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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:||I'm not sure I understand the question either. There are many languages (the ones I know are Bengali, Malay and Chinese) in which plurality is not indicated on nouns as it is in (Standard) English. In these languages there are many words that can be used (when wanted) to indicate plurality. This also happens in many contact varieties of English. The effect in Chinese and Malay is something like this: Got book. (here there could be one book or several) The following would give further information: Got one book. / Got one piece book. Got five book. / Got five piece book. Got many book. and so on. In Chinese and Malay a good deal could come between the quantity word and the noun, such as adjectives. Anthea|
|Reply From:||Anthea Fraser Gupta click here to access email|