Genitiv

ka_

Member
Portuguese (Brazil)
I'm a bit confused. Why is there two genitive forms in Romanian?

Acesta este manualul elevului.
Manualul acesta este al elevului.

Can somebody explain the difference between these two forms? It seems that the one with a preposition can only be used when referring to people and the other one can be used in any case, with people or things, like for example ferestre apartamentului.
 
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  • irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Hi,

    You've asked a question about the most problematic case in my language I think!

    1. This mainly depends on the syntactic functions of the NG, and it's not only two forms. It's even worse when you deal with prepositions requiring the Genitive (Gunoiul [din mijlocul holului] trebuie aruncat.).

    2.* The Possessive Article (a, al, ai, ale) is used with [non-animate, non-human] nominal groups either as shown below:

    3. Zidul de piatră al clădirii a fost restaurat.

    * And if we take the prepositional group 'de piatră' out, we need erase the article, too: Zidul X clădirii a fost
    restaurat.

    We can also read: Acest zid al clădirii (it can mean that it was the only wall of the building under restauration) a fost restaurat.

    My conclusion: * X is the symbol of a combinatory gap/slot - a syntactic distance between the possessor and the object/being that is possessed. If we fill in the gaps/expand the NG, or if we parse the components of the semantic relationship of possession for more informative addition, we'll need then use the Genitive article so we won't lose the idea of possession.

    I am not sure that I could make myself clear so, maybe this link would be more helpful:

    Substantivul la cazul genitiv - Gramatica limbii române
     
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    farscape

    mod-errare humanum est
    Romanian
    Acesta este manualul elevului.
    Manualul acesta este al elevului.

    There are no different forms for people and objects. For detailed explanations please check out Liana Cojocaru's book on Romanian grammar listed in the forum's References.

    Now for your examples, this is what you have:

    This is the student's textbook.
    This textbook belongs to the student.

    One could also use:

    Aceasta este aripa avionului (this is the airplane's wing)
    Aripa aceasta este a avionului (this wing belongs to the airplane)

    Later,
    .
     

    jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Al (masculine/neuter singular), a (feminine singular), ai (masculine plural), and ale (feminine/neuter plural) are used if the genitive doesn't come immediately after a noun with a definite article. Al, a, ai or ale agree in gender and number with the term they refer to.

    Capitala Braziliei este Brasilia (The capital of Brazil is Brasilia). - Capitala has a definite article and is immediately before Braziliei, in the genitive case.
    Vechea capitală a Braziliei este Rio de Janeiro (The old capital of Brazil is Brasilia). - Capitală, the term immediately before Braziliei, in the genitive case, doesn't have a definite article. The article is in the adjective vechea.

    Cărțile profesorului sunt pe masă (The books of the teacher/The teacher's books are on the table). - Cărțile, the term immediately before profesorului, in the genitive case, has a definite article.
    Cărțile de matematică ale profesorului sunt pe masă (The math books of the teacher/The teacher's math books are on the table). -Cărțile, with a definite article, is not immediately before profesorului, in the genitive case, is separated by the phrase de matematică.

    It is also important to remember that even though the genitive and the dative look alike in Romanian, the dative never uses al (and variations).

    Îi dau cartea profesorului de matematică profesorului de fizică (I give/am giving the book of the math teacher/the math teacher's book to the physics teacher). No al (and variations) before profesorului de fizica, as this is the dative, the person you are giving the book to.
    Îi dau cartea veche a profesorului de matematică profesorului de fizică (I give/am giving the old book of the math teacher/the math teacher's old book to the physics teacher). See above why there is an a after veche.

    Muncitorii sunt împotriva reformelor și a reducerilor de salariu (The workers are against the reforms and salary reductions/cuts). - The preposition împotriva requires the genitive, that is why there is an a before reducerilor, which is not immediately after the preposition.
    Datorită reformelor și măririlor de salariu oamenii sunt mai fericiți (Thanks to the reforms and pay raises people are happier). - The preposition datorită requires the dative, that is why there is no a before măririlor, even though it is not immediately after the preposition.
     
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