Title: 'His' genitives in early English and Germanic possessor doubling
This It is widely assumed that the 'his' genitives of Middle and Early Modern English are essentially the same as 'possessor doubling' constructions in other Germanic languages, such as dem Vater sein Haus , etc., differing only in details such as not having a dative case available for marking the possessor phrase. However, possessor doubling constructions were not a feature of Common Germanic and therefore the possessor doubling constructions found in Germanic languages today did not derive from a common ancestor, and cannot be assumed without further investigation to have developed in the same way.
Looking at the 'his' genitives in Early Modern English, we find similar characteristics to the possessor doubling constructions of German, Dutch, Norwegian, etc. However, the same characteristics are not found in the earliest period when apparent variants of his are used as possessive marker in English. Closer investigation indicates that the earliest 'his' genitives demand a treatment identical to the 'attached' - es inflection, although the later period looks similar to the doubling constructions found in these other languages. This doubling construction seems to have been hypercorrection on the part of educated writers and had a very different sociolinguistic status from doubling in other colloquial varieties. It was found in elegant and solemn writings and never seems to have taken firm hold in the language.