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Re: THEORY: Paucal and Trial Grammatical Number

From:Doug Dee <amateurlinguist@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 17, 2005, 0:42
In a message dated 5/16/2005 7:41:41 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
tomhchappell@YAHOO.COM writes:

>(1) Does anyone know of any NatLang that definitely has both > * a trial number distinct from its dual and paucal numbers > * a paucal number distinct from its trial and "plural-of-abundance"
number Greville Corbett, in his book _Number_ says that Marshallese distinguishes singular/dual/trial/paucal plural. He says that others have called the paucal a "quadral" but he says Byron Bender informs him that the "quadral" can be used for groups not equal to four, so Corbett regards it as a paucal. Corbett also says "Byron Bender (personal cmmunication) has no evidence for any comparable extension to the trial, so we shall treat Marshallese as having singular, dual, trial, paucal, and plural." [pp 29-30] Corbett notes that the situation in Lihir (spoken on some islands off New New Ireland) is unclear. Either it has singular, dual, trial, paucal, and plural, or else it has two paucals. (The usage of the "trial" is unclear.) [p. 25]
>Failing that, >(2) Does anyone know of
> * a NatLang that has a "true trial" number that is demonstrably not a paucal > * a NatLang that has a "true paucal" that is demonstrably not a trial Paucals that are not trials seem to be reasonably common in Oceanic languages, including Fijian. Outside Oceanic, there's also Yimas, of Papua New Guinea. Corbett notes that many so-called "trials" are really paucals, but does mention a few true paucals restructed to groups of exactly 3: Larike (in Indonesia), and Ngan'gityemerri of Australia, and other Australian languages [p. 21]. You didn't ask, but Corbett says there are no true quadrals. Doug