Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

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German and Latin-derived nouns

The other day, I saw a headline in the newspaper along the lines of Bank-Manager bekommen dieses Jahr hohe Boni, and it made me think.

The word Bonus is borrowed into German from Latin, and the (nominative) plural Boni is sometimes borrowed along with it. However, those are the only two cases that are borrowed; other cases are formed on the German model (i.e., typically without endings on the noun).

What would things be like, though, if the comple inflection model were borrowed?

Hey, hab' ich dir schon von meinem Bono erzählt? - Ach, lass mich doch mit der Höhe deines Boni in Ruhe. Du findest deinen Bonum wohl besonders toll, was. - Ha! Warte bloß, bis du hörst, dass ich dieses Jahr gleich drei Bonos bekommen habe! - Drei Boni? Nicht schlecht. Und was ist der Betrag deiner Bonorum? - Ach, verglichen mit den Bonis, die ich vorletztes Jahr bekam, nicht so dolle.

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