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Plurals in W

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Tuesday, September 7, 1999, 0:29
Turns out plurals are more complex than I had originally believed.

In addition to the endings, the gender-prefixes change, so ignore the
changes to the front of the word.

For most consonant-ending nouns, one simply adds -i, thus nlak=FAs,
nallak=FAsi (adult male/-s)

A few that end in fricatives change that to a stop before adding -i,
   pibl=E1as, pifbl=E1ati (danger, dangers)
These are descended from words who, in Old W, ended with a stop    =20
followed by a schwa.  Thus:
   (=EB =3D e-umlaut =3D schwa)
   b=EBlah=E1t=EB --> bl=E1at --> bl=E1as (syllable-final stops became fr=
   BUT b=EBlah=E1t=EB + -i became b=EBlah=E1ti --> bl=E1ati
These are fairly rare

For most nouns that end in short vowels, one adds -i, or -li for -i
nouns, thus:
   pivaut=E1, pivvaut=E1i (bowl, bowls)
   sutak=ED, suttak=EDli (person, people)
However -u nouns have a certain mutation involved.  If the u is
stressed, than an epenthetic -w- is added, thus:
   pibiigat=FA, pifbiigat=FAwi (cage, cages)
But, if the u is unstressed, than it becomes a -w- or -uw-, if -w- would
form an illegal cluster, thus:
   wakw=EDlu, wafkw=EDlwi (stream, streams)
   pitan=EDklu, piftan=EDkluwi (colony, colonies), *klwi would be an
illegal      cluster

Some nouns have a "hidden" fricative, one that only shows up in the
plural, for instance:
   wuut=E1, wafuut=E1si (arrow, arrows)
These come from nouns that ended in fricatives in Old W.  Word-final
fricatives were lost early on, thus:
   qoq=EBt=E1s --> qoq=EBt=E1 --> qoqht=E1 --> qoot=E1 --> oot=E1 --> uut=
   qoq=EBt=E1si --> qoqht=E1si --> qoot=E1si --> oot=E1si --> uut=E1si

Now, for long vowels
Most fall into Class I, which shortens the vowel and adds -ki, for
   wal=EDi, wafl=EDki (ritual, rituals)
These are descended from nouns ending in -k=EB in Old W, as thus:
   l=EDk=EB --> l=EDk --> l=EDx --> l=EDi (velar and uvular fricatives
lengthened      previous vowel)  BUT
   l=EDki --> l=EDki

Class II shortens the vowel and adds -yi, for example:
   sutlun=EDi, sutlun=EDyi (hand, hands)
These are descended from nouns ending in -g=EB in Old W, the history
  t=EBlon=E9g=EB --> tlon=E9g --> tlon=E9gh --> tlon=E9e --> tlun=EDi
  t=EBlon=E9gi --> tlon=E9gi --> tlun=EDgi --> tlun=EDyi (g --> y before =
i or y)

Class III, shorten vowel and add -i (same caviat applies to -u as in
short vowels), for example (note that this means that -ii doesn't
  plafs=E1a, piflafs=E1i (sanctuary, sanctuaries [archaic])
These come from -q=EB nouns, thus
  lap=EBs=E1q=EB --> laps=E1q --> lafs=E1qh --> lafs=E1a  BUT
  lap=EBs=E1qi --> laps=E1qi --> lafs=E1qi --> lafs=E1i

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