22 Occurrence of nominal plural markers

This feature is described more fully in chapter 22.


Here we look at the variable occurrence of nominal plural forms (as in WALS feature 34, by Martin Haspelmath). Some languages plurals entirely, but those languages that have plural forms often use them optionally, or under certain conditions (such as animacy and definiteness). Especially human nouns tend to show plural marking when plural marking is not invariant in the language. Languages with the second value have optional plural marking but restrict it to human nouns. Languages with the third value have optional plural marking of all nouns. Finally, some languages are like the European lexifiers in requiring invariant plural marking.


Martin Haspelmath and the APiCS Consortium


No plural marking5
Variable plural marking of human nouns4
Variable plural marking of human or inanimate nouns51
Invariant plural marking16

Language Value Lexifier Details Source
Id Primary text Analyzed text Gloss Translation Type Language Audio Details