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IGBO AND ENGLISH ARTICLES

Igbo/English: CONTRASTIVE LINGUISTICS (II)
-Martha Iloh E.
QUANTIFIERS IN ENGLISH AND IGBO LANGUAGES
Quantifiers in English
As discussed previously, quantifiers are words, phrases which are used before nouns to indicate amount or quantity.
Quantifier is a type of determiner (such as all, some, much, etc. that expresses a quantity.
Examples of quantifiers in English language are; all, some, few/a few/ little, much, more, plenty of, enough of, etc

Functions of quantifiers
1. It functions as a modifier of nouns and pronouns.
2.1. Nouns:
A noun is a part of speech typically denoting a person, place, thing, animal, or idea.
In linguistics, a noun is a member of a large, open lexical category whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition.[1]
Lexical categories are defined in terms of the ways in which their members combine with other kinds of expressions. The syntactic rules for nouns differ from language to language. In English, nouns are those words which can occur with articles and attributive adjectives and can function as the head of a noun phrase.
2.1.1 Categorisation of nouns.
For the purpose of this study our scope will be on count and non count nouns in English.
Count nouns: these are nouns that can be counted. They have a singular and plural forms. In plural, these nouns can be with a number. They are called count nouns or countable nouns because they can be counted. Common nouns fall into this category. Examples are shown below:

Singular Plural Singular Plural
Baby Babies Ox Oxen
Girl Girls Woman Women
Pen Pens Man Men
Goat Goats Box Boxes

Sentence examples:
I have five books
I gave him my pens
He bought six goats
Non count nouns: these are nouns that cannot be used with numbers –they can’t be counted. They can only be used in singular.
In this category falls abstract nouns, collective nouns, compound nouns and some common nouns.
Examples; money, milk, water, sand, salt, oil, etc.
I have some money
Give me a pinch of salt
I need a glass of water
2.1.2 Quantifiers that go with count nouns are: ‘many’, ‘a few/few’, ‘a number of’, ‘several’, a large number of, a great number of, numerals (both cardinals and ordinals), a majority of, etc . Examples:
1. A number of girls
1 pens
2 there are two of them in the house.
3 Several students
4 A number of people
2.1.3 Quantifiers that take non-count nouns are:
Much, a loaf of, a bit of, a large amount of, a large quantity of, measurements e.g., a glass of, a bottle of, a cup of, a kilo of
I need a loaf of bread
He bought two kilos of turkey
A large quantity of sand
Give me a spoon of salt

2.1.4 Adjectives as quantifiers
A cackle of..., a dazzle of..., a crash of..., more, most, etc.
I saw a cackle of hyenas
He watched a crash of rhinos
Have you seen a dazzle of zebras?

2.1.5 Quantifiers that go with count or non count nouns
Some examples are all, enough, more, more/most, less/least, none, not any, some, any, a lot of, lots of, plenty of, etc.
2.1.6 Quantifiers that go with collective nouns
In linguistics, a collective noun is the name of a number (or collection) of people or things taken together and spoken of as one whole. For example, in the phrase "a pride of lions", pride is a collective noun.
Most collective nouns encountered in everyday speech, such as "group", are mundane and are not specific to one kind of constituent object. For example, the terms "group of people", "group of dogs", and "group of ideas" are all correct uses. Others, especially words belonging to the large subset of collective nouns known as terms of venery (words for groups of animals), are specific to one kind of constituent object. For example, "pride" as a term of venery refers to lions, but not to dogs or cows.

2.1.7 Pluralisation of nouns in English language
Looking at the or examples above, the issue of pluralisation in English language arises. Pluralisation (ways of marking plurals) in English does not take a regular pattern. There are regular and irregular forms. Some of these forms are ‘-s’, ‘-es’, ‘-ies’ ‘-en’, use of zero morphs.

Examples
Non count nous Pluralisation Collective nouns pluralisation
Loaf of bread Loaves of bread Crowd of people Crowds of people
Glass of water Glasses of water Congregation of members Congregation of members
Bottle of beer Bottles of beer Group of idea Group of ideas

Issues arising:
In non count nouns, there is no inflection rather lexemes or words are used.
The plural marker is marked on these lexemes and not on the head word
In pluralisation of collective nouns, a lexeme also is used and plural markers are attached on the attached lexemes and not on the head word and in some cases the reverse would be the case.
Plural markers can also be placed on both the attached lexemes and the head words.
Compound nouns Pluralisation
1. Mother –in-law mothers-in-law
2. Daughter-in-law daughters-in-law
3. Girl friend girl friends
4. Lady on suite ladies on suite
5. Man on suite men on suite

Issues Arising
From the example above, one can say that there are irregularities in English formation of plurals on compound nouns. 2.1.6 quantifiers that go with collective nouns

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