dr_whom: (Default)
[personal profile] dr_whom
Okay, so in English, third-person possessives agree in number and gender with the possessor: He loves his parents; She loves her parents. But in Romance languages, possessives agree with the possessum, as in French: Elle aime sa mère; Elle aime son père; Elle aime ses parents.

Which means when a native speaker of a Romance language is writing in English, they might get the agreement backwards, and have possessives agreeing in the Romance way rather than the English way:



Their parents, her mom, his dad—all meaning Connie's, but the possessives are agreeing with the possessum in each phrase rather than with Connie.

(Source: Silver Liveblogs Things, Steven Universe episode "We Need to Talk".)

...Actually it's even better than that, since the blogger is a native speaker of Spanish, not French, and the best of my knowledge Spanish doesn't even have gender agreement in third-person possessives (though it does have number). So he's applying the direction of Spanish number agreement—from possessive to possession—in English, and extended that to apply to gender agreement as well.
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