associative plurals: correction

Colin P Masica dacotah at MWT.NET
Thu Aug 30 00:39:32 UTC 2001

Sometimes one should reread what one has written oneself. After firing off
my earlier hasty E-mail, I discovered that I had devoted a couple of
paragraphs to the question of echo-words in my 1991 book on Indo-Aryan (pp.
80-81), citing Bengali, Maithili, Gujarati, Marathi, Sinhala, and other
examples in addition to Hindi. Moreover, I quoted Kali Charan Bahl's (1972)
characterization of the meaning as "the speaker's manifest attitudinal lack
of concern or care toward his collocutor or the thing referred to by him."
I would defer to his Sprachgefühl over my own, certainly (I am now wondering
about my possible obtuseness regarding my collucutors' "attitudes"; I had
thought -- at a deeper level of memory than what I wrote -- that they merely
didn't want to bother enumerating all the members of the group in question).
Perhaps this construction is not so far from the Yiddish one in /shm-/ after
all. (Though still not quite the same.)

Meanwhile, I have a hunch regarding another possible Indic "associative
plural", without these affective associations. This time, I'm going to ask
around first!

Colin Masica

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