possessive

possessive form (abbreviated POSS) is a word or grammatical construction used to indicate a relationship of possession in a broad sense, which might be ownership (e.g., my car) or a similar concept.

In English, possession can be indicated using a possessive pronoun such as my, your, our, their, or by the possessive suffix ‘s.

  • My head hurts
  • John’s car is red – note that the possessive marker is on the noun of the one who possesses the thing, not the thing that is possessed.
  • That book is yours

Indigenous Australian languages may use different ways to indicate possession. Some languages distinguish between things which cannot be separated from their owner, such as body parts – this is called inalienable possession. These would be marked with different forms than things which can be separated from their owner – consider the difference between your head and your book.

Note that the term genitive is often used to discuss possession.