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Suppletive plurals (was: Greenberg)

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Thursday, September 14, 2000, 13:34
Marcus Smith wrote:

> Here are Greenberg's Word Order Universals from his book Universals of > Language.
Thanks for the effort, Marcus. I checked Lojban against all of these, and it handles them all (no big surprise) except marginally:
> 35. There is no language in which the plural does not have some nonzero > allomorphs [...]
Lojban grammaticizes number (of course it has words for numbers, and can use them to do the work that grammatical number does in other languages) only in the personal pronouns, and then only by suppletion. Does suppletion count as an "allomorph of plural" when it is the only form? The personal pronouns (which are caseless, but glossed here as nominatives) are: mi I do you (sg. or pl.) but not other(s) mi'o we: you and I but not other(s) mi'a we: I and other(s) but not you ma'a we: I and you and other(s) do'o you and other(s) While these have obvious similarities, they are not analyzable into morphemes. -- There is / one art || John Cowan <jcowan@...> no more / no less || to do / all things || with art- / lessness \\ -- Piet Hein