8 votes
Accepted

Are there any languages with different plural forms for different numbers?

Indeed! The most common form of this involves having a dual number, used for exactly two things, and a plural number, used for any more than that. You'll find this in older Indo-European languages ...
Draconis's user avatar
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8 votes

Why is the word "God" plural in some languages?

Lots of confusion here. Hebrew Elohim is morphologically plural but syntactically singular: it governs a verb in the 3rd person singular. Adonai is likewise syntactically singular. Dios is from ...
fdb's user avatar
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7 votes

Are there any languages that mark plural before the noun, while everything else comes after?

WALS is a great tool to answer questions like this. With this combined view of three features I find Zapotec and Sre as languages with the following features: Plural prefix / Noun-Adjective / ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

How common is the "elliptical dual" (or plural) cross-linguistically?

Since there are more languages with dedicated plural forms than there are with dedicated dual forms, this phenomenon is probably more common with plurals. I'm more familiar with constructions like ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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5 votes

What is the origin of the paucal form?

I am pretty sure that the paucal form stems from proto-Slavic dual form which is distinct from plural, and is still present, in some form, in Slovenian language nowadays. The paucal form is not ...
Огњен Шобајић's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Is there such thing as a 'half-plural'?

I believe you may be looking for the paucal number. Paucal, from Latin paucus, "a few", means: pertaining to a language form referring to a few of something (three to around ten), as a small group ...
Mark Beadles's user avatar
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4 votes

Order of spoken numbers with respect to powers of the base of the numerical system

An example of how the spoken numerals influenced the way they were written numerically is the Slavic languages and their Cyrillic alphabet. Since Cyrillic is derived from the Greek alphabet, it also ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
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4 votes

What happens when a bilingual uses a grammatical subject with a different number system than the verb?

If a bilingual English and Arabic speaker would have to use an English subject with an Arabic verb, it is fully up to the speaker, no matter which language the context is in, to choose which form ...
Masimatutu's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Inclusive pronouns—can there be more than one?

There are languages that have a dual/plural number distinction as well as an inclusive/exclusive distinction in the first person, so there definitely could be separate inclusive first-person pronouns ...
brass tacks's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Is there a language with dual indefinite articles?

Ancient Greek arguably has a dual indefinite article tiné. Literally it means "some [two things]", and is unrelated to the numeral "two". To elaborate a bit more: Ancient Greek didn't have mandatory ...
Draconis's user avatar
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3 votes

Languages without plural markings

Japanese also lacks plural marking for most nouns - for example: 猫 (neko) - Cat, 猫 (neko) - Cats However, in order to show plurality it has many many many counters, for instance 名 (mei) which is a ...
Bob Eret's user avatar
  • 131
3 votes

Languages without plural markings

Malay and Indonesian, like many Austronesian languages, use reduplication to mark plurality. Kucing - cat Kucing-kucing - cats It is, however, possible to denote plurality without changing ...
Morphosyntax's user avatar
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3 votes
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Which modern languages have more than two grammatical categories for numbers?

There are also languages that have more than singular, dual, plural. A good overview is provided by Corbett 2000, which is an really good overview over the category of Number in general. Here are some ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 326
2 votes

Are there any languages with different plural forms for different numbers?

According to the "Grammatical number" Wikipedia article, there are languages with dual and trial numbers, as well as forms that contrast small numbers with big numbers. The article contains a... ...
LjL's user avatar
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2 votes

Languages without plural markings

For Vietnamese, we don't change a noun's form when talking about plurality. We just add the number before the noun. For example, EN: a cat --- VN: mèo EN: 5 cats --- VN: 5 (con) mèo (...
Diep Bui's user avatar
2 votes

Languages without plural markings

Māori is, with the exception of 8 words, a language like this. Nouns have the same form in singular and plural and are distinguished by the article used: te for singular and ngā for plural. So: te ...
Patrick Wynne's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

What languages have more than two numbers regarding things and persons?

Proto-Indo-European seems to have had a dual number (for two things), so many Indo-European languages show remnants of it: it's attested in Ancient Greek, though not quite as abundantly as in Sanskrit,...
Draconis's user avatar
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2 votes
Accepted

Is there a language where in declension number is affixed peripherally to case?

That's Greenberg's Universal #39: Where morphemes of both number and case are present and both follow or both precede the noun base, the expression of number almost always comes between the noun ...
melissa_boiko's user avatar
1 vote

What is the standard/comprehensive reference for grammatical number in different languages?

I found https://www.unicode.org/cldr/charts/43/supplemental/language_plural_rules.html, which seems like a perfect resource.
ChaseMedallion's user avatar
1 vote

Order of spoken numbers with respect to powers of the base of the numerical system

I don't know how it was in Latin, but English used to work like German. In German you say the units before the tens. For example 24 is vier-und-zwanzig (four-and-twenty).
Peter Auto's user avatar
1 vote

What languages have more than two numbers regarding things and persons?

Old Church Slavonic has dual - not just remnants of, but the real thing. That language is a "snapshot" of a mixture of 9th century south Slavic dialects and is still in use, unchanged, as a liturgical ...
ngn's user avatar
  • 505
1 vote

"Who lives there" vs "Who live there?"

(Note: the relative "who" and the interrogative "who" have rather different grammatical properties. When I talk about the word "who" in this answer, I'm specifically talking about the interrogative.) ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 66.2k
1 vote

Are there any languages with different plural forms for different numbers?

This may be a partial answer because I don't remember details, sorry for that. A Russian noun can have up to 4 numeral endings (including the singular forms). The first is its "original form" and is ...
iBug's user avatar
  • 417
1 vote

How do clusive forms arise?

Linguistic description of Berber languages does not mention the clusivity as phenomenon that exists in Berber. However, according to me, such particularity is present in Riffian at least for the ...
amegnunsen's user avatar
  • 1,525

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