By the question Nested genitive?, it is possible to say "gas mask of my friend" as persona gasi amící meí, but this kind of nested genitives are prone to ambiguity in the general case, so is there some way to prevent it to formulate such clauses, so that it is not ambiguous?

1 Answer 1


This is a type of ambiguity that generally can't be avoided, but also generally doesn't cause a problem. Consider "my friend's gas mask" in English. Do you parse this as "(my friend)'s gas mask", or "my (friend's gas mask)", or even "(my friend's gas) mask"? There's no easy way to remove this ambiguity in English, but also, it's not usually a problem; "(my friend)'s gas mask" is the only one of those that makes sense in most contexts.

If there's a particular alternate reading that's plausible, which you want to avoid, you can rearrange the words to avoid that one—words next to each other tend to go together, words far enough tend not to. But in general, this doesn't pose an issue.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.