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The s=3/2 Ising spin chain with uniform nearest-neighbor coupling, quadratic single-site potential, and magnetic field is shown to be equivalent to a system of 17 species of particles with internal structure. The same set of particles (with different energies) is shown to generate the spectrum of the s=12 Ising chain with dimerized nearest-neighbor coupling. The particles are free of interaction energies even at high densities. The mutual exclusion statistics of particles from all species is determined by their internal structure and encoded in a generalized Pauli principle. The exact statistical mechanical analysis can be performed for thermodynamically open or closed systems and with arbitrary energies assigned to all particle species. Special circumstances make it possible to merge two or more species into a single species. All traits that distinguish the original species become ignorable. The particles from the merged species are effectively indistinguishable and obey modified exclusion statistics. Different mergers may yield the same end product, implying that the inverse process (splitting any species into subspecies) is not unique. In a macroscopic system of two merged species at thermal equilibrium, the concentrations of the original species satisfy a functional relation governed by their mutual statistical interaction. That relation is derivable from an extremum principle. In the Ising context the system is open and the particle energies depend on the Hamiltonian parameters. Simple models of polymerization and solitonic paramagnetism each represent a closed system of two species that can transform into each other. Here they represent distinguishable traits with different energies of the same physical particle.