Definitions starting with P

ID #3196

piece (2)

n. 1. [Car.; from piece as a quantifier with mass nouns, e.g. a piece of bread (furniture, advice, etc.), possibly converging with uses in other languages: "(Chinese) Pidgin English does reflect ...Chinese features: one obvious example is the use of a classifier with the numerals, wan-pisi, tu-pisi, etc." (Whinnom 1965:519). Mass nouns and count nouns do not always correspond in Eng. and Cr. Eng. (cf. Holm 1978:134), whence non-Eng. uses of the quantifier; cf. MCC piece o' gun or Krio fo gren nef four knives KED; cf. also US slang piece gum DAS and Haitian pyés kannon cannon HCEFD]

quantifier. (for counting units of certain nouns): 1782 54 pieces of cannon (Bruce 50). 1918 He get a piece of knife (Parsons 93); piece ah fire (ibid 27); a piece of dance (ibid 97). 1940 Peepul runnin' out from behine erry piece o' bush (Dupuch 33). He break out in one piece of crying (Nassau). A piece of gun (Nassau). cf. GRAIN (Black)

2. [also dial. in Brit. OED, US ADD] a bit; a short time: She could help me a li'l piece (Eleu.).

Tags: noun, quantifier, time

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Last update: 2010-11-18 02:11
Author: Holm and Shilling, DBE, 1982
Revision: 1.0

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