DISCUSSION OF PATTERN
Some adjectives of two or more syllables in Spanish, including the possessives
, are subject to shortening when they occur in a position before the noun they modify. This shortening involves the loss of the final syllable of the adjective. A complete discussion of the patterns of shortening, including all adjectives affected, how much is removed in taking the final syllable off, and what position-agreement requirements control the shortening, are presented in the appendix.
The shortening of possessives is characterized by the loss of their final syllable whether singular or plural and in both gender forms. This shortening in chart form is:
The full forms always carry a strong stress: the shortened forms may, especially of they appear in a contrastive construction, though they are normally weak-stressed. The construction with shortened forms appearing before the noun occurs much more frequently than the construction with full forms appearing after the noun.
The range of possible meaning is the same for
, namely all 2-3 forms. Hence
may be translated 'your (referring to one or more than one), his, her, its, their'. However, in the absence of contextual evidence to the contrary, it will refer only to 2 sg, that is, meaning 'your' (referring to one person). Thus the chart presented above could be modified as follows:
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