Grammar » 37 » Possession (advanced)

There are ways of expressing two or even three levels of relationships within the same sentence, i.e. when the possessor has its own possessor:

anânaga my mother
anânama aninga my mother's brother
anânama aningik my mother’s two brothers
anânama aningit my mother’s brothers (3+)

The -ma ending relates the root word back to me, but it also relates the root to another person or people.

Note that the word that follows -ma must take the ending -nga (in the singular), -ngik (dual) or -ngit (plural) to show that it is part of the possessive relationship.

The ending -ma could be followed by an object as well as a person:

nukamma umianga my younger sibling’s boat
panimma nunasiutinga my daughter’s car

Note also in the above examples that -ma changes the final -k of a noun root to -m and final -q to -r, while -nga deletes a preceding consonant.

The following table sets out the variations of this type of construction:

anânama aninga my mother's brother
anânatta aninga our (2+) mother’s brother
-vit (following a vowel)  
anânavit aninga your (1) mother's brother
-pit (following a consonant)  
nukappit paninga your younger sibling’s daughter
anânasi aninga your (2+) mother’s brother
anânangata aninga his/her mother's brother
anânangita aninga  their (2+) mother’s brother


Remember, in the third person, if you want to name the possessor, you add the ending -up to the end of the name or noun:

Semiuniup anânanga Simiuni’s mother
angutiup Kimmingit the man’s dogs

From the table above, we can use the endings -ngata (singular) and -ngita (dual/plural) to build even more complex layers of relationships:

atâtama nukangata umianga the boat of my father’s younger brother
innivit nuliangata aninga your son’s wife’s brother; the brother of your son’s wife
Semiuniup motakângata pegutinga the key to Simiuni’s car
angutiup Kimmingita anungit the man’s dogs’ harnesses; the harnesses of the man’s dogs