Talk:hashkʼaan

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Also "bananas"?[edit]

Can this word also mean "bananas" (plural)? 71.66.97.228 20:37, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes. Virtually all Navajo nouns refer to any number, singular or plural. Only a few nouns with da- are duo-plural only. Otherwise, nouns refer to the thing and number is not specified. The verb is used to show number. —Stephen (Talk) 17:08, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

I think we should list in the definition lines like this for most entries, then:

(singular or plural) banana

71.66.97.228 18:48, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

No dictionary does that. Many languages do not classify nouns for number, including Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Khmer, Burmese, Vietnamese, and many, many others. No dictionary for those languages writes "singular or plural" in front of every noun. Japanese dictionaries, for example, are like バナナ. It’s actually confusing to write "singular or plural" in front of every noun, because the Navajo nouns are neither singular nor plural, they do not address number. It is only the English equivalents that are singular or plural. Even grammar books do not do that...grammar books put an explanation that nouns are not inflected for number or gender and a student is expected to learn that and realize it every time he looks at a noun. Even children’s books do not do write "singular or plural" in front of every noun. Languages that have distinct plural forms show those forms in dictionaries. Languages that do not, do not repeat it at every entry. —Stephen (Talk) 07:47, 11 December 2010 (UTC)