Composed number (also called "double plural")

Wolfgang Schulze W.Schulze at LRZ.UNI-MUENCHEN.DE
Mon Oct 12 17:10:40 UTC 2009


Dear Bernard,

Udi (East Caucasian, Lezgian branch) has lots of composed plurals, most 
of them, however, lexicalized. Yet in some instances, minimal pairs are 
still present, e.g.

/pop /        'hair'  (mass)
/pop-ur/    'hair' (collective)
/pop-ur-ux/  '[many strings of] hair'

/bush  / 'camel'
/bush-ur /'group of camels'
/bush-ur-ux/ 'camels'

Historically, /-ur /once denoted (class speicifc) colelctives, and /-ux 
/'multiple individuation'....
I can send you the relevant section of my forthcoming 'Grammar of Udi', 
if you want....

Best wishes,
Wolfgang


Bernhard Waelchli schrieb:
> Dear typologists,
>
> Does anybody know of more languages with double nominal plural (or 
> dual/trial/paucal) marking where both plural (or dual/trial/paucal) 
> markers added to the same noun express different kinds of 
> plurality/duality? This is called "composed numbers" in Corbett (2000: 
> 36, "number built as it were on another"). I mean cases such as, e.g.:
>
> (a) X-PL 'Xs',
> X-PL-PL 'different groups/sets of Xs, large quantities of X'
>
> (b) X-PL 'a plurale tantum X',
> X-PL-PL 'a plural of a plurale tantum X'
>
> Paraphrasing the question for the specific (b)-kind:
> Does anybody know languages where pluralia/dualia tantum can be 
> pluralized just by adding another plural/dual marker?
>
> I know of the following languages with composed numbers (or groups of 
> languages): Ful, Burushaski, Breton, Warekena, and Mongolian. It has 
> also been reported for Khamtanga (Chamir, Agaw, Cushitic), and Arabic. 
> According to Corbett (2000: 36) composed number is rare, but I am 
> rather confident that somebody of you knows about some more examples 
> of a similiar kind as those:
>
> Ful (Adamawa) (Klingenheben 1963: 139)
> nagge 'cow[SG] > cow'
> na'i 'cow[PL] > cows'
> na'i-ije 'cow[PL]-PL > groups/flocks of cows'
>
> Burushaski (Lorimer 1935: 46)
> tsəriš SG 'one part of a door frame'
> tsərʌŋ PL 'one complete doorframe'
> tsərʌŋ-čiŋ DOUBLE-PL 'door frames'
>
> Breton (Ternes 1992: 415; Corbett 2000: 36)
> bugel 'child > child'
> bugal-e 'child-PL > children'
> bugal-e-où 'child-PL-PL > groups of children'
>
> Warekena (Aikhenvald 1998: 300-4; Corbett 2000: 37)
> abida-pe 'pig-PL > pigs'
> abida-nawi 'pig-GREATER.PL > very many pigs'
> abida-pe-nawi 'pig-PL-GREATER.PL > very many pigs indeed, too many to 
> count'
>
> Khalkha Mongolian (Poppe 1970; Plank, 1985: Linguistics 23.45-82)
> lamə [SG] 'lama'
> lamə-nər PL 'lamas'
> lamə-nər-uud PL-PL 'highly esteemed lamas'
>
> (As far as I know, no triple plural with three different kinds of 
> plural meanings has been reported. Or does somebody have any?)
>
> (I am NOT interested in this query in the more common case of two or 
> more distinct plural suffixes expressing just a single kind of 
> plurality, such as in Dutch _kind-er-en_ 'children' [or etymologically 
> English _child-r-en_] or the more spectacular case of Breton 
> diminutives, Stump 1990, Corbett 2000: 152)
>
> Many thanks in advance!
>
> Bernhard Waelchli
> University of Bern
>

-- 

*Prof. Dr. Wolfgang 
Schulze    *                                                               
 

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