Associative plurals

David Tuggy david_tuggy at
Tue Apr 5 23:20:06 UTC 2011

-en-em (or -’n-em or however you spell it) would be a dedicated 
associative marker, right? Or is it ever used as a plural? E.g. does 
Jackie-en-em ever mean "those named Jackie", or horse-en-em mean “horses”?

(Thanks to all who reported this one: I won't respond on-list to you all.)

—David T

On 4/5/2011 12:33 AM, john at wrote:
> I've heard Black Americans use a reduced form of 'and them' (pronounced
> schwa-n-schwa-m) suffixed to names with an associative-type meaning
> (Jackie-en-em='Jackie and the people with her'). I don't know how common this
> is.
> John
> Quoting jess tauber<phonosemantics at>:
>> Dunno if this works, but Yahgan has a high-animacy dual suffix on nominals,
>> -(n)de:(i) which is also sometimes found when only singular nominals are
>> given. I've been trying to figure this out recently. Perhaps an associative
>> dual? There is also a high-animacy plural, -(n)daian, but I don't know if
>> this works associatively, but it might given things I've seen in the three
>> biblical texts. Something to chew on....
>> Jess Tauber
>> phonosemantics at
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