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hello grammarians I wanted to talk to you again about mutant plurals so to review a mutant plural is there are only seven of them in English and they all change sound when they pluralize you don't add an S you don't add an en you don't change the ending you change the vowel and they're only seven to go like this there's man-woman tooth foot Mouse louse and goose and these words become in the plural men women teeth feet mice lice and geese now the reason that we have these seven weird mutant plurals in English is kind of complicated but I'm lucky enough to be able to work with an actual linguist hello jack hey grammarians jake is it true that you are a linguist yep it's true all right so Jake what is the deal with feet where do these mutant plurals come from if we take the word foot and we drag it through history how do we get how do we get to the plural as feet what's the deal with that so if you look at a lot of Germanic languages that are around today you find similar words to the word the English word foot in German we have the word foots in Dutch we have the word foote and when you have a lot of different languages with slight variations of a word it means there's some old old word out there that all these words are coming from so we can pretty much be sure that there's some proto-germanic word that sounds something like food now back in those days there was a different way to form the plural and that was to add an e sound at the end of a word so if the word was foot then the plural was maybe foo T that means many foots now there's a tendency in language that you have to understand here it's called vowel harmony basically means that vowels within a given word they like to sound like each other so if you have two syllables those syllables will start to come in those syllables will start to converge and in Germanic languages especially there's there's one typical kind of vowel harmony which okay now you have two two vowels in a word the first vowel will will try to sound more like the second vowel if that second vowel is the e sound just like in the plural formation of nouns so you're saying that the the suffix e at the end of this this proposed word foo T the sound tried to sound more like the e sound this is just a pattern that we found in Germanic languages exactly it's very prevalent in Germanic languages also exists in some Romance languages some tiny Romance languages so so what happens when you combine the sound with the e sound what sound do you get well strangely you get the Y sound you sound what is what is that the Y sound are you okay I think I'm okay you know we linguists have to deal with this kind of thing all the time we have very strong stomachs mm-hmm you still get this sound in languages like German and Dutch so then that that's what this is right so so this sound or or I guess the so the plural of German truce is what you said Susa so okay so so bring this home for me so at some point in the development of English or of all these Germanic languages we had the foot we had this word foot and then it turned into foot T and then it turned into what and turn into Fucci something like Beauty right okay now eventually that you sound dropped out of English is why it's so hard for us to pronounce and it was replaced in pretty much all cases with the e sound mm-hmm so we get the word feat D and then the e drops off and we're left with foot as the singular and feet as the plural cool so it goes from foot to CT now the same exact thing happened with the word Mouse which probably used to be moose because in Frisian which is the closest cousin to English the word for Mouse still is moose moose and you find similar things in a lot of Germanic languages like mesh in Dutch and mouse in German the plural became me see and then eventually me see then you get nice then during a few hundred years later during the great vowel shift that Meese becomes mice a lot of evals in the great vowel shift five hundred years ago became I've owls so this is this is sort of the broad pattern these these mutant words all take is this umlaut mutation right because this this this little these double dots that go over a looks like it's a smiley face that go over a vowel change its color right to change its meaning and that process is called either um lat mutation or I mutation not I like the site organ I like the letter in English cool well I hope that cleared some things up for you you can learn anything Dave it out Jake out that was a high five not a slap