"Mora" zero plural

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 22 03:44:24 UTC 2012

I don't really want to stir up this morass, but has anyone suggested the
plural of "mongoose" to be "mongeese"?


On 6/21/2012 11:29 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> 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).
>> =20
>> 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.
>> =20
>> Is this because the writers assume "mora" to be a loan word from
>> Japanese (therefore suitable for a 'Japanese-style' plural)?
>> =20
> 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
> LH

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