Free state

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In the syntax of Semitic languages, the term free state is sometimes used for the construction of a possessed noun that is not in a construct state construction where the possessed noun is followed immediately by the possessor (e.g. Siloni 1997:167). The possessed noun is "freer" in the free state in that it can be followed by an adjective, does not have a special inflected form, etc.


  • free state: Hebrew ha-hofa'a shel ha saxkan [the-appearance of the-actor] 'the actor's appearance'
  • construct state: Hebrew hofa'at ha-saxkan [appearance.CONSTR the-actor] 'the actor's appearance'

(Siloni 1997:166)



Siloni, Tal. 1997. Event nominals and the construct state. In: Haegeman, Liliane (ed.) The new comparative syntax. London: Longman, 165-188.