This question by Slavus asked two days ago has this comment by Janus Bahs Jacquet.

I think in languages that have case, even outside Indo-European, it is more common than not that at least attributive adjectives agree with their head noun in case (and number). Possessive suffixes are a different matter; off the top of my head, I’m not aware of any languages that mark both nouns and adjectives modifying them for possessor.

I interpret this as referring to head-marked possession or double-marked possession in the language of WALS.

I can spot-check two arbitrarily chosen examples to confirm that they don't have ... let's call it possessor concord.

  • Finnish. Has case and number concord, but the possessive suffixes do not have this pattern. This reference says as much in its first sentence, One set is the possessive suffixes, which appear cliticized to the head of the noun phrase.

  • Abkhaz. I can't tell from looking at the Wikipedia article. I suspect based on the "their historical situation" example that the possessive proclitics modify the first element of the noun phrase and are not repeated. Another thing that seems interesting is the "a better horse" example, in which the adjective phrase appears to come before the noun (based on the placement of the word "ajha" ("better")). Adjectives follow the noun in Abkhaz citation.

  • Every Turkic language has this double marking, like in ata-nın araba-sı — father-GEN car-3Psg.POSSESSIVE “father's car”.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 6:31
  • 2
    @YellowSky, I interpreted the comment quoted in the question as saying that multiple occurrence of the morpheme that marks features of the possessor is unattested. In the Turkish example, I think if you changed father's car to father's red car or similar, you'd still only get one occurrence of -sI (with I being an underspecified high vowel). Commented Aug 16, 2023 at 12:54
  • Greg’s interpretation of my comment is correct. Of the languages that mark the possessed with a possessive suffix, I know that most(?) also put the possessor in the genitive case if explicitly mentioned; but I didn’t know of any that apply the possessive suffix to each element in the possessed NP. As Greg says, ‘father’s red car’ would not be ata-nın *kırmızı-sı araba-sı, since only the head of the NP gets the suffix. Commented Aug 18, 2023 at 16:19

1 Answer 1


This seems to be very rare, but Tundra Nenets has been reported as an example, with optional marking of this kind.

(møny) | serako(-myi) | te-myi

1SG | white-1SG | reindeer-1SG

"my white reindeer"

Source: Johanna Nichols: Person as an inflectional category. In: Linguistic Typology, 21-3 (2017), 387–456. -- see p.393

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