Re: [tied] De Vulgari Regularitate (earlier: substratums)

From: richardwordingham
Message: 14845
Date: 2002-08-30

--- In cybalist@..., Daniel Dubowy <bar_iona@...> wrote:
> --- CeiSerith@... wrote:
> > I have been known to say "shoon" for the plural
> > of "shoe" (and I have no
> > clue as to how to spell it) just because I think it
> > is pretty. My family has
> > gotten used to it, and I try not to say it to
> > outsiders. I was shocked,
> > therefore, to hear someone else use it recently. I
> > wonder if any
> > irregularities are kept for aesthetic reasons. It
> > would be tough to prove, I
> > would think.
> Could it be that you're speaking Scottish English?
> Only last week I read an article where it is said the
> following (about Scottish English):
> ****
> Pluralization can also vary from Standard English:
> eyes becomes "een" and shoes become "shuin." Nouns of
> measure remain unchanged in the plural, so "two miles"
> becomes "twa mile" and "five pounds" is "five pun."
> ****
The dropping of the plural after numerals occurs, I recall, in
Norfolk. The loss (or absence) of the plural marker is standard with
several units of measure e.g. 'stone', 'hundredweight', 'score'
and 'dozen'. However, without a numeral of some sort, 'score'
and 'dozen' do add 's' in the plural. And, of course, when used
attributively, numbers plus measure do not have a plural marker,
e.g. 'a six foot wall'.

I recall seeing '-en' plurals for 'eye' and 'shoe' being described as
a South West English dialect feature. I suspect these forms can be
found in many parts of the England and Scotland.

I also wonder if there is indeed some principle of euphony behind
it. There seems to be a similar tendency with verbs ending in 'ow'
preferring the strong ending '-n' to '-ed' in the past participle,
e.g. mixed verbs such as 'show'. However, 'flown' for 'flowed' may
just be an archaism - the verb 'fly' has appropriated the old past
forms of 'flow'!

> The complete article can be found at:
> and is called
> If they leer at your lugs, your ears may blush
> Montreal Gazette
> Saturday, August 24, 2002

'Lug' is not unknown in Standard English, though 'lug hole' is the
commoner expression for 'ear', emphasising the hearing organ rather
than the flap.

The situation described here reminded me of the arguments (and
vitriol) I found while trying to investigate Ancient Macedonian on
the net. There is a nationalist (Slav v. Greek) debate over whether
Ancient Macedonian was a form of Greek. Little is actually known of
the language/dialect. The evidence arrayed on either side is much as
you might get if there were a debate on whether the Lowland Scots
were English and the answer 'British' was not available. Poor or no
intelligibility, mutual hostility and a lack of Macedonian, as
opposed to Greek, inscriptions have all been cited by the two sides.