Re: No plural morpheme
|From:||Chris Peters <beta_leonis@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, November 24, 2007, 20:12|
> From: caeruleancentaur> > What are your experiences with this in either a natlang
> or your> conlang? I believe that Japanese does this.>
You're right -- Japanese has only one plural morpheme: -tachi, which is used only in
reference to people (nouns or pronouns). Apart from that, the only way they can
do plurals, apart from them being understood in context, is by specifying a
number. (The number, furthermore, may include a counter suffix, which describes
the shape or class of the object being counted.)
My Ricadh conlang, however, goes in the opposite direction -- two separate plural
markers (prefixes in this case), that are used to mark "generic" versus
"specific" plurals. An example of each in English (because I'm still developing
the appropriate Ricadh vocabulary):
Generic: There are children playing in the neighborhood. (An abstract concept of
children in general, rather than any specifically identifiable children).
Specific: I have two children at this school. (I'm identifying these two children
specifically, apart from all other children in the world.)
This idea came about as an extension of the first-person plural exclusive pronoun
(where the word "we" includes the speaker, but not the listener). I came up
with the concept independently, but I discovered later that such a beast
already exists in Quechua, and probably a number of other natlangs as well.
When I found that out, I decided to extend the practice to all plurals instead.
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