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On Fri, 23 Jun 2006 4:41 pm, Larry Sulky wrote:
>
> So (I aver) you and Todd (and most folks?) have the concept of: (a)
> singular; (b) expected plural -- the reasonable amount that you and
> most people would expect based on context; and (c) unexpected plural
> -- where you would feel compelled to further enumerate (even if
> grammatically you also had to apply the plural form to the noun), and
> failure to further enumerate would be considered by you to be
> misleading or inaccurate.

That's very well stated.

This is a very good exercise in pragmatics.  In Wittgensteinian terms, 
to understand the meaning of the simple plural, look at when it is and 
isn't used.  Even though the plural "strictly" (i.e., in a dictionary 
sense) denotes a number greater than one, when we use it without further 
quantifiers, there is an expected magnitude, a normal range.

If we use a simple plural in a context where there is no normal range, 
we can expect to be asked for more information.

> Am I at least getting close to where our disconnect is, do you think?

I think you nailed it.

I do think that there is justification for designing an auxlang to 
require its speakers to be a bit more explicit than what natlangs can 
get away with, because it must function across different contextual 
expectations.

Todd Moody