ASILE George Quinn Plural Ppoint

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ASILE 2009 Does Indonesia have a Plural? by George Quinn

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ASILE George Quinn Plural Ppoint

  1. 1. Does Indonesian Have a Plural? George Quinn Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Asian Studies, ANU
  2. 2. What is “number”? <ul><li>Number is that feature in the grammar of a language that enables us to distinguish quantities, usually countable quantities. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>singular, dual, trial, plural, paucal etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>English has only singular and plural </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In English this seems to be a “mathematical” distinction between one and more-than-one </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Forming plural nouns in English <ul><li>Add a sibilant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>book / books, bed / beds, house / houses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Internal vowel change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>man / men, mouse / mice, foot / feet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Words of foreign origin </li></ul><ul><ul><li>phenomenon / phenomena, crisis / crises </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Irregular forms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>child / children, ox / oxen, deer / deer, she / they </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Translate into English, please… lukisan besar Saya suka itu semua ^
  5. 5. How is plural expressed in Indonesian? <ul><li>Basically Indonesian nouns are not morphologically marked for singular or plural </li></ul><ul><ul><li>So they are like the English nouns sheep, deer, craft, fish and a few others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>By my count there are probably around a dozen different ways of expressing more-than-one in Indonesian </li></ul>
  6. 6. 1. Plural determiners, e.g. … <ul><li>Cardinal numbers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>tiga orang, sepuluh rumah, 30 kali </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Banyak, semua, bermacam-macam etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>banyak mobil </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>semua orang </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>bermacam-macam alasan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>beberapa komputer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>aneka bentuk </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. 2. Pre-noun plural marker para <ul><li>For humans only, marking a noun as plural and referring to a particular group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>para mahasiswa, para karyawan, para korban </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Para is analogous to plural markers in other Austronesian languages e.g. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tagalog: mga as in mga bahay (houses) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tetun: sira as in uma sira (houses) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. 3. Pre-verb plural marker pada <ul><li>In informal and slangy usage the word pada in front of a verb indicates that the subject of the verb is plural </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pada makan yuk! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anak pada main di mana? </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. 4. The absence of a singular marker <ul><li>If a noun lacks a clear marker of singularity, it may well be plural, e.g. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Saya pergi ke Bali untuk membeli lukisan. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Here lukisan is probably plural because it contrasts with </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Saya pergi ke Bali untuk membeli sebuah lukisan. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Saya pergi ke Bali untuk membeli lukisan itu. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. 5. Plurals in preceding sentences <ul><li>A noun may be perceived as plural if it refers back to a noun with plural referents in a preceding sentence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dia membeli tiga mobil. Mobil itu diperbaiki sebelum dijual. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pak Adi membangun sejumlah rumah. Sesudah selesai dibangun, lalu dijual. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. 6. Reciprocal verbs <ul><li>A verb with reciprocal meaning will have a subject that is plural </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rumah yang berhadap-hadapan itu… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pendapat yang berlain-lainan itu… </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. 7. Verbs with an –i suffix <ul><li>A transitive verb with an –i suffix can sometimes indicate that its object is plural </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dia duduk mengupasi kentang. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. 8. Reduplicated adjective <ul><li>If a noun has a reduplicated adjective adjunct, the noun may be plural </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Besar-besar ikan itu! </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. 9. Semantic consistency <ul><li>Logic and semantic consistency often dictate that we understand a certain noun as having plural referents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Orang Australia suka minum bir. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. 10. Social context <ul><li>The social context in which a conversation takes place can tell us whether a certain noun used in that conversation has singular or plural referents. </li></ul><ul><ul><li> (Looking at a rack of dresses) Baju ini terlalu mahal = These dresses are too expensive. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. 11. Pronouns that are always plural <ul><li>A number of pronouns are always plural i.e. they can never be singular. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>kalian, mereka, kita </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But not kami which, in certain contexts, can be singular. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. 12. Reduplication <ul><li>Full reduplication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>saudara-saudara, rumah-rumah, anak-anak </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Partial or variant reduplication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>gerak-gerik, coreng-moreng </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. The enigma of reduplication <ul><li>It is sometimes said that reduplication expresses plurality or multiplicity or “more-than-one”. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But is this true? </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Some “non-plural” instances of reduplication <ul><li>Consider these instances of reduplication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>kuda-kuda, langit-langit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>orang-orangan, mobil-mobilan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>seorang tante-tante, seorang ibu-ibu </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>kehijau-hijauan, kekanak-kanakan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sesuatu, seseorang </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>berjalan-jalan, bermain-main </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. What is the meaning of reduplication? <ul><li>Reduplication indicates fuzziness, lack of precision, variety, uncertain or problematic perception of something </li></ul><ul><li>Un-reduplicated forms suggest precision, uniformity, clarity, unambiguous perception of something </li></ul>
  21. 21. What does this mean for the idea of plurality in Indonesian? <ul><li>It may be that plurality in Indonesian is not “mathematical” (i.e. more-than-one) but rather a question of clarity of perception </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Singular = clear, sharp, precise. Expressed in unreduplicated forms. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plural = fuzzy, imprecise, variegated. Expressed in reduplicated forms. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. But… Indonesian is capable of being precise when talking about plural things <ul><li>So… it is possible that expressing number in Indonesian is both </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“mathematical” (one / more-than-one) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and “perceptual” (precise / fuzzy) </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Schematically, number may look like this… anak-anak buah-buahan langit-langit seorang tante-tante Fuzzy, variegated (reduplicated) tiga gelas banyak gelas satu gelas sebuah gelas Sharp, precise (unreduplicated) Plural (more-than-one) Singular (one)
  24. 24. Is reduplication becoming more frequent? <ul><li>In short… yes, it is. There is some evidence to suggest that reduplication is becoming more frequent, but it is not clear why. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But it is not a new development. It seems to have been happening at least since the nineteenth century. </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. “ People” ( orang ) in Hikayat Raja Pasai (c.1390) <ul><li>Maka Sultan Malikul Mansur pun menyuruhkan orang berlengkap akan mengiringkan Sultan itu. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sultan Malikul Mansur commanded the people to arm themselves in order to accompany the Sultan. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. “ People” ( orang ) in Hikayat Raja Pasai (c.1390) <ul><li>“… dalam negeri ini badak makan anaknya.” Maka kata orang dalam jong itu, “Tiada kami tahu apa ertinya katamu itu.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“… in this town, rhinoceroses eat their young.” And the people in the junk said, “We don’t know what your words mean.” </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. “ People” ( orang ) in Hikayat Raja Pasai (c.1390) <ul><li>Maka orang yang melihati itu pun segeralah ia kembali bepersembahkan segala kata menteri itu kepada Sultan Perlak. Maka titah Sultan Perlak, &quot;Pergilah kamu sambut menteri itu.&quot; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The people who saw this, immediately they went back and reported all the minister’s words to the Sultan of Perlak. And the Sultan said: “[All of] you go and greet the minister.” </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Occurrences of orang compared with orang-orang , over time <ul><li>Hikayat Raja Pasai (c.1390) </li></ul><ul><ul><li> orang = 219, orang-orang = 0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hikayat Hang Tuah (c.1700) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>  orang = 1711, orang-orang = 1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hikayat Abdullah (1842 revised 1849) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>  orang = 1172, orang-orang = 540 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extracts from Warta Melaya (1935-1941) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>  orang = 152, orang-orang = 327 </li></ul></ul>

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