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Re: Name Prefixes

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 19, 2000, 4:00
H. S. Teoh wrote:
>Now in Malay: >1) sebatang pokok > <article> tree/branch --> "one* tree" or "a tree" > (* "sebatang" = se- (unit prefix) + batang (actual article) >2) sebuah rumah > <article> house --> "one house" or "a house" >3) seekor kancil > <article> mousedeer --> "a mousedeer" > >What's interesting is that some of the "articles" actually have a root >meaning: batang = stick, or something long; ekor = tail (so "seekor >kancil" is literally "one tail of mousedeer"!)>
And buah = fruit, or round thing in general. In Indonesian, at least, it's sort of the default classifier. A few others, more logical, are: setitik "a drop of....", sepotong "a slice of..." -- but those aren't particularly odd. My impression is that this way of counting things is falling into disuse in Indo. Older grammars list lots of them, and related langs. have lots, too. Buginese uses _aju_ (= Ml. kayu 'wood') to count water-buffalo.