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David Zitzelsberger wrote:

>Had an interesting thought.
>
>Are the dishes clean?
>
>pl      pl
>
>Is this stuff clean?
>
>si      si but implies plural
>
>How do other languages handle the pluralness of nouns that represent a
>plural idea (inherently mass).
>
>I can think of three solutions to this:
>	1. It's singular so use singular verb
>	2. It's a mass so use plural verb
>	3. It's a special case so use a separate case
>
>
>

I don't think you want 'case' here.  Just 'number'.  But I can tell you
how Yamphu, a Sino-Tibetan language I happen to have the grammar of does
it.  There are three numbers, called singular and non-singular.
Singular is unmarked, so, for instance, <oŋæk>'child'(<oNæk>, for you
non-unicodey people).  In the non-singular, this is <oŋækci>.  Now, the
non-singular indicates a plural only of animate objects, and, for that
matter, countable animate objects(not mass nouns).  As well as these,
adjectives and demonstratives take on a plural ending <-ha>, indicating
plurality of the modified noun - or, more relevantly to your question, a
mass noun.     For instance, take the demonstrative <mo> 'that'.  When
applied to, say, <siya> 'rice', it will take on <-ha>, creating the
phrase <moha siya>'that rice'.  So, the answer's somewhere between two
and three.