Composed of a noun X and a grammatical morpheme or word, associative plural constructions carry the meaning ‘X and other entities associated with X.’ The noun X, which is marked by a form of the plural, is usually a pragmatically dominant element of the group, or its focal reference. In most cases, this noun is a specific person or kinship term, and both it and its associated entities belong to the same cognitive group. The associative plural can be identified by two semantic criteria: (1) referential heterogeneity, (2) a group of closely related individuals.
Languages may be grouped into the following possible types (with noun referring to the noun that represents the focal reference):
NoPlAsc: The language does not have a grammatically identifiable strategy to express the associative plural.
SpAffPlAsc: A special affix on the noun is used to mark the associative plural.
SpArtPlAsc: A special article is used with the noun to mark the associative plural.
SpClitPlAsc: A special clitic is used with the noun to mark the associative plural.
Aff1PlAsc: The primary plural marker (which is simultaneously the additive plural marker) is used on the noun to mark the associative plural.
Aff2PlAsc: The secondary plural marker (simultaneously the additive plural marker) is used on the noun to mark the associative plural.
PxPlAsc: The presence of both a possessive marker and a plural marker, or simply a plural possessive marker, is used with the noun to mark the associative plural.
PPPlAsc: A plural personal pronoun is used with the noun to mark the associative plural.
ConPlAsc: A conjunction is used with the noun to mark the associative plural.
PlVPlAss: A plural verb form is used with the noun to mark the associative plural.
 Various names for this construction can be found in the literature. The use of the term plural here refers to any non-singular, including the dual and potentially other intermediate numbers.
 The focal reference may be any of the following semantic categories, in order of frequency: proper name of a person > human kinship term > other human common noun > animal > object. The associated entities may be of the following types: a) family of X, b) friends or companions of X, c) occasional group to which X belongs. The majority of languages with the associative plural allow all three types, although some are limited to the first. This should be explained in the commentary.
 Compare to the additive plural and the similative plural. The additive plural involves a homogenous group, or a group all of whose members can be defined the same way (e.g., boys). The similative plural denotes a class including the reference and entities with similar features.
 Compare to collective plurals that mark homogenous groups, such as the Russian drova ‘firewood’.
 “Special” refers to an item uniquely designated for this purpose.
 This is the standard marker used to pluralize nouns.
 Unlike the affix used in languages of the SpAffPlAss type, this morpheme serves to mark the plural, despite not being the primary plural marker in the language.