sg /u/, pl /i/

Recent One Big Happy, with Joe bedeviled by irregular plurals in English, especially in the sg /u/, pl /i/ pattern in goose – geese and tooth – teeth:

The morphophonological alternation has an interesting history, but from the point of view of modern speakers, it just is. One booth, two booths (not beeth), but one tooth, two teeth; one noose, two nooses (not neese), but one goose, two geese. And one Ruthie, two Ruthies (not Reethie).

One Response to “sg /u/, pl /i/”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    Not to mention one moose, two moose.

    I have a vague recollection of a comedy routine from my high-school days (I think I only heard it quoted by classmates) that included such plurals as geef and sheriffim.

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