October 28th, 2007

Plurals of Latin-based nouns in English

I was wondering the pluralization of Latin-based words in English that in nominative have the same form in both languages. For example, the plural of stela is stelae and hippopotamus is hippopotami but uterus is uteruses and pegasus is pegasuses (I'd imagine. I don't use these words that much in everyday conversation).

Is there a set rule when the Latin declination is used and when the English or does it change depending on which sounds better?


I just joined this group, and I am looking for someone who can give me some pointers on the grammatical structure to Deutch. I am stuck on adjective endings.
Thanks :)
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the wall

(no subject)

So, I work in a hospital in Chicago, IL. I talk to a lot of patients, and I'd say about 90% of them are African American/Black. Today, I heard a phrase I've never heard used in this way before. I asked a middle-aged black woman how long it had been since she had quit smoking and she said "I haven't smoked in a minute... around 5 years." She used the phrase "in a minute" at another point to describe the fact that she hadn't done something in a while.

Has anyone ever heard that phrase used in that context before? If so, what were the demographics/hometown/etc of the person who said it? I'm trying to figure out if this maybe is from AAVE, or if it's just her misunderstanding a phrase.. but I suspect it's not just her, because the meaning of the phrase is pretty clear.
Passive Voice
  • kurosau

Language and Evolution

Hello, first time posting. I wanted to ask a question of the community.

Have any of you read any research on language as an evolved trait in our species? I'm specifically trying to find research that questions whether or not language is its own evolved trait or simply a by-product of our intelligence.

Linguistics Wiki?

I remember a linguistics wiki (an independent site) advertised here (or perhaps on another language lj) a long time ago, called Ling Wiki, I believe. I can't seem to find it now for the life of me, so does anyone have a link to it? Was it taken down? Or am I just plain crazy?


(no subject)

My boyfriend just got a weird message on his hand phone in Spanish, I left out the markers, I don't know how to make them on my computer. Anyone care to translate?

que pierda el amierdika! van a quedarse moribundos. que vivan las chivas!

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    curious curious
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Small child logic

My little niece L, who is two on Wednesday, has such well-developed language skills that her other aunt (we are three sisters) suggested to her mum that she tried her with the wug test. So her mum drew a wug, and explained to L, as you do, "This is a wug."

L looked mildly bemused, but she nodded dutifully. Her mum then drew another one next to it, and said, "Here's another wug. One wug, two...?"

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