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Raymond wrote:

> At 11:06 pm +0100 16/9/00, Dan Jones wrote:
> >Jonathan Chang wrote:
> >
> >> >> Nik sigged:
> >> >
> >> >>> > Dievas dave dantis; Dievas duos duonos
> >> >> > God gave teeth; God will give bread - Lithuanian proverb
> >> >
> >> >>
> >> >That lang seems so Latin-ish...!
> >> >Indeed in Latin 'd sound like:
> >> >
> >> >Deus dedit dentes (arch. dentis); Deus dabit panem.
>
> In fact the change from /denti:s/ to /dente:s/ did not take place in the
> written language until the 1st century AD.  Writers like Livy & Vergil
uses
> 'dentis', tho their texts are very often re-spelled for school kids.  The
> spelling 'dentes' is, strictly speaking, post-Classical.

Two years ago we've translated the 4th book of the Aeneis at school, and the
80% of the plural acc.s was in -is, indeed.

> The change does not, of course, reflect a sound change of /i:/ -> /e:/
> which would be somewhat unusual.  It reflect a simplification of the
> language which had probably happened earlier in speech.  No neuter plural
> ever distinguished between nominative & accusative; as for masc. &
> feminines, the two cases were not distinguished in 4th & 5th declension
and
> a good half of the 3rd decl. had only -e:s for the two cases.  This change
> simply brought the 3rd decl. masc. & fems. with nom. plural in -e:s and
> acc. plural -i:s into line with the others.

Is the origin of the 'dichotomy' nom. plur. in -es / acc. plur. in -is
caused by the PIE -s/-ns endings?

> Indeed, it is clear that in spoken Latin of the Empire, the nom. & acc.
> plurals of the 1st decl. had the single ending -a:s, though this was not
> reflected in literary texts.  Only the 2nd decl. masc. kept the two cases
> distinct in the plural, cf. Modern Italian _amici_ /a'mitSi/ <-- amici
> /a'mi:ki:/, but _amiche_ /a'mike/ <-- amicas /a'mi:ka:s/.  Latin _amicae_
> would've given *amice.

Really? I've always thought 'amiche' with /k/ was modelled on the singular.
Since rosa /rOza/ pluralizes in -e without changing the root consonant, even
amica /a'mika/ deletes the ending -a to add -e without undergoing the
change.

Luca