Language Play

Singular masculine Italian words often end in the letter ‘o’. When you pluralize those words the ‘o’ is switched to an ‘i’.

For example, Concerti would be the Italian pluralization of a Concerto.
Nonno (grandfather) becomes Nonni (grandfathers, or grandparents).

Presumably then I am a DiDonato but together my family are DiDonati

Extra credit: Feminine words end in ‘a’ and their plural end in ‘e’. That means you might have a pizza tonight, or you might have four pizze tonight.

Double extra credit: Why is the word ‘beer’ feminine and the word ‘wine’ masculine in the romance languages? This seems backwards to stereotypical beverage choice.

Italian:
Birra
Vino

Spanish:
Cerveza
Vino

French:
Biere
Vin

Other language varieties don’t contain the same gender choices, for example I think Irish languages have both beverages as masculine.

There’s a pretty good wikipedia article on grammatical gender that explains some forms of gender origination, but as to how these particular words claimed their gender? I haven’t a clue.

1 comment on “Language Play”

  1. Alicia Reply

    I think when you refer to the DiDonato family collectively it’s “i DiDonato” – so the last name stays singular (one family) but the article is plural (many in that family)

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