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Marcos Franco <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> I'd like to know whether some one of you has dealt with a conlang
> where three endings for nouns were used:
> 1 - one for the numberless noun
> 2 - one for the singular noun
> 3 - one for the plural noun
>
> My idea is for a system where you normally use either 2. or 3., and
> use 1. just for when you don't know whether it's plural or singular
> (like in "do you have children?") or for generalizations ("roses are
> beautiful / a rose is beautiful"), or for when you don't want to make
> it explicit (there is a way to achieve it / there are ways to achive
> it).

Well, many natlangs use numberless nouns (AFAIK Japanese,
Chinese, and I think most Asian languages). If they have
to specify a quantity they say "one" or "many" or whatever;
if not, they leave the noun alone.

In my conlang Ciravesu, the nouns are numberless, and you
can use them alone, leaving number unspecified, or follow
them with "articles" which indicate number and definiteness.
These articles are actually the remnants of nouns.
In Ciravesu, "A B" means "A's B" or "B of A" or simply
"A B" as in English "credit card". So if you say

        wanco ti
        king  DEF.SING

you have _ti_ 'the' coming from an old word meaning 'individual,
person, definite entity', and the whole means 'the person of the
king' (i. e. 'the king'). Similarly,

        wanco tan
        king  DEF.PLUR

uses _tan_ (orig. 'group') and it means 'the group of king(s)'
(i. e. 'the kings').

In everyday speech, the Ciravesu speakers use the articles
when strictly necessary, and only once at most. The rest of
the time they don't inflect the noun. It's a relief for me
too!


--Pablo Flores