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DOUBLE GENITIVE. A term taken from the GRAMMAR of LATIN and used in connection with a noun that is doubly possessed, using both of and either a possessive s or a possessive pronoun: ‘Several neighbours of ours were there’, ‘I've got an umbrella of Rachel's’. The first noun is normally indefinite (not The neighbours of ours) and the second is human and definite (not *an umbrella of a woman's). The structure combines definiteness (ours, Rachel's) and indefiniteness (several, an) in a way not otherwise possible. The forms *several our neighbours and *a Rachel's umbrella are not possible. Compare also a room of my own but not *a my own room. Exceptionally, the first noun can have definite this/these (etc.) in front of it, but does not refer to one or some out of several, as in That extraordinary voice of hers (She has an extraordinary voice) and Those unfortunate mistakes of Neil's (Neil made those mistakes).

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