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Re: Number

From:Aidan Grey <frterminus@...>
Date:Monday, August 6, 2001, 8:46
Teithan Marcus:
> >No. This is a distributive/collective distinction. > Say you want to refer > >to the tools in the back yard. If they are > scattered all over the yard, > >you use the plural marker, but if they are stacked > up by the porch all > >together, then you use the singular or a collective > plural (depending on > >the language). So the distributed plural indicates > multiplicity of > >"locations" of the noun/pronoun/verbal action in > question.
This reminds me of a demonstrative feature of an Iniuk lang (don't remember which one) I adore. Shape is a distinctive feature of the demonstrative system, round and long being the two main features. How this works is that if I was referring to a man running, he would be +long, because the space he's occupied over time is greater in one dimension. And a man sitting still would be +round, because he's basically the same in all dimensions. A pair of gloves piled is +round, but one glove separated from the other is +long, because the two sort of bookend the space between them and include it as part of the set. Ran teithan Jeff:
> I hope you're kidding -- that is not at all how I > understand "distributive" > and "collective". To me, "distributive" is like > mathematical distributive > and "collective" means that the set of entities is > treated like an entity > itself.
Nope, he's not kidding. And it gets weirder still, like in my example above. Remember that every occupation will have its unique uses of certain terms. A psychologist will have a very different understanding of distributive than a mathematician! Aidan __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Make international calls for as low as $.04/minute with Yahoo! Messenger


Muke Tever <alrivera@...>
J Matthew Pearson <pearson@...>