Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

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 rain". 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". Irina -- Varsinen an laynynay, saraz no arlet rastynay. (myself) (English) (Nederlands)