How to Express Many/Much (Quantity) in Eilauners?

Written by Dyami Millarson

Many languages, such as Dutch, English and German, primarily rely on adjectives (veel, many/much, viel) to express quantity. However, Eilauners relies primarily on nouns. The expressions of quantity in Eilauners, therefore, work similarly as “a lot of, a number of, an amount of, etc.” in English. The only difference is that no connecting preposition is necessarily used as in French or English – the phenomenon of the “partitive genitive” is non-obligatory in the expressions of quantity in Eilauners. The system that is used in Eilauners is complicated, because a wide variety of nouns is used to express different nuances of quantity that are lost in translation. The expressions of quantity themselves, that are used in Eilauners, are very imaginative and show a degree of creativity that is unheard of in English. The imaginative nuance is only understood by those intimately familiar with the language.

  • in seud minsken – much people
  • in berch minsken – much people
  • in bilte minsken – much people
  • in bult(e) minsken – much people
  • in haipe minsken – much people
  • in flúed minsken – much people
  • in knôre minsken – much people
  • in knorre minsken – much people
  • in oontal minsken – some/much people
  • in búel minsken – much people
  • in rit minsken – much people
  • in scheul minsken – much people
  • in bosk minsken – much people

The adjective “heel” (or sometimes “got”) may often be seen used in conjunction with these nouns as an intensifier:

  • in *helen (?) seud minskenmuch people
  • in *helen (?) berch minskenmuch people
  • in *helen (?) bilte minskenmuch people
  • in *helen (?) haipe minskenmuch people
  • in *helen (?) flúed minskenmuch people
  • in *helen (?) knôre minsken much people
  • in *helen (?) knorre minskenmuch people
  • in heel oontal minskenmuch people
  • in hele búel minskenmuch people
  • in heel rit minskenmuch people
  • in heel scheul minskenmuch people
  • in heel bosk minskenmuch people

(Note: In helen búel (masculine noun), in helen rit (masc.) and in helen scheul (masc.) would be expected following regular declension rules, but it is really in hele búel, in heel rit and in heel scheul. These may be isolated exceptions, but I have yet to investigate whether in hele seud, in hele berch, etc. or in heel seud, in heel berch, etc. may also be said instead of in helen seud, in helen berch, etc. which I adopted here following regular declension rules. In that case it might be concluded that heel has an irregular declension because it does not follow regular declension rules (in certain combinations?). One intriguing observation is that ‘n heele boeₑl is also said in the language of Hindeloopen (related to Eilauners) while also in that language ‘n heelen boeₑl is expected following regular declension rules. More research is currently needed to establish the indefinite declension of heel (used in combination with quantity nouns) both in the language of Schiermonnikoog and that of Hindeloopen.)

Some of the nouns may also be used in the plural to intensify the notion of quanity:

  • bergen minskenmuch people
  • bilten minskenmuch people
  • bulten minskenmuch people
  • haipen minsken much people
  • ritten minskenmuch people
  • scheulen minskenmuch people
  • bosken minskenmuch people

Apart from these complicated expressions that are so typical in this language, Eilauners may also employ expressions that is based on an adjective (fole) similar to English much/many:

  • Fole minsken – much people
  • Fole end genooch minsken – much people

Yet another possibility is to use “heel wat” as in Dutch to express quantity in Eilauners:

  • Wat minsken – some people
  • Heel wat minsken – much people

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