Ronald Butters ronbutters at AOL.COM
Thu Dec 2 23:52:03 UTC 2010

I don't suppose that the ordinary user of American English gives a fecality about Anglo-Saxon versus Greco-Latin,. Though "ordinary" versus "learned" is closer to the mark, which is also about the same thing that I was getting at with "technical" versus "nontechnical." But I would not say that "groin" is thought of as "learned" but "polite" or even "euphemistic," to be used instead of the more vulgar "crotch." Nobody says "crotchal."

I think Larry is right about pronunciation being a factor as well, which is why we get an  /r/ in the environment after /l/ (alveolar, velar), though I don't see how "vestal" would influence "chestal." There are few bvody parts other than the groin that  have /oi/ as the main vowel. I'm not sure that "loin" is a real body  part, only a kind of archaic meteonym (?), but "loinal" does not sound anywhere nearly as weird as "cuntal" or "chestal" or "butthole-ar").

On Dec 2, 2010, at 10:44 AM, Arnold Zwicky wrote:

> 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

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