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From New Latin quadralis, from quadru- (four-) + -alis



quadral (countable and uncountable, plural quadrals)

  1. (grammar) A grammatical number referring to four (or more) things.
    • 2000, Greville G. Corbett, Number, page 30:
      These are the three best claims for quadrals. There are several false trails in the literature, that is, suggestions of other Austronesian languages with quadrals, which turn out in fact to have four number values not five.
    • 2008, Martin Haspelmath, Language typology and language universals: an international handbook, volume 1, page 819:
      There is a question as to whether there are also languages with quadrals (for reference to four entities). However, having raised the issue of paucals, we shall first continue the analysis of these, and only then return to the question []
    • 2008, Martin Haspelmath, “IX. Typology of morphological and morphosyntactic categories”, in Language typology and language universals: an international handbook, volume 1, page 820:
      The quadral, as we have noted, is primarily used in hortatory discourse and with dyad terms; but otherwise it is used with larger groups, of four or more (an appropriate gloss would be 'several').
    • 2009, Michael Cysouw, The Paradigmatic Structure of Person Marking, page 203:
      Another point is that, judging from the existing descriptions, true trials are extremely rare and true quadrals do not exist.
  2. (mathematics) A set of points with all the combinatorial properties of a quadric (a quadric being the set of points of PG(n, q) whose coordinates satisfy a quadratic equation).
    • 1952, American Mathematical Society, “Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society”, in Journal of the American Mathematical Society[1], page 184:
      "A polynomial P(x1, ..., xn is called quadral if it splits into a product of quadratic (or linear) functions in the complex field of coefficients."
    • 1984, E. C. Pielou, The interpretation of ecological data: a primer, page 20:
      If we wished to divide the quadrals into classes, there are obviously several ways in which it could be done, all of them arbitrary. The arbitrariness arises because the points exhibit no natural clustering.
  3. (rhetoric) A set of four phrases, separated by pauses when speaking or commas when writing.
    • 1925, John Hubert Scott, Rhythmic prose
      The first instinctive step in revising written matter looks to an effecting of quadrals; any later revision aims at a perfecting of the rhythma.
    • 1932, John Hubert Scott, Zilpha Emma Chandler, Phrasal patterns in English prose, page 268:
      thanks to the rhythma,
      in dividing correctly
      many simple quadrals,
      in more involved sentences
      our arrangement shows regularly
      these simple quadrals
      expanding into "periods,"
  4. A foursome.
    • 1998, Godfrey T Barrett-Lennard, Carl Rogers' Helping System: Journey & Substance, →ISBN, page 162:
      I like to call 4-person interactions and relational systems 'quadrals' (845—846). Their potentially visible occurrence in encounter type groups probably varies widely, and is not often discriminated unless in groups literally composed of couples.


quadral (not comparable)

  1. (grammar) Referring to four (or more) things; of, in or relating to the quadral grammatical number.
  2. (mathematics) Of or relating to quadral polynomials.

Usage notes[edit]

  • No instance of this grammatical phenomenon has been attested in human languages. See also Grammatical number.

See also[edit]