LINGUIST List 7.1789

Wed Dec 18 1996

Qs: Greater/lesser plurals,Chimpanzee WH-qs

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  1. Greville Corbett, Query: Greater/lesser plurals
  2., Wh-questions by chimpanzees

Message 1: Query: Greater/lesser plurals

Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 18:27:10 +0000
From: Greville Corbett <>
Subject: Query: Greater/lesser plurals

Has anyone information on languages with a split in the plural into
greater/lesser plural (sometimes called unlimited/limited plural, or
global/particular plural)? There are a few instances in the
literature but information is sparse. Please note that even the
lesser plural has to be a plural (so paucal vs plural splits are not
what I am asking about). And second, there must be a semantic
difference: 'double plurals' (instances where there are two plural
markers but no semantic difference) do not count, nor do simple
morphological alternatives.

As an example, Banyun (a West Atlantic language) is described by
Sauvageot as having two plurals, which he calls 'limited' and
'unlimited'. Even the 'smaller', limited one appears to be a genuine

Splits within the paucal (i.e. a language with two paucals in addition
to the plural) would also be of interest.

Greville Corbett (

Greville G. Corbett
Department of Linguistic and International Studies
University of Surrey
Guildford email:
Surrey, GU2 5XH FAX: +44 1483 302605
Great Britain phone: +44 1483 300800 ext 2849
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Message 2: Wh-questions by chimpanzees

Date: Tue, 17 Dec 1996 14:38:47 +0900
From: <>
Subject: Wh-questions by chimpanzees

I would like to know whether chimpanzees who had been taught
language were able to produce any WH-questions (e.g., "What is
this?). I am also looking for relevant references on this
question. Thank you in advance for your attention and

Young-joo Kim
Dept. of English Education
Hong-Ik University
Seoul, Korea
- -
Young-joo Kim; phone: Korea-02-320-1850;
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