Noun phrase word order

The order of elements in the Songhay noun phrase is: possessor-noun-adjective-numeral-demonstrative.

(1) aɪ   haɪla be:ri ta:cà:   weɪ
    1.SG cat   big   four.DEF DEM
   'These four big cats of mine' lit. 'My these four big cats'

Number and definiteness is marked on the rightmost element that is not the demonstrative (see ).

A possessor always precedes the possessum, and requires the possessum to be definite. The possessor itself may be a noun phrase with modifiers:

(2) haɪla hennà:     boŋò:
    cat   pretty.DEF head.DEF
   'The pretty cat's head'

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