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-s plurals, was [Conlangs-Conf] Conference Overview

From:caeruleancentaur <caeruleancentaur@...>
Date:Monday, May 8, 2006, 13:12
>"David J. Peterson" <dedalvs@...> wrote:
>Not to spark a YAEPT, but it seems to me (just a vague impression) >that "fishes" for the plural of "fish" is making a comeback with >younger people (12 and below). Perhaps "fish" as a plural will >disappear in the future... Though I imagine it'd stick around as >a mass noun (e.g., "I'm eating fish").
I read somewhere very recently (I apologize that I don't remember where-I'm not at home this week) that there is a difference in the use of the plurals "fish" and "fishes." "Fish" is used when the concept is that of a mass (?) noun: There are many fish in the ocean. "Fishes" is used for the count noun: I have three fishes in my aquarium. This principle can be used with some other nouns as well. Bison was the staple of the Native American diet. Three bisons stood in the front yard. Doesn't work all the time though! He owns 300 cow. But don't you love the English expression "head of"? He owns 300 head of cow, er, cattle. Charlie


Joe <joe@...>
Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
David J. Peterson <dedalvs@...>