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Grammatical number in Early Bokisig
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This public article was written by brblues on 2 Apr 2020, 12:18.

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2. Copulas ? ?
While Early Bokisig nouns have no grammatical gender, there has been the fairly recent development of forming inflected plurals by suffixing different collective nouns (according to semantic criteria) to nouns to make various differentiations in grammatical number.

Before this development, plurals were formed by reduplication of the first syllable, dropping the syllable coda, if any; this is no longer productive. In Early Bokisig, the reduplicated forms that are still used fall into one of two categories:


a) The reduplicated form may have acquired a new meaning – some examples below:

Singular nounMeaning Reduplicated Meaning
/tas/ “water” /tatas/“ocean”
/sum/ “beginning” /susum/ “reason”
/ʔud/ “thread” / “string” /ʔuʔud/ “net(work)” / “environment” / “nature”
/ʔodatus/ “gift” /ʔoʔodatus/ “heritage”


b) The reduplicated form is used as plural, e.g.:

/ɣuɣ/ = “eye”; /ɣu.ɣuɣ/ = “eyes”
/su/ = “place”; /susu/ = “places”

Dual, paucal and plural suffixes

The innovative and productive number suffixes are listed in the table below:

Dual endingUsed for:Original meaning of suffix:
-za Body parts counted in pairs): ears, eyes, hands, legs etc.“two”
Paucal endingUsed for:Original meaning of suffix:
-daku Everything“a/one hand”
Plural endingUsed for:Original meaning of colletive noun that was suffixed:
-sig Humans, plus a few inanimates “gathering”
-te Herbivorous animals, domesticated animals “herd”
-kat Dangerous animals “pack”
-em Carnivorous animals usually not dangerous to humans “pack”
-ɣuz Most inanimates, in particular those where the individual number is no longer readily quantifiable once they are in a “pile” “pile”
-kom Plants, inanimates that are either in fixed locations or inanimates that stand upright, plus some other inanimates “forest”
-ʔuʔud Objects of culture and speech, man-made entities, body parts not covered by “za” “net(work)”
-tun Spiritual entities, abstract concepts, inanimates used by humans in a clearly defined setting “circle”
-no Inanimates often kept in containers “container”


Inserting “mɛka(hɛ)” (= “full”) between the root and the plural suffix derived from a collective word is a way to nominally express “the full collection of”, i.e. “all”:

kasaki-mɛka-sig
priest-full-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
sazon
beard
he
COPCopula
used to link the subject of a sentence with a predicate
.INALInalienable (possesson)
thing that can't be gained or lost



An adverbial way of expressing the same thing would be:

kasaki-sig
priest-PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
sazon
beard
gabo
all
he
COPCopula
used to link the subject of a sentence with a predicate
.INALInalienable (possesson)
thing that can't be gained or lost





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