ELL: Re: 'Reburial of 500 Huron'...
mgunn at UCD.IE
Wed Dec 8 11:52:07 UTC 1999
Ar 03:01 -0800 1999-12-08, scríobh Victor Golla:
>...The Tasmanians were
>every bit as culturally marginal as the Yaghan, but while you can
>"go shooting some Yaghan" you definitely can't "go shooting some
>Tasmanian." I am quite amazed that this selectional distinction has
>been lying nestled in my English competence all these years, entirely
>unnoticed by me.
Are you certain this is a widespread feature of English, Victor? In
West-European (British) English, I think it would be more common to hear
"20 Apaches", "50 Cherokees", "50 Mohicans", but "50 Crow" (possibly to
avoid confusion), and "50 Sioux" (because we are so used to French
plurals). I stand open to correction on this, because this might just be
something peculiar to the dialects of English with which I am most
familiar. Maybe things have changed, even here, due to the mainly US media
influences which have altered so many of the patterns of speech of people
under 20 here as to constitute new dialects, but certainly, I think such
words as you list below would all have been subject to the ordinary "s"
plural in this part of the world, at least until recently. Perhaps some
English ELL members would comment on this, in case I am wrong about this.
Marion Gunn <mgunn at ucd.ie>
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