Maðumisc : Grammar

Dhere was a time when English plurals were formed by use of the -(e)n suffix, and this also helps distinguish between plurals and genitives. This is still used for some words, like oxen and vaxen, but today we ne speak of boxen and housen. I fear that this might be awkward for some words, so we can still use -(e)s wherever the -(e)n would be difficult to pronounce. But we might also make use of a concept I picked up on conlang: the use of a plural marker. The example given was the use of nan after the noun; I ne believe that sounds English enough but the concept is kind of English, don't you think? I'll have to think about it.

Further thoughts on the -(e)n plural suffix: to my ear this sounds best when used with words that end in an -s sound (housen, boxen, vaxen, oxen) or a -k sound (disken, discen, brooken) and some others. Perhaps -(e)n could be used after some sounds and -(e)s after the others.

It is permissible to begin sentences with conjunctions such as And and But. So there! (This actually seems to be becoming fairly common now.)

We can say at a time or at a place - in older English it was permissible to say at (æt) a person, with similar meaning.

My daughter Allison coined the word yesternight; we could use yester- as a prefix for other words... yestermorning, yestermorn, yesterday (oops!)... Perhaps yester- could evolve into a prefix meaning previous. A few years later my son Matthew came up with his own version of yesterday: he uses the phrase the day behind this day, an interesting mix of spatial and temporal concepts.

My friend Jwalant Acharya uses the forms today morning and today night, which I find to be nicely consistent with the way we speak of those parts of yesterday and tomorrow, and they have a nice arcaic feel. Besides, that's how German (another Germanic language (duh!)) does it... this evening is heute abend.

Created 1997.02.11, Modified 2001.08.01