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Re: Plural (was Re: Imagist)
> It is the case that some languages grammaticalise a difference
> between singular and plural, some grammaticalise a three-way
> difference between one, two (sometime also three and four) and
> many, and some languages do not grammaticalise any such distinction.
> It seems to me that that is exactly what Lojban does. Number is
> an optional grammatical category. If you choose to use it, you
> have a choice of many options, some precise and some
> vaguer. Most of them are plural. Your objection seems to
> come down to saying 'I can't say more than one without
> being more specific than I want to be' - but you can, with su'ore.
What I am saying is that in many languages there is a *binary*
distinction between 1 and more than 1, and that the distinction,
& its binarity is important. I think I am mollifed by zahu
for this purpose. Given the grammar of Lojban, suhore is
part of an infinite paradigm, & so the distinction between
pa and suhore is not binary, for there is also suhoze, etc.
To consider the full meaning of a term you have to consider
the paradigm it is part of.
I note, incidentally, that in at least some languages with duals,
these are reserved for natural pairs (like eyes, hands, etc.).
Usually we would want to speak of "2 pairs of eyes" rather than
"4 eyes". How do we do this? The crucial point is that some
things come in multiples of a number specific to their kind,
& one would want to be able to reflect this.