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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|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:||Tagalog is another language with a plural morpheme that's separate from the head noun; you can say things like: ang mga malalaking libro literally, more or less: the PLURAL big book ...which means 'the big books'. So the plural word 'mga' doesn't have to be adjacent to the noun it applies to, and the noun itself doesn't bear any plural morphology. In this particular case, the adjective 'malalaking' actually has a plural morpheme in it; the singular would be 'malaking', without the repeated 'la'. If you'd like to find more languages like this, one place to look would be: http://wals.info/feature/33A which is a list of languages from a large typological database, listed by the way they encode plurality. The languages you're interested in are the ones under 'plural word'. --Norvin Richards|
|Reply From:||Norvin Richards click here to access email|