Classifiers

C̄hạn sụ̄̂x s̄xng m̂ā
C̄hạn sụ̄̂x m̂ā s̄ām tạw
C̄hạn sụ̄̂x s̄ī̀ m̂ā
C̄hạn sụ̄̂x m̂ā s̄ib

Japanese, Korean and Chinese tend not to have separate plural forms for nouns, but use classifiers instead, like “rasher” in “five rashers of bacon”, or “head” in “ten head of cattle”. Surely Thai must do the same? In the list above, I went to Bangkok with my headmaster and I bought… two horses, three horses, four horses, five horses.  Let’s buy some bananas:

C̄hạn sụ̄̂x kl̂wy
C̄hạn sụ̄̂x s̄ām kl̂wy
C̄hạn sụ̄̂x s̄ī̀ kl̂wy
C̄hạn sụ̄̂x h̄̂ā kl̂wy

That’s one banana, three bananas, four bananas, five bananas. No sign of either a plural form or a classifier there. It might be that Thai is very simple. It’s a bit alarming that the word order is very close to English, at least where bananas are concerned. But it might be a shortcoming of the alignment. I wonder what the source corpora were?

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