zum Inhalt springen

Usually, when plurality is expressed in a language, something is added to the noun or the noun is changed internally (see the World Atlas of Language Structures for the possibilities).

This makes sense even intuitively: If something is there MORE OFTEN in the world, you would expect that you also need MORE LANGUAGE to talk about this thing. In English, e.g., you have ONE thing, but MANY thing-s.

However, some languages are different, and Qaqet is one of them. So let’s take a closer look: How do you talk about more than one thing in Qaqet?
 
The following examples contain some nouns (the Qaqet words for 'basket', 'baskets', 'fruit', 'fruits') – Can you find out from the examples how Qaqet forms its singular and plural nouns?

 Example 1)

baskets

ke= mnyimmaqatne= ama= gata
he= looksaroundamong= the= basket
he looks around among the baskets.

 

 Example 2)

fruit

kuaka= ratama= gam -ga
QUESTIONhe= takesthe= fruit -singular.masculine
should he take one fruit…

 

 Example 3)

basket

de= kuaka= ratama= gata -qise= nas
and= QUESTIONhe= takesthe= basket -singular.femininewith= self
…or should he take the whole basket?

 

 Example 4)

fruits

 

 

 

de= ka= ratama= gamama= depguasne= nget
and= he= takesthe= fruitthe= threefrom= them
and he takes fruits, three of them

 

Conclusion

… so it seems, instead of adding MORE words when there are MORE fruits or baskets, Qaqet is doing the exact opposite. This is a very rare feature in the languages of the world and makes Qaqet very special.