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Any languages with exclusively post-nominal quantifiers?

asked 2019-11-23 02:36:37 -0500

Hey there, fellow linguists and language lovers!

You know how many languages can have quantifiers in both the pre- and post-nominal domains, for example:


  • "All the dogs were eating pizza."
  • "The dogs were all eating pizza."


  • "Vse sobaki eli pitsu."
  • "Sobaki vse eli pitsu."

while some languages have exclusively pre-nominal quantifiers:


  • "Mina inu-wa piza-o tabemashita."
  • (bad)"Inu-wa mina piza-o tabemashita."


  • "Suoyou gou chile bisa."
  • (bad)"Gou suoyou chile bisa."

well, does anyone know of a language with exclusively post-nominal quantifiers? The only example I could find thus far is Old Kingdom Egyptian, but I'd really like to find a living language that does this.

Also, when it comes to co-referential, you have stuff like:

  • "All the people were eating pizza."
  • "Everyone was eating pizza."
  • (bad)"Was eating everyone pizza."
  • "Was everyone eating pizza?"


  • "Al die mense eet pizza."
  • "Almal eet pizza."
  • "Eet almal pizza?"

The last examples are questions, but does anyone know of a language where the co-referential quantifier ("everyone"/"almal") can appear to the right of the verb while maintaining the statement function of the sentence?

I'd really appreciate some help! Thanks, everyone!

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answered 2020-01-27 06:35:55 -0500

Languages with strict noun initiality in the noun phrase will always have quantifiers following the noun (e.g., a lot of Nilo-Saharan languages). For example, in Kalenjin languages (Southern Nilotic; Kenya), no element may ever precede the noun (within the noun phrase), which means that the quantifier is always post-nominal, as in (1). However, this is a bit different from the "post-nominal" examples you gave, which involve floating quantifiers, rather than real noun phrase-internal post-nominal quantifiers of the Kalenjin type.

(1) a. làagóok túgùl (children all) vs. b. *túgúl làagóok (all children) Kipsigis (Kalenjin)

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Asked: 2019-11-23 02:36:37 -0500

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Last updated: Nov 23 '19