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Independent possessive pronouns

Independent possessive pronouns are those used predicatively or postnominally. In terms of form there is a clear distinction between singular and plural independent possessive pronouns. Singulars are expressed as single words, whether first person (1a), second person (1b), or third person (1c-d). Plural independent possessive pronouns are phrasal, with the personal pronoun form and the possessive particle s'n, also for first (1e), second (1f) and third person (1g).

Example 1

a. Maar nou is jy myne, net myne.
but now be.PRS you.SG mine just mine
But now you are mine, just mine.
b. Maak seker dat jy joune betyds kry!
make sure that.COMP you.SG yours.SG on.time get
Ensure that you receive yours on time.
c. Met 'n stem soos syne kan 'n mens Seal enigiets vergewe...
with a voice like his can.AUX.MOD a human Seal anything forgive
With a voice like his, one can forgive Seal enything...
VivA-KPO, adapted
d. Maar Grobbies het skaars die som op die bord geskryf vir die blitsbrein-toets, of Jessie is klaar met hare.
but Grobbies have.AUX the sum on the board write.PST for the swift.brain-test or Jessie be.PRS finished with hers
But Grobbies barely finished writing the sum on the board, and already Jessie was finished with hers.
e. Nou is die uitdaging ons s'n.
now be.PRS the challenge our PTCL.GEN
Now the challenge is ours.
f. Ek sal julle s'n ook saambring.
I will.AUX.MODyour.PL PTCL.GEN also along.bring
I will bring yours along as well.
g. Elke dieet dink hulle s'n is die wenformule.
every diet think their PTCL.GEN be.PRS the win.formula
Every diet thinks theirs is the winning formula.
[+]Singular independent possessive pronouns

The singular independent possessive pronouns are based on the attributive forms, with the suffix -(n)e added: myne mine, joune yours, hare hers and syne his. The use of each of these are illustrated in (2) with one or more examples of each. The second person examples illustrate specific contexts of use, such as (2b) where the phrase jy en joune you and yours have the implied reference to people associated with the addressee, and (2c) where the independent possessive pronoun is used in a possessive construction with the particle se. The singular second person independent possessive pronoun also has an archaic form joue, used primarily in religious contexts, illustrated in (2f).

Example 2

a. Maar die besluit is nie myne om te maak nie.
but the decision be.PRS not mine for.COMP to make PTCL.NEG
But the decision is not mine to make.
b. Maar toe het jy en joune vir ons voorgeskryf...
but then have.AUX you.SG and yours.SG to us prescribe
But then you and yours precribed us...
c. Wat is joune se naam?
what be.PRS yours.SG PTCL.GEN name
What is yours' name?
d. My waentjie het meer goed as hare in en ek voel skoon skuldig.
my wagon.DIM have more stuff than hers in and I feel clean guilty
My cart contains more things than hers and I feel quite guilty.
e. Hy reken die plaas is syne.
hy reckon the farm be.PRS his
He reckons the farm is his.
f. Wees gerus, sy is joue.
be at.ease she be.PRS yours.SG
Do not worry, she is yours.

There is one form that is used differently, and for a different purpose than the other pronouns discussed in this section. The honorific second person pronoun u has an independent form uwe. However, this form is fairly archaic, and only used in two specific contexts. The one context is in the greeting at the end of a formal letter, similar to English "Yours". The other context is when the speaker refers to themselves, similar to "yours truly", sometimes with a playful connotation (3a), but sometimes such a playful intention is not necessarily clear (3b).

Example 3

a. Hierdie man wat die uwe is, gaan hiervandaan Land-Rover ry, grougate of nie.
this man that the yours.HON be.PRS go here.fom Land-Rover ride dig.holes or not
This man yours truly, will be driving Land Rover from now on, dug holes or not.
b. Metgesel bestel die 'chicken ala king' en die uwe besluit op die een met gegeurde maalvleis.
companion order the chicken ala king and the yours.HON decide on the one with spiced mince.meat
Companion orders the 'chicken ala king' and yours truly decides on the one with spiced mince.

In other, more usual contexts, the honorific u is used similarly to the plural independent possessive pronouns, illustrated below.

[+]Plural independent possessive pronouns

The plural possessive pronouns are used in a periphrastic construction when used independently. The possessive particle used is s'n, although there are other, typically more informal, forms such as s'ne (4b), s'nne (5b below) and sinne (4f) (the spelling typically used for sinne sentences / senses). The associative construction with -hulle is also used in this way (4g).

Example 4

a. Mense maak graag hulle probleme, foute en gemors ons s'n.
people make gladly their problems mistakes and mess ours PTCL.GEN
People like to make their problems, mistakes and messes ours.
b. "Ons s'ne," kom dit van die ander dogtertjie.
ours PTCL.GEN come it from the other girl.DIM
"Ours," it comes from the other girl.
c. Maak daarmee wat julle wil, dis alles julle s'n.
make PN.with what you.PL want it.is all yours.PL PTCL.GEN
Do with it what you want, it is all yours.
d. Maar ook nie myne of u s'n nie.
but also not mine or yours.HON PTCL.GEN PTCL.NEG
But also not mine or yours.
e. My roman is dus nie op hulle s'n geskoei nie.
my novel be.AUX.PASS.PST then not on theirs PTCL.NEG model.PASS.PTCP PTCL.NEG
My novel is, then, not modeled on theirs.
VivA-KPO, adapted
f. ...hulself ontstel oor die opinies wat nie soos hulle sinne is nie...
themselves upset about the opnions that not like theirs PTCL.GEN be.PRS PTCL.NEG
...upset themselves about the opinions that are not like theirs...
g. Daar was nog te veel karre by jou ma-hulle s'n.
there be.PST still too many cars with your mom-them PTCL.GEN
There were still too many cars with your parents'.
[+]Other pronouns used with the possessive particle "s'n"

Other types of pronouns are also used with the possessive particle to form possessive constructions. This includes indefinite pronouns (5a), relative pronouns (5b), reciprocal pronouns (5c) and others.

Example 5

a. Dit kan enige iemand s'n wees.
it can.AUX.MOD any someone PTCL.GEN be.INF
It can by anybody's.
b. Wie s'nne is die trap-goed nou?
who PTCL.GEN be.PRS the step-stuff now
Who's is the step stuff now?
c. Martie kyk vir my en laat haar kop op my skouer sak en so sit ons met ons hande in mekaar s'n...
Martie look at me and let her head on my shoulder down and so sit we with our hands in each.other PTCL.GEN
Martie looks at me and rests her head on my shoulder and we sit like this with our hands in each others'...

This possessive particle is used in other independent possessive constructions as well, such as with proper nouns (6a-b) and shorter and longer NPs (6c-e).

Example 6

a. My eie vrou, soos Kassie s'n, het gaan marsjeer.
my own wife like Kassie PTCL.GEN have.AUX go march
My own wife, like Kassie's, marched.
b. Karina sit haar hand oor Talana s'n.
Karina put her hand over Talana PTCL.GEN
Karina puts her hand over Talana's.
c. 'n Kat se geheue is ook beter as 'n hond s'n.
a cat PTCL.GEN memory be.PRS also better than a dog PTCL.GEN
A cat's memory is also better than a dog's.
d. Maar in dieselfde asem (tegelykertyd) bevestig lig donkerte se kwaliteit, en donkerte bevestig lig s'n.
but in same breath (same.time) confirm light darkenss PTCL.GEN quality and darkness confirm light PTCL.GEN
But in the same breath (at the same time) light confirms darkness's quality, and darkness confirms light's.
e. Myra Groenewald se oë is dieselfde ysblou as haar seun s'n.
Myra Groenewald PTCL.GEN eyes be.PRS same ice.blue as her son PTCL.GEN
Myra Groenewald's eyes are the same ice blue as her son's.
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