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While the exact nature of a language's possessive elements may vary in meaning, usage, syntax, etc. what they all seem to share is that they ether present the superior element before the inferior one, or the inferior before it's superior.

A few examples: A's B, B of A, B de l'A, B du A, AのB, etc.

I've not yet found a language where the possessive's extra syntax is anywhere other than between the two elements, but that aspect doesn't seem nearly as universal as the above mentioned word order does.

Given this (I assume) universal aspect of possessives, I must ask; how exactly do linguists describe the two elements involved? What are they called? What terminology is used to talk about their word orders?

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    Don't forget "B of A's". – Greg Lee Jul 19 '17 at 21:12
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    Re: "a language where the possessive's extra syntax is anywhere other than between the two elements", some languages mark the possessed instead of the possessor, like Carijona: Pedro iwasa-ri [Pedro machete-POSS] 'Pedro's machete' – Mark Beadles Jul 19 '17 at 21:24
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    Possessor and possessed are common terms. – TKR Jul 19 '17 at 22:40
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This is called Order of Genitive and Noun and common abbreviations are GenN (for A's B) and NGen (for B of A). For a survey, see WALS chapter 86.

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