|From:||Danny Wier <dawiertx@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, March 7, 2004, 2:29|
From: "Matthew Kehrt" <mkehrt@...>
> How do your various *langs partition number?
> The only ways I know of natlangs partitioning number are into singular and
> plural, with perhaps a few additional, such as nullar, dual, trial or
> paucal. However, my knowledge of such things is sadly lacking. Do any
> natlanguages exist that do something radically different?
> For examply, my lang, Eviendadhail, has partitive, which is some number or
> amount of some object or substance, and collective, which is all of that
> object or substance. Does anyone do anything similar?
Tech has two plurals, a feature I borrowed directly from Semitic languages
like Arabic. The "sound plural" is a suffixed plural (-n) and indicates the
meaning of "several", so it can represent a paucal form (at least three to
about ten), or any finite number of items:
k'tabn "books, some books" (k' = palatized k)
sb k'tbani "seven books" (genitive suffix -i is used when a number is
The other plural is the "broken plural", formed by shifting the vowel within
the word, and the vowel itself may change. It means a whole collection of an
item, so it can be referred to as a "collective plural"
kutwb "books, many books, library" (tw = labiovelarized t)
kwl kutwbi "all books" (kw = labialized k)
There is indeed a "negative" number, or actually an abessive case, marked by
the prefix ma- "no" and the genitive suffix: mak'tabi "no book(s)". This
same prefix also indicates a negative/prohibitive verb.