At 7:48 pm -0400 27/5/01, John Cowan wrote:
>Raymond Brown scripsit:
>> >In other
>> >words, you have to assume that the nominative plural survived as in
>> >not the accusitive pl. /-o:s/ as in Spanish, French etc.
>> Hang on - the nominative _did_ survive in Old French, cf.
>>            SINGULAR     PLURAL
>> Nominative:  murs        mur
>>    Oblique:  mur         murs
>But then it died almost without a trace, except for special cases like pretre
>< PRESBYTER and on < HOMO.

I'm aware of that - but the nominative did survive into the early middle
ages in both French and Provenšal and thus could equally well have survived
till then in early Brithenig.  If i-umlaut were to be a feature, it
would've given time for it to have its effect on 2nd declension nouns.
Once established, and its origin forgotten, it could have extended to the
acc. plural by analogy.

I'm not advocating this in Brithenig or any other Romance-conlang,  but it
would be a possibility if one wanted.

>Anyway, it turns out that the Italian plural endings aren't really from the
>nom. either, it just looks that way.  Consider adj. "magnifico", fem. pl.
>"magnifiche" /-ke/.  If this were from MAGNIFICAE, it would have been
>"magnifice" /-tSe/; instead, it is from MAGNIFICAS, with loss of "-s".

I know.  The evidence is pretty conclusive that the nom. & acc, plural of
1st decl. feminines were both -as in the Vulgar Latin period.  The Rumanian
and Italian plural -e developed from -as --> -*aj --> -e; likewise the 3rd
decl. plural developed -es --> -*ej --> -i.

But it is also clear that the 2nd dec. mascs. retained two separate plural
cases in Vulgar Latin, i.e. -i (nom.) and -os (acc).  The Rumanian &
Italian -i could result from -os --> -*oj --> -i, and certainly in part
does so.  But the nominative was alive enough to cause palatalization in
common words, cf. Italian:
amica ~ amiche <-- VL amica ~ amicas
amico ~ amici /a'mitSi/ <-- amico ~ amici


A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
                   [J.G. Hamann 1760]