Suffixaufnahme (German for "suffix-absorption") is a linguistic phenomenon used in forming a genitive construction, whereby prototypically a genitive noun agrees with its head noun. It was first recognized in Old Georgian and some other Caucasian and ancient Middle Eastern languages as well as many Australian languages, and almost invariably coincides with agglutinativity.
A subject, for instance, would be marked with a subjective affix as well as a genitive affix. So, for example, in Old Georgian perx-ni k'ac-isa-ni (foot-NOM.PL man-GEN-NOM.PL) 'a man's feet', the genitival noun phrase agrees in case (nominative) and number (plural) with the head noun.
However, while a possessive construction such as this is most frequently found in Suffixaufnahme, other nominal constructions may also show similar behavior. In Old Georgian, a postpositional phrase modifying a noun could take on that noun's case and number features: "Ra turpa prinvelia!" c'amoidzaxa ert-ma bavshv-ta-gan-ma [one-NARR child-GEN.PL-from-NARR], ("'What a wonderful bird!' exclaimed one of the children") where the narrative case -ma on ertma is copied onto the modifying postpositional phrase headed by -gan.
Languages with Suffixaufnahme
- Awngi (Central Cushitic, Afro-Asiatic)
- Yidiny (Pama-Nyungan, Australian)
- Chukchi (Chukchi–Kamchatkan)
- Gugu-Yalanji (spoken in Queensland, Australia)
- some dialects of Romany
- Plank, Frans (ed.), Double Case: Agreement by Suffixaufnahme. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995 ISBN 0-19-508775-5