명 is the counter for people. What's missing is the noun before it, like 남자 여섯 명이 (six men), because the sentence didn't specify the type of people.
명 is the count marker for people. 이 is the subject particle. 개 is the general counter if you forget the specifics.
So, when using a single-use counter (like 명 for people), are you allowed to just… drop the noun like that? And people will know you mean whatever general category the counter implies without any other context? Is that what this is telling me?
Exactly. If there is context from a prior sentence that you are talking about... balls, cell phones, dogs... you can drop the subject when counting these. For humans it is easiest to drop 사람 as the counter implies people. You would need to be more specific if you were counting men, women, etc.
So as long as you're using the counting unit for people, you don't need to specify that it's people..?
no because 명 is the counter word for people so you automatically know it means people