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Subject: Morphemes for plurals
Question: Are there any languages whose standard method of showing plurality
separates the morpheme or phrase that indicates it from the root word
it refers to?

Reply: I know of one language where something like this happens. Yoruba, a Niger-Congo language spoken by about 20 million people in SW Nigeria, does not mark number morphologically. Number will normally be inferred from context. So "ile" could be "house" or "houses." However, with nouns referring to humans, the independent third person plural pronoun form "awon" is placed before the noun. (The IPA popup window is not working for me, so I can't make that transcription fully accurate.) So, "omo" is "child" and "awon omo" is "children." Since noun modifiers follow the noun in Yoruba, Prof. Fischer's test would be moot for Yoruba.

Herb

Reply From: Herbert Frederic Stahlke      click here to access email
 
Date: 06-Aug-2012
 
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Morphemes for plurals    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (06-Aug-2012)
  2. Re: Morphemes for plurals    Anthea Fraser Gupta     (08-Aug-2012)
  3. Re: Morphemes for plurals    M J Hardman     (06-Aug-2012)
  4. Re: Morphemes for plurals    Susan Fischer     (06-Aug-2012)
  5. Re: Morphemes for plurals    Norvin Richards     (07-Aug-2012)

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