Is the usage of the 's in the following sentence valid English?

His mind is that of a child's.

This looks like a double possessive to me, but having read the relevant Wikipedia article, I can't tell whether it's valid.

  • Yes, it does look that way, but it's idiomatic. In this context, if it helps, read that of in the sense of the comparative like - "His mind is like a child's (mind)", i.e. inquisitive, innocent, etc. – Lawrence Aug 11 '16 at 11:00
  • 'The handwriting was large and scrawly, like that of a child's.' is a non-metaphorical example from Her Father's Sins by Josephine Cox. '... she had a zest for life like that of a child.' (The Mitts Paragon: The Life and Times of the Mitts Family) shows that the double possessive isn't always used. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 11 '16 at 13:38

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