Ce este genitivul român?

What is the Romanian Genitive?




Université de Göteborg, Suède



Is it correct, or at least possible, to talk about a genitive in the Romance languages that have lost the Latin case system with the exception of Romanian which has kept a reduced case system and also uses prepositions as do the other Romance languages to express possession and other genitival functions. The prepositions used for this purpose are de, de la and din. Furthermore, there also exists the possibility to use a mere juxtaposition with genitival function. Would it then be possible to consider all these three kinds of morpho-syntactic constructs as genitival?

The very notion of genitive is a problematic syntactic category. The question is if it is only the genitive case that could be called genitive and genitival, but on the other hand in Romanian grammar there is no truly genitive case but an oblique case where genitive and dative have merged, and this takes on the genitival functions among others. This case could therefore not be seen as a pure genitive, but even in Latin the genitive case had non genitival functions.

Evidently, there are certain syntactic values which identify the genitival character of a syntactic construct, and on a preliminary level we could point out possession and belonging as two (if not THE two) prototypical functions of the genitive, but is it possible to regard the prepositional usage to express genitival functions in the Romance languages as genitival or not.

My intension is to look into these syntactic usages while analyzing a corpus of Romanian exemples mainly taken from newspapers. I will also compare these results with other Romance languages, mostly Italian and Rheto-Romance and try to find a more coherent definition as well as identifying the different usages in modern Romanian.[1]


Key words: genitive, Romance languages, syntax, possesion

Cuvinte cheie: genitiv, limbi romanice, sintaxă, posesie

[1] Cet article est une version extendue de Söhrman 2005.

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