On 17 Jan 2012 at 17:58, Christopher Gwinn wrote:
> > Theoretically yes, but do you know other u-stem nouns that continue
> > the oblique?
> I guess I'll have to look around for one. :)
In general, I don't think there are that many words that continue the
oblique, but I would have to look that up for exact details.
> I was thinking maybe we had here a petrified ablative expression -
> "from the dead", or something like that.
But then again: the English grammar may be deceiving here because
"from the dead", although being a singular formally, has to my mind a
very pluralish notion about it.
> > An argument in favour of the plural explanation is that
> > a Bretonist once told me that in Breton folklore the "ankou" were
> > pictured as a wagon-full (?) of souls of the dead, i.e. a plurality.
> Interesting, though I wonder if this notion might only have arisen
> after the loss of final syllables, when the singular oblique and
> plural forms would have become indistinguishable?
This objection cannot easily be disproven :-)