Fwd: groinal

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Thu Dec 2 15:45:43 UTC 2010

meant for the whole list:

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at stanford.edu>
> Date: December 2, 2010 7:44:45 AM PST
> To: ronbutters at aol.com
> Subject: Re: groinal
> On Dec 2, 2010, at 7:21 AM, Ron Butters wrote:
>> The -al morpheme is productive. If we can have nasal and and bucal and rectal and corporal and vaginal and anal, why not groinal?
> because "groin" is perceived (correctly) to be from the ordinary English (Anglo-Saxon) rather than the learned (Greco-Latin) stratum of the vocabulary.
>> ... We just can't use the ending with non-semi-tehcnical words like knee or mouth-- even hoigh this leaves a lexicosemantic gap (Charlie's chestal is weird to my ears).
> i've heard "chestal area" a number of times, but always, i think, with a humorous tone to it -- a playful way of avoiding "breasts", usually. l ike "groinal", noticeable *because* it uses -al with an Anglo-Saxon base.
> arnold

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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