“Rices and moneys”

These words, of course, sound very wrong. There is a difference between mass nouns (rice, money) and count nouns (apple, peanut) in languages and only count nouns will be pluralized. It was quite difficult for me, given the little knowledge of linguistics, which I had, to realize that these things are not the same in every language out there. I am still struggling with this. Seriously. It seems hard to me to imagine that certain mass nouns to be discrete and OTOH, certain words which are used for individual things to have a counterpart which refers to the mass of them. This is one of the things, which I still struggle to implement well in my ‘langs.

Kenshuite He Mo Gie, as a communist conlang which marks the singular, not the plural of course has the tendency to see many things as count nouns which are mass nouns otherwise. But apart from that, it is a question of, often random asignment. So, how do you do it?

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Comments

  • Ember Nickel  On November 3, 2010 at 1:53 am

    There are several times where my conlang usually uses plural where English would have singular: “rain”, “snow”, “hair”, “sand”. Then there are weird uses of the plural: instead of “family”, it’d be literally “family members”; the plural of “room” can also mean “apartment”, and adding the plural ending (-di) to /that/ makes it “apartment building”. Also, for slang, just adding “di” to itself means “stuff”.

    On the other hand, “pants” becomes a singular noun in the conlang, and “fish” needs to take a regular plural. In this case, I try to be more regular than English.

  • rejistania  On November 3, 2010 at 9:35 am

    ‘hair’ is insteresting. Rejistanian uses a term for ‘hair on head and beard’ and has to form a composition for a single hair.

    ‘Pants’ is a singular in rejistanian as well.

    I like how your language has a distinct feel just from the examples you provided.

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