"Mora" zero plural

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jun 22 03:29:12 UTC 2012

On Jun 21, 2012, at 11:09 PM, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:

> "Mora" (prosodic unit) in English apparently has two accepted plurals,
> "morae" (Latin-type), "moras" (English-type) (e.g., in MW3).
> Lately I've noticed a few instances of a zero plural "mora" (like "the
> word contains two mora") in English text referring to Japanese language.
> Is this because the writers assume "mora" to be a loan word from
> Japanese (therefore suitable for a 'Japanese-style' plural)?
Or because they couldn't decide between "morae" and "moras"?  Wouldn't be the first time a zero plural arose from indecision between two non-zero plurals.  You can find YouTube videos of "Two mongoose mating", "Two mongoose playing in the forest", etc., although in that case another factor may be the frequent zero plurals for exotic beasties.  Or, along the same lines, http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_two_ox_called


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