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Re: OT: Realism? Re: Super OT: Re: CHAT: JRRT

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Sunday, March 7, 2004, 9:35
David Peterson scripsit:

> My language pluralizes nouns by changing a singular noun to its > corresponding singular noun in Finnish" (hee, hee... *That* would > be fun: A language that depends on extensive knowledge of another, > totally different language in order to be spoken).
Oddly enough, English is already like this! We have a large and, more to the point, *open-ended* set of nouns for which we make the plural by using the corresponding plural noun in Latin or Greek. When we borrow a word from any other language, it typically arrives in the singular only and gets a regular plural in -s (or -es), or sometimes it arrives in the plural as a mass noun (e.g. "spaghetti"), but when we borrow a Latin or Greek singular noun, we basically borrow the plural noun along with it. We don't do this for any other part of speech, though. (Sometimes the borrowed plural gets replaced by a regular one, or partly so: biologists speak of antennae, but radio engineers of antennas.) -- John Cowan Please leave your values Check your assumptions. In fact, at the front desk. check your assumptions at the door. --sign in Paris hotel --Cordelia Vorkosigan