Hi, Geoff, and thanks for writing.
--- In [log in to unmask], Geoff Horswood <geoffhorswood@H...> 
> One of my conlangs, Noygwexaal, has a regular plural and a 
> plural.  The way I use those terms (I have no idea whether this is 
> for any other langs), a regular plural

> would be used for things that are 
> plural, but of a finite countable number. 

That would be what I think is meant (at least, /sometimes/ meant) 
by "paucal", or "plural-of-paucity".  In my as-yet-unnamed-and-
unfinished conlang, that will be /exactly/ what is meant by 
the "paucal" number.

> The collective plural is used 

> for things that are an uncountable number,

(Does "uncountable" mean, "can't be counted at a glance"?  For most 
people, three-to-six can be counted at a glance; for professional 
sheep-counters etc., "paucal" might refer to somewhat greater 

> and also to imply "all of them".

This is covered by the "plural-of-abundance"; the plural that isn't 
paucal, in languages that have a paucal.
AFAIK in any language which has a plural distinct from a paucal, "all 
of them" is one of the meanings reserved for the plural, not the 
In my forthcoming conlang, "paucal" will also include any number 
whose exact count is known; and "plural" will also include "almost 
all with at most paucally many exceptions".

> eg. in the sentence "John pulled out his hair",
> 1) a singular form of "hair" would mean that John pulled out a 
> hair already referred to.
> 2) a plural form of "hair" would mean that John pulled out a small 
> of hairs, or perhaps a handful of his hair.
> 3) a collective form of "hair" would mean that John pulled out ALL 
of his 
> hair.
> Does this help at all?

Yes, it does.  My subject line was meant to imply that I wished to 
include such distinctions, although the body of my original posting 
didn't discuss them at all.

This does make me think of an additional question; how and in what 
languages does the paucal-vs.-plural opposition interact with the 
distributive-vs.-"collective" opposition?

> I haven't a clue what, if any, natlangs do this sort of thing, 

As for distributive-vs.-"collective", Ray Brown has given Latin 
translations of the two most extreme interpretations of my sample 
sentence.  Ray views the differences between the two Latin sentences 
as closer to complete re-lexification than to inflection; afaict he's 
right about that.

As for paucal-vs.-plural, I think some Pacific languages make this 
distinction; at any rate, I remember some examples were pretty easy 
to find on Google, once I knew the term "paucal".

You can see why one thing I want to know is, just what are the terms 
used by various linguists?

> Geoff

Thanks for writing, Geoff.

BTW IIRC I asked earlier this year for examples of natural languages 
with both a "trial" and "paucal" in the same language, (distinct from 
each other and from "dual" and "plural").  I think a few examples 
were given.

Tom H.C. in MI