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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

Modern Descendants of Latin            351
-a take -i in the plural, e g poeta-poett (poet-s), tema-tetm
(theme-s), dramma-drammi (drama-s)
(c)   Some descendants of Latin neuters have singular masculine and
plural feminine forms, e g Fuovo-le uova (the egg-s) We also
have to use the plural terminal -a for bracao, labbro> ginocchio
(arm, lip, knee) as for il dito-le dita (the finger-s) when we refer
to a pair. These have alternate masculine plural forms with the
ending ~z, as have frutto (fruit), legno (wood), duo (finger),
osso (bone)
(d)  Monosyllables, and all noiins which end in a stressed vowel are
invariant like our sheep) e g la citta-le citta (the city—the cities)
(e)  In conformity with the consistent spelling rules of Italian (p 354)
a hard G before the singular terminals -O or -A becomes GH
before the plural -I or -E, e g lago-laghi (lake-s), luogo-luoghi
(place-s) Likewise the hard C of the feminine singular becomes
CH, eg anuca-amiche (fhend-s) Masculine nouns may retain
the hard so and, e g fuoco-fuocht (nre-s),./zc0~,/zc/w (fig-s), stomaco-
stomacfa Many masculines with final -CO have the soft sound
of C before I in the plural, e g amico-amia (friend-s), medico-
medici, porco-pora (pig-s).
The regular types are illustrated by
corona                   anno                  fiore
(crown)             (year)               (flower)
corone                   anm                   fion
(crownsj            (years)             (flowers)
Plural formation in Spanish or Portuguese is as legular as in English
All plural Spanish nouns end with -S. There is one noteworthy irregu-
larity. Singular nouns which end in a consonant, in y, or an accented
vowel take -es> e g*
corona                   ano                   hombre                fior
(crown)             (year)                (man)             (flower)
coronas                  anos                 hombres               flares
(crowns)            (years)              (men)              (flowers)
The same rule applies to Portuguese nouns, eg hvro-hvros (book-
books), pena-penas (pen-pens) Portuguese nouns which end in -ao
change it usually to des in the plural, e g na$ao-na$Qes (nation-s) Nouns
ending in -a/, -£/, ~c?/, -w/, form the plural in -azs> -eis3 -ozs, -uts, e g
papel-papeis (paper-papers) Nouns ending in -m change it to -ns> e g
kornem-homens (man-men)
There is this difference between French on the one hand and Spanish
or Portuguese on the other The French plural -5, like so many other