Talk:er

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the use of the word 'er' in dutch...well the description of it as a pronoun seems a bit odd, because in both examples given it merely replaces the adverb there, as in therewith and thereabove. to me the word er seems like nothing more then a very unemphasized and abstract there --lygophile

German - possessive qualties of Genitive personal pronouns[edit]

Naturally the Genitive expresses possessive qualities. You can replace forms with the possessive pronoun with forms of the personal pronoun. Example:

Einer meiner Freunde - One of my friends - possessive pronoun

Ein Freund meiner - A friend of mine - personal pronoun

Ein Freund Peters - A friend of Peter's - genitive, name

Ein Freund seiner - A friend of his - genitive, personal pronoun

If "ownership" means something else than that, please enlighten me, because in Germany we don't make a difference there. Dakhart 20:20, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

ein Freund meiner doesn't work in standard German (except possibly in very Northern dialects, not entirely sure about those), you say ein Freund von mir. Same for Freund seiner. Different for Freund Peters, obviously. -- Gauss 20:06, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
German adjectives and determiners don't normally follow their nouns (while genitives of nouns do), so an example like 'ein Freund meiner' does not really demonstrate how possessives are normally used. 'Mein Freund', on the other hand, does. There is also a clue in the fact that 'ein' already modifies 'Freund'. So how can 'meiner' also modify it? I think what is really happening is that there is a missing noun: 'ein Freund meiner' is really 'ein Freund meiner Freunde' - one friend (out) of my friends. The possessive could be in fact the genitive plural case of mein. Maybe this is also the origin of the English construction: 'a friend of mine' could have originated from 'a friend (out) of my friends'. —CodeCat 20:13, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Short answer: No. Personal pronouns are put instead of names. You have a name in Genitive (ein Freund Peters), you use the personal pronoun in Genitive (ein Freund seiner).
Long answer: No. Familarise yourself with the W-Fragen. Genitive requires 'wessen'. You ask: 'Wessen Freund?' - Thus, naturally, the one whose friend it is, must be in Genitive. Peters Freund. Peter is in Genitive. Der Freund Peters. Peter is in Genitive. Naturally, when you put a pronoun for the name (who'd guessed, given the name), you cannot suddenly change the case. When you say 'Ein Freund von ihm', you have what? A Dative. Naturally, once again, since 'von' reigns the Dative. You also have a construction instead of a single pronoun, which should leave you wondering why you do, since it is the task of personal pronouns to be put instead of names. You should notice this by reverse-engineering. "Ein Freund von ihm" would be "ein Freund von Peter". So 'von ihm' obviously doesn't replace 'Peters'. If you consider 'Freund seiner' wrong, you would have to consider 'Freund Peters' wrong You cannot answer questions of possession with the dative. You cannot have a situation where a name is required to be replaced by a pronoun-construction instead of a pronoun. "Von mir" is highly colloquial - if maybe allowed by the Duden now, but so is other false Grammar, which doesn't make it better or less false, just more used. ANY of this cases, doesn't render proper Grammar false or dialectal (which equals false).Dakhart 20:48, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
I think you're confusing some things here. If you look back in history to Old High German, you see that there was no genitive of ich, du, wir and ihr. The possessives mein, dein, sein, unser, euer were separate determiners, and inflected for case and gender like all other determiners and adjectives, so you would say 'zu meinem Freund' (of course using the original OHG word forms). The 3rd person genitives (except sein) could not be inflected, however, so a form like 'ihres' or 'ihrem' was not originally possible. In Old High German you would say it like 'zu ihr Freund'.
Now of course in modern German, all possessives can be inflected, not just the five mentioned above. However, in this respect they are very different from genitives and this is really the key. Possessives are not genitives, because genitives don't inflect for case and number while possessives do. Possessives are determiners, just like ein, kein, all, wenig and so on. This means that you can't treat 'meiner' the same as 'Peters'. 'meiner' is formed from the possessive 'mein' with the -er ending, which could be either masculine nominative singular, feminine genitive or dative singular, or genitive plural. 'Peters' on the other hand is the genitive of 'Peter' and has no particular case or number ending, it is a genitive and so it does not have these inflections (if it did, it would be *Peterser right?). —CodeCat 21:03, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
I have a very hard time following you. If your point is that personal pronouns cannot be inflected, but possessive pronouns can, I don't see how this is relevant. You cannot inflect seiner when it follows another noun. And that is exactly my point: Seiner/meiner as I used them are not formed from Possessivpronomen, but from Personalpronomen. And no, it would not be Peterser. Just as "seine Frau" would not be "Peterse Frau" but still "Peters Frau". Yet you would not object that "seine" replaces "Peters". The difference in use of Personal Pronoun Genitive and Possessive Pronoun is that the Personal Pronoun cannot be used adjectively, yet it does express that something belongs to something else, because that is the Genitive's task when it is applied to nouns - of which pronouns can be used instead. ps.: According to wikipedia, which I will believe, as I am to lazy to search for my German material, there were genitive forms of the personal pronouns. Would be weir if not, since both Middle German and Proto-Germanic had them.

Let's have another table:

Possessivpronomen
Peters Mann - sein Mann - Nominative
Peters Mannes - seines Mannes - Genitive
Peters Manne - seinem Manne - as you can see, possessive pronouns are inflected relating to the noun they are related to, because the work as adjectives

der Mann Peters - der Mann seiner
des Mannes Peters - des Mannes seiner
dem Manne Peters - dem Manne seiner

Here, the pronoun simply replaces Peter, who is in Genitive, because of which his pronoun has to be in Genitive to. And this pronoun is:
Nominative: er Genitive: seiner Dakhart 21:10, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

As personal pronoun, seiner works as genitive object, such as in ich gedenke seiner. It does not work to indicate ownership; we use possessive pronouns or von+dative. The "examples" you quote are either (very local) dialect or (very) obsolete but nothing like clearly widespread use. If you disagree find attestation. By the way, "removing content from pages" is a valid block reason. -- Gauss 21:35, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
No that's not quite what I meant. A determiner is like an adjective with some special properties. Many grammars don't even distinguish them as a separate type but call them adjectives. So maybe you can see possessives as adjectives. What characterises adjectives and determiners is that they modify nouns. Pronouns on the other hand stand in for nouns altogether. This is where determiners are different, since many of them can be used as pronouns as well, so that distinction is not really important. But what is important is that a pronoun can have a genitive, and so can an adjective. Genitives and adjectives can both appear to modify nouns, but the underlying grammar is very different in this case. Genitives don't inflect to match the case and numbers of the noun while adjectives do. This means that 'zu meinen Freunden' is more like 'zu großen Freunden', and not really all that much like 'zu Peters Freunden'. The genitives of proper nouns are really special in modern German, because they can be placed before nouns while the genitives of regular nouns are normally placed after: 'zu den Freunden des Mannes'. However, this is a fairly recent development and it used to be just fine to say 'zu des Mannes Freunden'. It may even still be fine, I'm not sure. In any case, the point I'm trying to make is that mein, dein, sein etc. are more like groß than they are like Peters. So to summarise this... 'mein' appears to be the genitive of 'ich', but it's not really, because it inflects as a determiner/adjective. This something genitives don't do and it's what distinguishes possessives from genitives. And if you're not sure, just ask yourself what is the case of 'meinem'? Is it genitive or dative? My answer is that it is the dative, which means it can't be the genitive.
And with respect to Proto-Germanic, the forms would have been (although the nominative of Mann is uncertain):
  • Peteras mannô - sīnaz mannô
  • Peteras manniz - sīnas manniz
  • Peteras manni - sīnammai manni
  • sa mannô Peteras - sa mannô sīnaz
  • þas manniz Peteras - þas manniz sīnas
  • þammai manni Peteras - þammai manni sīnammai
CodeCat 21:38, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

As for CodeCat: I assume you wrote your bit before I changed mine. Yes, it is still fine to say 'zu des Mannes Freunden', it is used by educated people and considered haughty even by those having the same level of education. So it's a matter of taste. And I do know that mein is not the Genitive of ich, as it is 'meiner'. Just as 'seiner' is the genitive of er. ps.: It is important to differentiate determiners and pronouns, because -quite simply- one can be used for nouns and the other cannot. The problem in German is, that the word determiner practically doesn't exist and demonstrative determiners are confused demonstrative pronouns, which, of course, is wrong. The best example for the correctness of my claim is the Lord's Prayer, which is called 'Vater unser' in German. Now clearly 'unser' is no possessive pronoun, since they are used like adjectives and thus cannot stand behind the noun they are related to. So if 'unser' is not a possessive pronoun...well that doesn't leave much, especially considering that 'unser' is the genitive of personal pronon 'wir'.
Gauss, da Du wir sagst, nehme ich einmal an, dass Du Deutscher bist. Ich habe nicht mit 1+ im Deutsch-Leistungskurs Abitur gemacht, um mir jetzt von einem Wildfremden im Internet sagen zu lassen, dass eine normale Standarddeutsche Form dialectal sein soll. Weiterhin sehe ich nicht ein, warum ich mich gegen eine willkürliche Behauptung wehren sollte. Wenn Du den 'content' belegst, den ich entfernt habe, dann können wir weiter darüber reden, ob ich ihn entfernen darf oder nicht. Mir ist auch ausführlich egal, ob es weit genutzt wird. Wie ich bereits sagte, ist das kein Indikator für die Korrektheit von irgendetwas. Wegen dem hat wahrscheinlich weitere Verbreitung als wegen des, dennoch lasse ich nicht zu, dass auf Wiktionary verbreitet wird, wegen des sei falsch.
Dakhart 21:51, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

But this is why I'm still a bit confused about what you're trying to say. In Proto-Germanic, Template:termx had no genitive. Its 'genitive' was simply the possessive Template:termx. So I am wondering where 'meiner' in German comes from. It must be a new form becuase it did not exist in Proto-Germanic, as you can see from the examples. —CodeCat 22:04, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Oh, you're right, I can see that. Yet, there are those forms (as we all agree) and they are used, as they are used. Please read my post again, since I probably have changed it, since you read it and maybe consider changing or clarifying the article Appendix:Proto-Germanic/ek.Dakhart 22:09, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
I think I may know. I noticed that Old High German actually had two forms for every adjective. One was uninflected, the form that is used in 'der Mann ist groß', and the other was inflected as in 'großer Mann'. This is no different from modern German, but in Proto-Germanic, this distinction in adjective inflections didn't exist and it's in fact unique to German. The same also applied to 'mein', so there was also a difference between 'der Mann ist mein' and 'meiner Mann'. This is no longer correct in modern German but it used to be. It may be that the form 'meiner' derives from that form. In that case, it's simply the masculine nominative singular of 'mein', not the genitive of 'ich'. And as for the cases where a genitive object is needed, Don Ringe suggests that the form that was used was originally the accusative neuter form of the possessive, so *mīna. This is not the same as what is used in modern German though so I'm not sure how that fits. —CodeCat 22:24, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Pardon, what is unique to German? And in spite of evolution, nowadays it is the genitive, as said by the Duden. Apart from that, that's quite interesting. But back to the actual topic: As yet the non-possessiveness of the p.p. gen. is an unreferenced claim. I removed it. I did not even add a note saying that it has a possessive quality. (wel as I belive the Dutch say.) Can we settle, no matter if anybody believes me and my arguments, that this note is removed from all personal pronoun pages, until somebody gives a sourced reference? We can have this debate again then. Give me time to look for some sources for my point until then.Dakhart 22:38, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

And in case somebody wants to have this discussion now, let's start all over:
1. Every name (=proper nouns) in any inflection can be replaced by a pronoun everywhere in a German sentence. Why? because this is exactly the function of pronouns.
2. Names can stand in Genitive behind another noun.
3. Ergo there must be a pronoun which replaces a Genitive name behind a noun.
4. One cannot replace a name with a pronoun in another case.
5. Possessive pronouns cannot stand behind nouns, since they are bound to the usage rules of adjectives.
6. Ergo, if one denies the pers. pron. gen. the possessive function, he has to use another pronoun in Genitive case.
Now come up with something.Dakhart 23:19, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

I found another example in the Duden, regarding the genitive of 'wir':

<Genitiv>: sie erinnerten sich unser
in unser aller Namen

Same for 'ihr':

<Genitiv>: das ist sicher in euer aller Sinne[1]

Now, still obviously, those are not possessive pronouns, because, still, those cannot stand where adjectives couldn't (and would be inflected with dative -en). You could not form a sentence like 'in roter aller Namen', it would be 'in aller roter Namen', no matter whether this makes sense regarding content. Just as the correct form with possessive pronouns would be: 'in allen euren Namen', which would be bad German, since it has another meaning than 'in euer aller namen'. The one (in euren) means that there is something within each of the names of those talked to - let's say the letter K. The other (in euer) means that something is done 'in the name' of everyone of those addressed. Whose name? Euer. Genitive Personal Pronoun, showing the ownership of the names to 'ihr'. I hope we have settled this.Dakhart 11:44, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

  1. ^ http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/ihr_Anrede_2__Person