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"H. S. Teoh" wrote:
> Very interesting! In both Mandarin and Malay, there are "articles" (that's
> what Malay grammar books call them)

In Chinese, those are usually called Counters.  But they're not quite
the same.  Counters are used between the noun and numbers and the like,
and are, if I'm not mistaken, obligatory with all nouns.  The
name-prefixes are used only for things that are specific names.  For
example:

Flassítas-ku  nanamitás
Saw-him/her-I G2-runner
I saw a runner

Flassítas-ku nús Nanamitás
Saw-him/her-I man G2-Runner
I saw Runner (proper name)

Flassíl-ku lanamitás
Saw-it-I   G5-runner
I saw a running animal

Flassíl-ku lá Lanamitás
Saw-it-I   animal Runner
I saw a Runner (name of a species)

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