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Latin noun endings (was Re: On *Achillobator*)
In a message dated 2/17/2000 5:53:07 AM Pacific Standard Time,
> <Wouldn't that be "fora"?>
> Back me up, Nick and Ben, but I do believe the -um
> ending in Latin nouns is masculine/neutral and
> requires a masculine/neutral plural modification (-i)
> rather than a feminine modification (-a) as you,
> Dennis, apply.
Sorry, Jaime. The -um in "forum" is strictly a neuter thing, and all neuter
nouns in Latin take -a as their plural ending (incidentally, this is also
true in Greek and Russian and many other Indo-European languages).
The plural ending for feminine nouns ending in -a in the singular is -ae
(originally pronounced like "eye" and representing a combination of the -a of
the noun stem with the plural marker -i)
> My Oxford Pocket Latin Dictionary says
> it's -i, and this is the rule I remember.
The -i listed in your dictionary is the genitive singular ending: fori "of a
forum". Latin dictionaries typically list words by their nominative singular
form and then give the genitive singular ending as well, since this gives
information on the declension to which the noun belongs as well as on the
stem of the noun, if this cannot be determined from the nominative singular
(as in, for instance: genus, generis [stem gener-]).