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Re: Plural Problems
On Wed, 5 Nov 1997, Andrew Smith wrote:
> I have started anotating the Brithenig homepage and started discovering
> conundrums about plural marking so I have decided to present my questions
> to the list and see what people think before I write up the final form:
> Should adjectives have plural marking? (maybe...but I haven't convinced
> myself. Are there any examples of n-plurals among adjectives?)
Germanic languages (more or less except English, anymore) have -n class
adjectival declension. It's not used to mark plural, but to differentiate
strong from weak forms, thus: [Goth.] blindai mans = blind men as opposed
to thai blindans mans = the blind men. In Germanic, the weak adj. (-n
class) is used with def. art. and demonst. pron. Otherwise, most IE
languages that I know of have plural adj.: [Cast.] perro bueno/perros
buenos; [Gk.] ho kuon agathos/hoi kunes agathoi; [Lat.] canis bonus/canes
The Dumnonian dialects of Brithenig do not distinguish plural adjectives:
[K.] ill boun ky/y boun kuon; [D.] elo bu~ ca'/els bu~ ca'n.
> Should sa and ys have plural forms (*san and *ysson/son. It's an
!!ESPERANTO ALERT!! Sticking "n"s on everything will make Brithenig sound
too contrived, in my opinion. It's bad enough that ALL nouns have the
same plural (I can't complain overmuch, after all, English has leveled
nearly all plurals to -(e)s!); but these are pronouns, and we probably
should come up with something rather more "pronounish".
Besides verbal endings, the Dumnonian Kernu differentiates with
ys cant ys chantont
sa gant sa chantont
(Note that the _deaspirations_ of yo, ty and ys (sing.) are relatively
recent phenomena, ie, they used to aspriate.)
The Dunnu pronouns do not asperate:
el canta't els canto'nt
la canta't las canto'nt
> Yn is a numeral, an indefinate article - both singular and plural - and a
> nominal marker for adjectives. When should it be marked, or not, as a
> plural? (I'm undecided)
Kernu has yn for an indef. art. only, and is pl. marked: yn/yns w/o
respect to gender (ni/ni in the dat.). The numeral is yen. The "neut."
article is used to make deadjectival nouns: u keru, blue, that which is
Dunnu has: m.s. f.s. c. pl.
nom. un na uns
obl. noi nai nis
The numeral is yan. The masc. art. is used to make deadjectival nouns:
elo bon, good, that which is good.
> So I await your suggestions.
> - andrew.
> Andrew Smith <email@example.com>
> Life is short, so am I...