Hi, John!

Yes, terms for humans are also of interest - why not?
Unless you think of humans as inherently "not animals" ...
In English, I can only think of the following terms,
grouped by kind:

- crowd, mob
- couple, pair, item
- family, extended family, kin
- parents, grandparents, (great-)[*]grandparents
- sibs, siblings
- (great-)[*]uncles, (great-)[*]aunts
- {,first-,second-,third-, ...}cousins[{once, twice, thrice} removed]
- band, team, group, class, union
- assembly, council, parliament, committee
- race, nation, tribe, citizens, denizens, netizens, community, inhabitants
- duo or duet, trio, quartet, quintet, sestet or sextet, septet, octet ...
orchestra [of musicians]

and metaphorically, assemblies named for a place:
village, town, city, hamlet

Then there's collections of things:

- a set of crockery, cutlery, bed-linen, collectibles, dentures, wheels ...
- a pair of gloves, shoes, braces, shoe-laces ...
- a train of wagons, carriages or other rolling-stock
- a jarful, cupful, bucketful, spoonful, <container-name>ful of (whatever
- an armload, a (one-person) load of (whatever fits, eg firewood etc); a
barrowload, truckload, wagonload, donkeyload, carload, shipload
<conveyance-name>load of (whatever fits)
- a trio [of crockery, comprising cup, saucer and side-plate]

- a sewing-kit or -set [an assemblage of things used for sewing],
- a drawing-kit or -set [an assemblage of things used for drawing],
- a shoe-polishing kit or -set [an assemblage of things used for
shoe-polishing] ...
- a <gerund> kit or -set [an assemblage of things used for <gerund>]


-----Original Message-----
From: John Vertical
Sent: Sunday 2 April 2006 4:11 am
To: yahya
Subject: RE: A ravening of ravens

>How many different collective nouns do you know?

>Are natural languages similar in the way they do or don't
>assign collective nouns?  For example, what animals or
>things does Swedish have a collective noun for, and what
>are they?

Here're the Finnish collective nouns I can think of:
_parvi_ (birds, fishes; small or non-terrestrial animals in general)
_lauma_ (mammals; large or terrestrial animals in general)
_pesue_ / _pentue_ (a family, especially mammals - can be a few generations'
_katras_ (sheep and goats, primarily)
_tokka_ (reindeer; more specialized terms exist too, but they're not
commonly known)
_liuta_ (used to mean bovines, but has been neutralized to mean a large
group of just about anything)

Plus lots of terms for groups of humans, but I don't think those are of
interest here...

John Vertical

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