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I was just thinking about how the term 子どもたち seems redundant since ども and たち are both plural markers. Of course you can use just 子 to refer to a child, but how did 子供 (and thus 子供たち) come to be the norm? Is the ども in 子供 unrelated etymologically?

I looked here for an answer which is what led to this confusion. I know that the kanji 供 doesn't refer to number, but this is written:

「こども」ということばは「こ」+「ども」という組み合わせでできている。 「ども」は複数を表す接尾辞で「子ら」の「ら」や「子たち」の「たち」と同じ意味である。

Is this accurate?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

From 日本国語大辞典 (小学館, 2版)




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I guess that's more or less the predictable answer, huh. Interesting note on the evolution though. – ssb Feb 5 '13 at 13:04

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