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Re: Collective nouns

From:John Quijada <jq_ithkuil@...>
Date:Tuesday, December 20, 2005, 4:05
Ithkuil has three related categories that cover the range of
plural/collective in natlangs, usually requiring lexical changes when
translating into other languages:

Nine Configurations, by which individual noun referents are identified as
random groupings, assortments, sets, collections, fuzzy sets, segmented
wholes, wholes based on differentiated component parts, etc., as per
similarity/dissimilarity of shape or physical configuration, e.g., tree -->
grove --> woods/forest

Four Affiliations, by which such sets, assortments, collections, etc. are
distinguished by whether they exist for a functional purpose, a purposeless
mish-mash, or a synergistic/emergent whole greater than the sum of the
parts, e.g., tree --> orchard --> jungle --> forest-"realm"

Four Perspectives, the closest equivalent to natlang "number" categories, by
which one can designate whether a referent constitutes a single subjective
entity (even if made up of numerous component-referents, as in a "grove"),
more than one such entity, a collective reference referring to all such
referents in general, and an category by which the entity is considered in
an abstract sense, somewhat like English -hood, -ness suffixes.