8

They are the same thing. There's no reason to have two tags.

Tag (17 questions) is significantly less-used than the tag (104 questions), so it seems that should be the primary.

8
  • 1
    If someone will point me to the right place I'll suggest it or vote for it or whatever it takes to support this proposal. Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 23:20
  • @StoneyB you suggest it here. I only have four upvotes in the tag (five are needed), so I can't suggest it myself... and I probably can't vote on it but that's the link you need.
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 23:22
  • 1
    As you wish! It's done. Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 23:24
  • I've up-voted both the proposed synonym and one of your "possessive" tag answers (which I would have up-voted if I had come across it) so you should be able to vote for the synonym also.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 3:22
  • Thanks @ColleenV I noticed that a bit ago and went ahead and upvoted already. I think I actually have 6 upvotes now, so it wasn't only your vote that got me from 4 to the 5 I needed :D
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 3:26
  • Glad that's sorted out - we do have a pretty awesome community around here, don't we?
    – ColleenV
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 3:38
  • Naturally, the system won't let me vote on the synonym suggestion. Apparently, I don't know the necessary magic incantation. :/
    – Martha
    Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 15:44
  • @Martha Some other users voted, and the synonym is now live.
    – user230
    Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 4:25

1 Answer 1

-2

Despite the venerable support gained for this proposal, I heartily disagree that genitive and possessive are the same thing. The term genitive covers a kind of grammatical inflection that contrasts with nominative, accusative and plain case. Possessive covers a kind of semantic relationship between two things. There's no such thing as a possessive case in English, and nouns entering into possessive constructions are not necessarily genitive, they can be plain case. It's also not really helpful to talk about the subjects of gerund-participle clauses as being accusative or possessive.

Please don't destroy this tag!

21
  • I would agree if most (if not all) of the questions weren't actually about the possessive form...
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 13:40
  • @Catija Which possessive form? Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 13:49
  • 2
    Clearly there is such a thing, regardless of how much you deny it. If you want to make an argument for switching the direction of the synonym, go ahead but there is no reason for two tags to exist which are used for the same exact case. The reality is, 104 vs 17 is a big difference... most people use the term "possessive".
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 13:56
  • @Catija My comment implies that there is more than one such thing not less than one such thing. I think your getting a bit overheated? Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 13:58
  • @Catija I've had a look at the tagged questions and concur that they'd mostly be just as good under "possessives". I still find your comment unfriendly. Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 14:15
  • 1
    I think you are technically correct that there is a difference between genetive and possessive, but in practice on this site, the distinction isn't particularly useful. I'd argue the opposite for EL&U though.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 19:31
  • 1
    Hmmm ... I'm afraid I detect no consistent or consensus distinction between possessive and genitive of use among even linguists,much less pedagogues. Alongside the ACC-/POSS-gerund guys, many of the folks who restrict genitive to something caselike a) acknowledge that it isn't really a "case" in a technical sense (if case has a technical sense), and b) speak unembarassedly of both -'s and of- "genitives", -which for me is quite as nonsensical as the linguist's "dative alternation" and the layman's "perfect tenses" ... Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 23:13
  • 5
    ... Everybody seems to agree that genitive and possessive ought to mean different things; but until they can agree what different things they do mean, I see no point in distinguishing between the devils and the demons dancing on our pinheads. Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 23:17
  • @StoneyB Can you provide a citation for the 'a) acknowledge that it isn't really a "case" in a technical sense' claim, please. Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 2:02
  • The visible chunks of [this]( books.google.com/…), pp. 9-13, and [this]( books.google.com/…), Ch. 5. Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 3:20
  • @StoneyB I think that everyone would agree that the dog of that particular owner is a possessive construction but contains no genitive case noun or noun phrase. Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 3:20
  • @StoneyB Thanks, will have a look. Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 3:21
  • I agree, of course, and so do you, as do all right-thinking people. I'd just as soon see em all classified as possessives (or even better, owning forms) and leave the Latin grammar to Latin grammarians. Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 3:21
  • 2
    I once tried to show on ELL that English genitives can be used to express all sorts of semantic relationships other than possession, and I was met with confusion. It seemed that people wanted to define possession as 'any semantic relationship that can be indicated by a genitive form'. In the end, I don't know if I managed to help or if I just confused people further :-(
    – user230
    Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 2:43
  • 1
    The tag synonym went live, and the genitive tag is no more. Let's use the possession tag if we need to talk about the semantic relationship "A possesses B".
    – user230
    Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 4:25

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