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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, 
qilongia@yahoo.com writes:

> <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-]).

Nick P.