2. On the nature of the approximative expression NUM-<i>odd</i>

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In this paper, the morphology, syntax, semantics, and diachrony of expressions like<i>twenty-odd </i>are described, based on the results of a corpus study which considers data from the British National Corpus, the Oxford English Dictionary, and Google. The -<i>odd </i>suffix appears most frequently with <i>twenty</i>, and in collocations with temporal nominals such as years, days, etc. Distributionally it appears to be a derivational suffix on numerals, occurring inside additional suffixation such as ordinal -<i>th</i>. It originated from the use of <i>odd </i>to denote a surplus or remainder, which usage has existed for several hundred years. It is distinct from other English approximatives, and approximatives in other languages, in that -<i>odd </i>expresses an indeterminate range above the cardinality of the modified numeral, but not below it, while other approximative expressions (like <i>about</i>) include the possibility that the actual number might be either above or below the reference number.


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