When doer/author's name means doer/author's act/work

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Lusus Naturae

Senior Member
Cantonese
When English-speaking musicians and musicologists say and write things like "Busoni plays Liszt" and "Heifetz plays Paganini", they mean "Busoni plays Liszt's compositions" and "Heifetz plays Paganini's compositions"; when they say and write "Busoni's Liszt" and "Heifetz's Paganini", they mean "Busoni's playing of Liszt's compositions" and "Heifetz's playing of Paganini's compositions".

But English is not really inflective, do such expressions/omissions exist in really inflective languages? If so, for "Busoni's (playing of) Liszt('s compositions)", what are the grammatical cases of Busoni and Liszt? Both genitive? One genitive, one accusative?
 
  • In Russian, "Kissin's (playing of) Rachmaninoff('s compositions)" will be rendered:
    • either via Instrumental + Genitive — ispolnʲenʲije Kʲisʲinɨm Raxmanʲinova, literally "performance by Kissin of Rachmaninoff"; a more formal variant
    • or via relational adjective + Genitive — kʲisʲinskoje ispolnʲenʲije Raxmanʲinova, literally "Kissinian performance of Rachmaninoff"; a more colloquial variant.
    Busoni is indeclinable in Russian, so the former variant would cause ambiguity.​
    • A shorter (an also more colloquial) variant will consist of a relational adjective + Nominative — kʲisʲinskʲij Raxmanʲinov, literally "Kissinian Rachmaninoff".
    These constructions can be declined:, e. g. the Genitive:
    • ispolnʲenʲija Kʲisʲinɨm Raxmanʲinova "of the performance by Kissin of Rachmaninoff"
    • kʲisʲinskogo ispolnʲenʲija Raxmanʲinova "of the Kissinian performance of Rachmaninoff"
    • kʲisʲinskogo Raxmanʲinova "of the Kissinian Rachmaninoff".
    In inflected languages, the Accusative can't stand after a noun (without a preposition), only after a verb (or a Participle/Gerund).
     
    Last edited:

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    In Greek, "Busoni plays Liszt" is translated as "Ο Μπουζόνι παίζει Λίστ". (Nominative + verb + accusative). This figure of speech is called "μετωνυμία" ("metonymy") in Greek.

    "Busoni's Liszt" is translated "Ο Λιστ του Μπουζόνι" (nominative + genitive). Or "Ο Λιστ από τον Μπουζόνι" (nominative + (preposition + accusative)).
    Another construction is: "Ακούμε Λιστ από τον Μπουζόνι" (Verb + accusative + (preposition+accusative)), i.e. "We hear List by Busoni".

    In inflected languages, the Accusative can't stand after a noun (without a preposition), only after a verb (or a Participle/Gerund).
    In Greek we have this construction, e.g. "He is two-meter the height", where "the height" is accusative.
     
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