ELL: Re: 'Reburial of 500 Huron', evidence of continuing stereotyping

Marion Gunn mgunn at UCD.IE
Wed Dec 8 10:55:31 UTC 1999

Ar 18:47 -0800 1999-12-07, scríobh Victor Golla:
>Like Dave Harris, I too was at first inclined to dismiss the "zero
>plural" formation found with American Indian ethnonyms as of no
>great consequence.  A little digging, however, has convinced me
>that we have here what Benjamin Whorf used to call a "cryptotype."
>It may or not be "racist" (whatever that means
>  --Victor Golla

Have you tried it on non-ethnic examples, Victor -- for example, the number
of deaf in Seattle, the number of disabled in Monaco, the number of
psychicS in Los Angeles, the number of rich, the number of poor (oddly
enough, I don't think it works so well in English with the number of sad,
the number of happy.) Does this comment help, or is this just an adjectival
thing, or am I missing the point of this exercise altogether?

>	The number of elk in this area.  100 salmon were caught.
>	The number of Ojibwa in northern Ontario.  500 Huron were
>                reburied.
>	The number of Nootka on Vancouver Island.  100 Apache were
>                captured.
>	*The number of Italian in Buffalo.  Half a million Albanian were
>                displaced in Kosovo.
>	*The number of Jew in Manhattan.  Six million Jew died in the
>                Holocaust.
>	*The number of Swede in Stockholm.  Many Swede live in Minneapolis.

Marion Gunn <mgunn at ucd.ie>

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