lark-lover Senior Member

    Arabic
    فنجان للرجل if used as a single unit out of its context, it suggests this:
    a cup of coffee for a man. It seesm to be a quantity specified for each man.
     

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