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116. Dual number.

The dual number carries with it the notion of a pair, natural or artificial, and emphasizes the notion “both” rather than the notion “two.” It goes back to the beginnings of Greek speech, but is not found to any great extent except in the language of the epos and in It is a stranger to Asiatic Aeolic, is absent from Herodotus, and even in Attic dies out towards the end of the fourth century, by which time it had become more or less literary and studied, as is shown by Plato 's usage. The dual declines from Aristotle to Diodorus, and rises again after Christ, but it is limited to a few familiar nouns, and of dual verbs there is but a trace. See A. J. P. xiv (1893), 521.

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