Does German language have "possessive apostrophe"?
Does (did) German have something like what they call possessive apostrophe in English?
If not, what does the role of it in German language?
This is my father's hat.
My best friend's husband.
@Jan: Doh! I should had searched it in Wikipedia's German version.
I've just read in that article that interestingly enough, we actually had the possessive apostrophe for some foreign words until about 2 centuries ago, even though it's no longer correct today. I never knew that...
@Jan: What about posting an answer? ;-)
Whoops, I actually misread that from the article. Disregard my comment about the foreign words, it's total and complete bull :-) So sorry @Gigili, we won't get an answer out of this...
The story is not exactly as it is depicted in the current answers, see, e.g., here. (I hereby renounce any priviledge to make an answer out of this and invite everybody to do so.)
@Wrzlprmft, indeed, the “did” part of the question has so far remained unanswered.
Sadly, the best information and advice is found in the comments and not the answers to this question.
evtl. interessant „Füllerzeichen (Filler)“ bei Ursula Bredel (2008): _Die Interpunktion des Deutschen. Ein kompositionelles System zur Online-Steuerung des Lesens._ und — (2009): _Das Interpunktionssystem des Deutschen._ @ Angelika Linke / Helmuth Feilke: _Oberfläche und Performanz_ 117–135. Beide Tübingen: Niemeyer. Zusammenfassung von Beatrice Primus (Skript:39ff.): „einfache Füller, `-` / `’`, zeigen Defekte innerhalb eines Wortes (…) nicht-horizontale Füller, `…` / `’`, zeigen im Text nicht behebbare Defekte (Auslassungen).“
German attaches the genitive suffix without an apostrophe.
Das ist meines Vaters Hut / Das ist der Hut meines Vaters
Der Mann meiner besten Freundin
Julias Mann. Martins Frau.
You will occasionally see " 's " as a genitive ending in German,
but that is - to put it mildly - inspired by English orthography, and incorrect in German.
you might add, that if the name ends with an "s", like Hans, the possessive "s" isn't just added. The car of Hans is: Hansens Auto or Hans' Auto (apostrophe at the end).
The last statement could be misleading since the occasional use of the apostrophe in expressions such as _Andrea’s Boutique_ or _Carlo’s Taverne_ is in accordance with the official rules.
Only rather recently, and because people have been doing it wrong for so long. The normative power of the factual and all that ...
@Hinek That exception case is actually not because it is a "possessive apostrophe", but should rather be considered an "Auslassungszeichen". Hans' is "Hansens", as you rightly say, and that "ens" is *omitted*, thus the apostrophe. German does *not* have a possessive apostrophe.
@Ingmar As far as I know, it was allowed 2002 and was meant to address the question how to handle foreign Names. Are they loan words? Should one treat them as they were German or as in their original language? "Joe's Burger" is explicidly allowed and "Susis Hausmannskost" remains correct. Yes, "Luigi's Pizza" does not support this but still I don't think it was a reaction to misuse but rather to a need of clarification. We Germans love clarity and comprehensive rule sets.
@tofro there is no ellision. *Hansens* would be northern German, but *Hans'* is High German. I suppose the marking suppletes the morphemic *-s* only because there already is an *s* whereas a double *s* would imply phonetic shortening of a preceding vowel, e.g. in *Hr. Mus*, *Hr. Muss*. Since English vas the same, *Mr. Mus' car* the comparison here seems apt. Really bust commenting to say that *Hans sein Auto* is proscribed, but possibly one confluence of *Hansens*. Also see *Mutterns*, "Futtern wie bei Muttern".