|From:||Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, August 4, 2001, 22:25|
On Saturday, August 4, 2001, at 12:45 AM, Marcus Smith wrote:
> I've been reading Greville Corbett's new book on Number (2001, Combridge
> University Press). I thought I would throw out some of the stuff in the
> book to whet some appetites and perhaps start some wheels turning in
> people's conlangs. Quenya gets a footnote on page 33 for the -ath plural,
> which actually has a natlang counterpart in the South Omotic language
> (spoken in Ethiopia).
><Squirm> Forgive my ignorance, but what's the -ath plural do?
> Now for some of my favorite systems that I've encountered so far.
> singular plural
> masc kii tii
> fem tii kii
> So the number/gender markers swap between singular and plural.
><blink> Neat! And surely an incentive to learn genders. >:) Heck, all
the systems you list are neat. I wish I had something so original. <sigh>
> So, how is number expressed in your conlangs? (No need to repost, Tom.)
> Gassik (a substantial reworking of Igassik, which I bludgeoned the list
> with a while back) indicates plurality by reduplicating the final
> or vowel-consonant of the noun. This only applies to words that are in the
> human category or higher in the heirarchy given above.
> nal > nalal 'man(Nom)'
> kutu > kutut 'brother(Nom)'
> takim > takim 'hand(Nom)'
>Funfun. :-) (Okay, that doesn't work, but...)
Czevraqis doesn't generally mark number at all, though you can specify
using actual (?) numbers, e.g.
czu mehara [tSu meha*a] (using Kirschenbaum)
or suggested using demonstratives, e.g.
cziron mehara [tSi*on mehara]
ame mehara [ame meha*a]
some (impersonal) riddle(s)
rime mehara [*ime meha*a]
no (impersonal) riddle(s)
The next closest thing to number-marking actually marks a
collection/collective, a set or group that is logical in the context being
spoken/written of, "nio" [nio] (from "niyo," or "hand"; the number 5 is
Nio na qaiczarev varaie.
collective 1st person salute:habitual past reportive 3rd person:personal
[nio na xaItSaref varaIje]
I/we-as-a-part-of-a-group (habitually, usually, often) saluted him/her.
In this case, the person speaking is probably a soldier, so you could
translate it instead I-as-a-soldier. If this person were no longer a
soldier, s/he might use just "na" (and its variants) to refer to
Pronouns are easily dropped when their referents are clear in context, so
nio [na] qaiczarev [varaie]
is just as possible.
Other possible uses of nio:
nio ketaera [nio keteI*a] = an ensemble of musicians
nio jenara [nio dZena*a] = a brace of daggers