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Ellipsis of nouns after possessors
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Possessors may be used as determiners, i.e. as attributive possessive pronouns, adjacent to nouns, as pendants of singular and plural personal pronouns, as in

Example 1

Ek het my bedenkings.
PERS.PN.1.SG have POSS.PN.1.SG doubts
I have my doubts.
Example 2

Sy het haar bedenkings.
PERS.PN.3.SG.F has POSS.PN.3.SG.F doubts
She has her doubts.

When used left adjacent to an elided noun, however, the attributive form is replaced by a nominalised pendant, as in

Example 3

My idees is myne.
POSS.PN.1.SG ideas be.PRS POSS.PN.1.SG.NOM
My ideas are mine.

Possessors also occur in constructions which do not contain pronouns. As in the case of pronouns, the possessive construction is nominalised when noun ellipsis takes place. A genitive prenominal particle, se 's, is used in the case of non-pronominal possessive constructions, as in

Example 4

Dit is die president se ampsmotor.
this be.PRS the president PTCL.GEN official.car
This is the president's official car.

The nominalised pendant which replaces the possessive construction with se after ellipsis of the noun following it is s'n, glossed as PN.POSS, as is illustrated in this version of example (4):

Example 5

Dit is die president s'n.
this be.PRS the president PN.POSS
This is the president's.
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Possessors can be used both as determiners and independent nominal forms, and in both pronominal and non-pronominal constructions. For both the latter categories, a special form of the possessor is required to replace the noun which has undergone ellipsis. In this section, the various possibilities for pronominal and non-pronominal possessors are discussed.

Pronominal
The determiner form of possessive pronouns cannot be used in the case of noun ellipsis:

Example 6

*Ons neem nie sy motor nie, maar jou.
we take not his car PTCL.NEG, but your
*We are not taking his car, but your.

The correct form is used in this example:

Example 7

Ons neem nie sy motor nie, maar joune.
we take not his car PTCL.NEG, but yours
We are not taking his car, but yours.

The following table contains the possessor pronouns and their nominal counterparts:

Table 1
Gloss Possessor pronoun Forms used in noun ellipsis
1SG my my myne mine
2SG jou your joune/joue yours
2SG formal u your u s'n yours
3SG.M sy his syne his
3SG.F haar her hare hers
1PL ons our ons s'n ours
2PL julle your julle s'n yours
2PL formal u you u s'n yours
3SG hulle hulle s'n theirs

Non-pronominal
Genitive case can be expressed with the whole spectrum of noun phrases, including kinship terms and proper nouns. In all cases of non-pronominal use, the genitive prenominal particle, se 's, is used, while the nominalised pendant which replaces the possessive construction with se after ellipsis of the noun following is s'n, as illustrated in the examples below:

Example 8

Dit is Ouma se sokkies dié – Ma s'n lê daar.
it be.PRS Grandmother PTCL.GEN socks these – Mother PN.POSS lie there
These are Grandmother's socks – Mother's are lying there.

The genitive particle and nominalised pendant are also used in the case of interrogative pronouns, as in the following examples:

Example 9

Wie se sokkies is dit? Ons ma s'n.
who PTCL.GEN socks be.PRS these? our mother PN.POSS
Whose socks are these? Our mother's.
Example 10

Ons oupa s'n, Riedwaan s'n, en Gert en Riana s'n.
our grandfather PN.POSS, Riedwaan PN.POSS, and Gert and Riana PN.POSS
Our grandfather's, Riedwaan's, and Gert and Riana's.

Recall that the form s'n is also used for the nominal form of plural possessive pronouns:

Example 11

Daardie fietse is ons s'n.
those bicycles be.PRS our PN.POSS
Those bicycles are ours.

It seems that the noun fiets bicycle can be assumed in the genitive noun phrase Jan s'n as it occurs in the expression Daardie fiets is Jan s'n. That bicycle is Jan's.. However, the noun fiets cannot be inserted after Jan s'n, since the s'n genitive form is exclusively reserved for noun ellipsis. In this respect, the genitive particle contrasts with pronominal genitive particle se 's:

Example 12

*Daardie fiets is Jan s'n fiets.
that bicycle be.PRS Jan PN.POSS bicycle
*That bicycle is Jan's bicycle.

For the sake of completeness, the sentence should read as follows:

Example 13

Daardie fiets is Jan se fiets.
that bicycle be.PRS Jan PTCL.GEN bicycle
That bicycle is Jan's bicycle.

In general, the use of the genitive forms se and s'n is applicable to noun phrases of almost any length in Afrikaans:

Example 14

Die boek wat ek gekry het, se laaste bladsye is weg.
the book that.REL I received have.AUX PTCL.GEN last pages be.PST gone
The last pages of the book I got are gone.

Elliptically, this would result in the following sentence:

Example 15

Die boek wat ek gekry het s'n is weg.
the book that.REL I received have.AUX PN.POSS be.PRS gone
The book's (the pages of which I got) are gone.

Lastly, the possessive formed by means of van of also has an elliptical pendant, as in the following examples:

Example 16

Die fiets van die kaptein.
the bicycle PTCL.GEN the captain
The bicycle of the captain.
Example 17

dié van die kaptein
that PTCL.GEN the captain
the captain's
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