Browsing by Subject "Scottish Gaelic"

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  • McKenzie, Emma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This project is a corpus-based study on numeral + noun phrases in Scottish Gaelic. The typical pattern in Scottish Gaelic is to use a singular noun after numerals one and two and a plural noun after numerals three through ten. However, there are some nouns that do not follow this expected pattern. These exceptions are called numeratives and there are three different categories of numeratives in Scottish Gaelic: duals, numeratives identical in form to a singular, and numeratives with a form that differs from singular and plural and only used with numerals. This study aims to find which nouns have numerative forms and how their use varies diachronically and between dialects. While numeratives have been more researched in Welsh and Irish, there is not much research on numeratives in Scottish Gaelic. Ò Maolalaigh (2013) did a more restricted corpus study to find what nouns use singular after numerals three through ten. The past research provides a good comparison for my results and gives me a good foundation to expand on. From the past research, there seems to be a semantic relationship between the kinds of nouns that have numerative forms, so I sort my results into semantic categories as well. I also look at numeratives from the perspective of linguistic complexity since Scottish Gaelic is a minority language with a large proportion of L2 speakers. This project uses Corpas na Gàidhlig (the Corpus of Scottish Gaelic), which is part of the University of Glasgow’s Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic. I search the corpus for numerals two through four to see which nouns use numeratives and how consistently they use them. I also look at how frequently numeratives are used diachronically and how usage varies across dialects. I focus especially on nouns that have a high number of numerative tokens to see if there is a pattern in their usage. In my results, I found 47 nouns that use a dual form and 105 nouns that use a numerative identical in form to a singular. The overall findings for numerative use are that dual use is decreasing, while use of numeratives identical in form to singular has been increasing since 1900-1949. The semantic category with the most dual tokens is natural pairs. The nouns with numeratives identical in form to singular tend to be nouns frequently used with numerals, such as measurement words.