Number markers and numerals
fedor at ILING.MSK.SU
Tue Mar 10 11:33:09 UTC 1998
I had some thoughts on numerals and number markers that were
shown to Edith Moravcsik. She advised me to place them in this
It seems to me that the list of criteria, which allow to
distinguish number markers and numerals could have the next
1) If quantifying formative expresses another grammatical meaning
simultaneously it is rather a number marker than a numeral.
a) Latin (as well as other languages with flexion expressing
case and number)
Sg. puer - Pl. puer-i
b) Songay (Gao dialect)
Sg. faar-o `the field' - Pl. faar-ey `the fields'
In Songay affix shows number as soon as definiteness
(compare: faari `a field' - faariyan `fields')
2) If it is not possible to omit quantifying formative (without
replacing it with another one) it is rather a number marker than a
numeral. (Of course this rule works only in one direction - if we can
omit formative it could be a number marker as soon as a numeral).
faar-i hinka `two fields' -> faari `field'
faarey `the fields' -> *faar-
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