Animal plurals/collective nouns
|From:||Irina Rempt-Drijfhout <ira@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, October 10, 1999, 18:28|
On Wed, 6 Oct 1999, Danny Wier wrote:
> Eric wrote:
> >Obligatory conlang content: Does anyone's conlang do this? :)
> Tech does, but not just for animals, but for all nouns.
Valdyan has a normal plural and a collective plural, which usually
means a collection of things but can acquire a distinctive meaning:
_daysen_ "drop of water", normal plural _daysin_, collective plural,
also _daysin_ in the nominative, "rain".
Some words only exist in the collective plural: _voryin_ "funeral"
that has no corresponding singular *voryn.
The only difference in form is that in the oblique cases normal
plurals have -e- and collective plurals keep the -i- from the
nominative: _daysenin_ "of the drops of water", _daysinin_ "of the
A special case is _pistyn_ "louse", where the unassimilated normal
plural _pistyin_ ['pistjin] is used for individual lice (for instance
when they're counted) and the collective plural, which has undergone
assimilation (perhaps because it has been used much more) for an
infestation of lice: _pishin_ ['piSin]. An intermediate form may have
been ['piStSin], with the /StS/ as in Russian.
An impersonal verb has been formed from the latter: lea pishinat
X(accusative) "X has lice".
Varsinen an laynynay, saraz no arlet rastynay.