Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Always plural?[edit]

Is this word always plural, not singular? 04:53, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

It can refer to a single animal, but usually it is used collectively. —Stephen (Talk) 10:08, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Added to "Usage notes." 16:44, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

It is not necessary to add plural/singular info to Navajo nouns, virtually every noun can be plural or singular. In a few cases where there is a -da- or -daa- infix, it is plural only, but these are rare, and almost all nouns can be any number. Adding singular/plural usage is like putting a usage note in each English noun that sometimes it may be construed with "the", "a", or "an". The reason that this noun is usually plural has to do with the meaning, not with the word or with the language. Everywhere it is usual to speak of animals, beasts, and livestock in the plural or the collective sense. It is rare to see the need to speak of one head of livestock or one beast. The only reason we use the singular of animal as much as we do in English is because we have a special word for the singular and we like to use it for crude humans. —Stephen (Talk) 16:58, 15 November 2010 (UTC)