Re: Nouns for things that occur in pairs
|From:||Ingmar Roerdinkholder <ingmar.roerdinkholder@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, May 25, 2008, 17:52|
Maybe this is not exactly the same subject, but it made me think of this:
Fula, also known as Fulah (Gambia, Sieera Leone), Fulani (Nigeria), Pular
(Guinea), Pulaar (Senegal), Foula (Guinea), Peul/Peulh/Peuhl (French), Fulfulde
(Mali), Fulbe, Ful (German), Toucoulor (Senegal), Bororo (Niger), Woodabe
(Niger), Fellata (Chad, Sudan) etc. is an Atlantic language spoken througout
the Sahel zone in Western, Central and even Eastern Africa (a real language,
not a conlang!).
It has an interesting way with generic nouns, not only the usual mass nouns:
Singular kaabawal corn (ear of corn)
Plural kaabaaje ears of corn
Generic kaaba corn
Singular bareeru ndun the dog (this one)
Plural bareeji dhin the dogs
Generic bare on the dog
Singular biiniiri ndin the bottle
Plural biniije dhen the bottles
Generic biini on the bottle
Sing otowal ngal the car (from French "auto")
Plur otooje dhen the cars
Gen oto on the car
Sing saabiwal ngal the key
Plur chaabiije dhen the keys
Gen saabi on the key
Sing bireediwal ngal the bread (from Engl. "bread")
Plur bireediije dhen the breads
Gen bireedi on the bread
Sing leemunneere nden the orange (from "lemon")
Plur leemunneeje dhen the oranges
Gen leemunne on the orange
Other interesting plurals are:
deftere = book
defte = books
bheyngu = wife
bheyngure = family (the Fula are polygamous muslims)
jullure nden = the chair
julle dhen = the chairs
wudure nden = the sheet
gude dhen = the sheets
As you can see in some of the above examples, initial consonant mutation
often occurs in pluralization.
Note these very interesting singular and plural nouns:
gorko = man, worbhe = men.
debbo = woman, rewbhe = women.
suudu = house, chuudi = houses.
pullo = Fula, fulbhe = Fulas.
saare = town, cha'e = towns.
landho = chief, lambhe = chiefs.
mboddi = snake, bolle = snakes.
Sometimes real languages can be more fantastic than conlangs, and I think
Fula is definitely one of them!
On Sat, 24 May 2008 16:19:07 -0500, Eric Christopherson
>I remember reading somewhere that some languages have a special
>marking for nouns for things that normally occur in pairs. What do
>you call this phenomenon? Is it an example of grammatical number (and
>if so, what is that number called?) And does anyone how those