I may have mentioned this before, but I think that its the coolest thing that the English possessive morpheme is a Phrasal Clitic. What does that mean? Well, a typical clitic attaches to a word (Greek students, remember the rules for accents on ειμι?) Yes, that’s a normal or word clitic. A phrasal clitic attaches to an entire phrase. And that’s what the English possessive does:
[The man‘s] hat is brown.
But you say, “Hey wait, isn’t that just attaching to the word man?”
Well, it would appear so initially, but consider the next sentence:
[The husband and wife‘s] car is a Ford.
Here the possessive only attaches to the end of the subject noun phrase. But the next two sentences clinch it:
[The woman who went shopping on Monday‘s] husband stayed home to watch the game.
[The pug with breathing trouble‘s] leash was left outside last night.
Look where the possessive appear in those sentences!
Always at the end of the Noun Phrase.
That’s a phrasal clitic.