Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Detail #284: A 'Count' Case

Imagine a case that is associated in some way with counting. So, in its normal form, it appears on nouns after non-singular quantifiers. However, it can also turn other things into quantifiers?
how X-count did you see?how many X did you see?
I saw five-acc men-count.
This is not per se particularly interesting. So let's try and add some stuff to it!

Some nouns lack this form, and force the number to carry the count-case, whereas the main case appears on the noun itself:
five-count father-gen
Maybe, just maybe, the count case replaces both nominative and accusative on both noun and number: five-count men-count, but five-dative men-count.

Without a quantifier, the count case indicates that some implicit or previously stated quantifier is relevant in some way - e.g. coordinated nouns over a numeral;
we have five-acc wrenches-count, dollars-count and three-acc hours-count to solve this problemwe have five wrenches, five dollars and three hours to solve this problem

The count marker also appears on the number when it's an ordinal, and on infinitive verbs when they express the number of times something has occurred.

Other uses include subjects of predicates that express quantities ('we were only five at work today'); if the numeral expresses some other fact about the subject, other cases may be used, and the number may take the count case ('he-gen is ninety three now').

I had some more ideas for this while bicycling home, but it seems they are entirely lost now :(

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