Plural form of Fon language

Asked by Hodonou SOUNTON on 2021-04-18

For 0, theɛ use: <the object> vɔ.

For 1, the Fon Speaken Poeple use: <the object> ɖókpò.

From 2 and more they use: <the object> + lɛɛ

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Colin Watson
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Colin Watson (cjwatson) said : #1

Thanks for getting in touch! I need to turn this into a gettext Plural-Forms expression (https://www.gnu.org/software/gettext/manual/html_node/Plural-forms.html), so I have two questions before I can configure this properly in Launchpad:

 * Is there an established convention for the order of the plural forms among Fon translators? I believe the singular form needs to come first, but would it be better to set `nplurals=3; plural=n==1 ? 0 : n == 0 ? 1 : 2` (so 1, 0, 2-or-more) or `nplurals=3; plural=n==1 ? 0 : n != 0 ? 1 : 2` (so 1, 2-or-more, 0)? It would be better to settle on this from the start rather than having to change later.

 * While trying to see if there was some established convention for this, I found https://make.wordpress.org/polyglots/2019/05/13/locale-fon/, which states that Fon only has two plural forms, omitting the special case for zero. Is this a matter on which there's some disagreement among translators?

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) said : #2

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Hodonou SOUNTON (sounton) said : #3

Hi.
I apologize for the delay observed in my response. I received the notification of your question as spam.

The plural form of things is very simple in Fon. Indeed, for 0 we say "object + vɔ̀", for 1 "object + ɖokpǒ" and finally for 2-and-more, we use "object + lɛɛ".

Example:
           "Zero man" should be translate as "gbɛtɔ́ vɔ̀".
           "One man" should be translate as "gbɛtɔ́ ɖokpǒ"
          "more than one men" should be translate as "gbɛtɔ́ lɛɛ"

This rule is the same for all Fon nouns.

Colin Watson (cjwatson) said : #4

Thanks for clarifying the question about the number of plural forms. Do you have an opinion on the first (more technical) question I asked, or should I just pick something that seems reasonable to me based on what other languages do? Repeating the question here for convenience.

 * Is there an established convention for the order of the plural forms among Fon translators? I believe the singular form needs to come first, but would it be better to set `nplurals=3; plural=n==1 ? 0 : n == 0 ? 1 : 2` (so 1, 0, 2-or-more) or `nplurals=3; plural=n==1 ? 0 : n != 0 ? 1 : 2` (so 1, 2-or-more, 0)? It would be better to settle on this from the start rather than having to change later.

Hodonou SOUNTON (sounton) said : #5

In Fon the established covention for the order of plural forms is : 0, 1, 2-or-more.

Best Colin Watson (cjwatson) said : #6

Ah, it seems that there are other existing languages where 0 comes first - fair enough. I've set that up for you now:

  https://translations.launchpad.net/+languages/fon

Hodonou SOUNTON (sounton) said : #7

Merci.