I have posted the following question here; it took me a lot of time to isolate the problem, to format the question, to edit it and to discuss with commenters about it. I tried to understand why it was closed but no one responded.
Here is a copy of the invested question in case it gets automatically deleted so people could most likely respond in the future:
When people use the phrase
one or moreit can make a problem in a wider sentence;
For example, please consider:
I have one or more X
I grasp this as problematic because; as X is singular, either one has
two or more Xs
I have one or more Xs
I grasp this as problematic because if these are Xs (plural), it's not an X (singular).
A direct yet perhaps tiresome solution would be to instead say (which also solves a
["is it really true?" problem]):
I might have one X or two or more Xs (in my house)
Sadly (?) I never came across someone saying that.
This problem is not unique to English
This problem is not unique to English; for example, in modern Hebrew:
יש לי אחד או יותר חתול (Have
me-indicationone or more cat)
יש לי אחד או יותר חתולים (Have
me-indicationone or more cats)
I believe no one will use the first (singular) example, but people might use the second one, likely as a joke, because someone is expected to know how much cats (חתולים) that someone has in its courtyard.
Possible solutions for the "one or more" problem
1. Purposely avoiding
one or morepattern
2. Not using singular phrases at all in general:
The Thai language for example, doesn't include
singularnouns in general or by default unless a noun was explicitly described as singular, so in general every noun would be considered or alleged plural.
If you come to Thailands ; we have to take times to get the document - in one days, we had the case of extending visa over the above of five hundreds case ; in my divisions, we had a people, the immigration staff for working there, about ten peoples ; that the reasons
(one reason); the questions, are the sames - I think, the next question and the next question and the next question, they got answers in the sames way.
This is but one example of hundreds I came across in about one year in Thailand; a Thai person can speak near fluent English and "mistake" only in this point several times; I would die with the opinion that this is caused by a cognitive bias from the
plural default patternof Thai for nouns, and nothing else.
- This problem doesn't exist with
two or moreand so forth because any example would be generally plural
I grasp none of the "possible solutions" above as good to deal with the
one or more problem(or "dilemma").
Is there a "one or more" problem in linguistics and if so how was it solved or how might it be solved?
My question here
Is "one or more" numerical problem that exists at least in two languages really "language-specific"?