Associative plurals

David Tuggy david_tuggy at
Tue Apr 5 23:23:05 UTC 2011

Thanks for the data. The stipulation of use where the reference to the 
person is obvious is certainly (and certainly naturally) true of Orizaba 
Nawatl as well.

—David T

On 4/5/2011 12:51 AM, Stéphane Robert wrote:
> In French too, some people use the plural definite article with a 
> masculine (probably as an heritage of the Napoleonian code!) proper 
> name to refer to a man and his family like in:
> "Les Jean(s ?) viennent ce soir"
> meaning "Jean, his wife and kids".
> I don't use this construction but I have heard it from people 
> originating form Western part of France (Charentes-Poitou); I don't 
> know if it is regionally or socially connotated but for me it has a 
> vague popular connotation. It seems to be more commonly used inside a 
> family where the reference to the person ("Jean") is obvious.
> Stéphane Robert

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