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Re: Virus (was Mesozoic Diseases)
Quoting David Marjanovic <email@example.com>:
That is genus, stem gener- not just in the plural but in all cases
except nominative singular, accusative singular, and vocative
singular. Other examples are lepus, lepor- "hare", mus, mur- "mouse",
and ius, iur- "1. law/right, 2. soup/juice".
These alternations arise because of a sound change in late
Pre-Classical Latin in which /s/ became /r/ (probably by way of [z])
between vowels: iûs > iûs; iûs-is > iûris.
There is also a whole declension class where nouns end in -us but are
feminine. Examples: salus, salut- "hail", palus, palud- "swamp".
Yeah, but those don't really end in -us but in -ûs (of course,
underlyingly they end in /ût-s/ and /ûd-s/, respectively).