On Sun, 25 May 2008 16:12:00 -0400, Ingmar Roerdinkholder
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>I found some examples at Wiki about Bahasa Indonesia
>Tiga ekor sapi  "three tail cow" = three cows
>Sepuluh orang tentara "ten people soldier" = ten soldiers
>Lima lembar / helai/ carik kertas "five sheet / piece paper"
>                                                                = five
sheets/pieces  of paper
>Sebalas buah apel "eleven fruit apple" = eleve apples
>So my memory about this from  when I tried to learn some Indonesian about
>25 years ago, was right  !-)

These are just common or garden noun classifiers, though.  I don't think
they're what Eric was after: _ekor_ 'tail' isn't being used as 'type of
animal', but just 'animal' to the extent it has a semantic contribution at

That said, adjective markers which agree with the humanity / animacy of the
noun they modify could probably arise from ordinary classifiers as well.