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ACCIDENCE

CHAPTER IX

DECLENSION OF NOUNS

 

96. OHG. nouns have two numbers, singular and plural; three genders, masculine, feminine, and neuter, as in OE., from which the gender of nouns in OHG. does not materially differ; five cases, Nominative, Accusative, Genitive, Dative, and Instrumental. The Instr. case does not occur in all declensions. The Voc. is like the Nom. OHG. nouns are divided into two great divisions, according as the stem originally ended in a vowel or a consonant. Nouns whose stems originally ended in a vowel belong to the vocalic or so-called strong declension. Those whose stems originally ended in -n belong to the weak declension. All other consonantal stems will be put together under the general heading, Minor Declensions.

 

A. The Vocalic or Strong Declension

1. The a-declension.

 

97. The a-declension comprises masc. and neut. nouns only, and corresponds to the Latin and Greek o-declension (Gr. masc. -os, neut. -on, Lat. -us, -um), for which reason it is sometimes called the o-declension. The a-declension is divided into pure a-stems, ja-stems, and wa-stems.

a.    Pure a-stems

Masculine

Neuter

Sing. Nom.

Acc. tag, day

wort, word

 

Gen. tages (-as)

wortes (-as)

 

Dat. tage (-a)

worte (-a)

 

Instr. tagu (-o)

wortu (-o)

Masculine

Neuter

Plur. Nom.

Acc. tagā, -a

wort

 

Gen. tago

worto

 

Dat. tagum, -om;

wortum, -om;

 

-un, -on

-un, -on

 

Note.The endings -as, -a of the gen. and dat. sg. do not occur frequently until after the end of the ninth century. The nom. pi. form taga is still unexplained ; it is, however, questionable whether the form taga did really exist in OHG. -un, -on are the usual dat. pl. endings of the ninth century ( 92).

 

98. Like tag are declined most OHG. masculine nouns, e.g. brg, mountain, wg, way, geist, spirit, himil, heaven, tiufal, devil, kuning, king, &c.

 

99. Dissyllabic nouns ending in -al, -ar, -an with long stems sometimes drop the a before a vocalic ending, as nom. ackar, acre, field, gen. ackres, &c. See 59.

 

100. Proper names of this declension take the pronominal ending -an in the acc., as also truthīn, God, Lord, e.g. nom. Petrus, acc.Petrusan; acc. truthīnan.

 

101. Like wort are declined barn, child, sēr, pain, swrt, sword, honag, honey, zwīfal (cp. 59), doubt, &c. , here belong also the diminutives in -īn and līn, as magatīn, little maid, fingarlīn, little finger, except that the Upper German dialects retain the -n in the gen. and dat. only, and that the nom., acc. pl. end in -iu. in Alemanic.

 

102. b. ja-stems.

Masculine

Neuter

Sing. Nom.

Acc. hirti, herdsman

kunni, race

 

Gen. hirtes

kunnes

 

Dat. (hirtie); hirte

(kunnie); kunne

 

Instr. hirtiu; hirtu, -o

kunniu; kunnu, -o

Masculine

Neuter

Plur. Nom.

Acc. hirte; hirtā, -a

kunni

 

Gen. hirteo, -io; hirto

kunneo, -io; kunno

 

Dat. hirtum, -un, -on

kunnum, -un, -on

 

hirtim, -in

kunnim, -in

 

Note.The forms in spaced type are the usual ones of the ninth century. The neuter nouns of this declension frequently end in -iu or -u in the nom., acc. pl. in Tatian.

 

103. Like hirti are declined the nomina agentis ending in -āri. (-ari, -eri), as wahtāri (wahtari, wahteri), watchman, lērāri. teacher, scrībāri, writer, scribe; as also karkāri, prison, altāri, altar; and a few others, rucki, back, phuzzi, puzzi, well, kāsi, cheese.

 

104. Like kunni are declined very many neuters, as enti, end, rīchi, kingdom, betti, bed, gizungi, language, finstarnessi, darkness, heri, army, gen. heries, dat. sg. herie, herige.

c. wa-stems

Masculine

Neuter

Sing. Nom.

Acc. snēo, snē, snow

kneo, knee

 

Gen. snēwes

knwes

 

Dat. snēwe

knwe

Plur. Nom.

Acc. snēwā, -a

kneo

 

Gen. snēwo

knwo

 

Dat. snēwum, -un, -on

knwum, -un, -on

 

Note.On the forms of the nom. sg. see 90. When the w is preceded by a consonant an a (sometimes o, e) is developed in the oblique cases, thus nom. neut. trso, treasure, gen. trsawes; nom. masc. scato, shadow, gen. scatawes, see 63.

 

105. To this declension belong the masculines lēo, grave, sēo, sea, bū (gen. būwes), dwelling, and the neuters rēo, corpse, zso, right side, smro, grease.

 

2. The ō-declension.

 

106. The ō-declension contains feminine nouns only, and corresponds to the Latin and Greek ā-declension, for which reason it is sometimes called the ā-declension. The wō-stems are declined exactly like the pure ō-stems. The jō-stems have also the same inflections as the pure ō-stems after the middle of the ninth century.

 

107. a. Pure o-stems.

 

Sing.

Plur.

Nom

Acc

gba, gift

gba

 

Gen

gba, -u, -o

gbōno

 

Dat

gbu, -o

gbōm, -ōn, -on

 

108. Like gba are declined a large number of nouns, as rda, earth, ēra, honour, zala, number, triuwa, fidelity, corunga, temptation, hertida, hardness, miltida, compassion, gi-nāda, favour, lōsunga, deliverance, stunta, time, &c.

 

109. b. Jo-stems.

 

Sing.

N

sunte, sin;

suntea, -ia

sunta

kuningin, queen

A

kuninginna; -in

G

kuninginna

D

 

suntiu

suntu

kuninginnu

 

Plur.

N.A.

sunte;

sunteā, -iā;

suntā

kuninginnā

G

 

sunteōno;

suntōno

kuninginnōno

D

 

sunteōm;

suntōm, -ōn

kuninginnōm, -ōn

 

Note.The forms in spaced type are the ordinary ones of the ninth century and do not differ from those of gba.

 

110. Like sunta are declined hella, hell, sibba, sippa, peace, minna, love, krippa, manger, &c.

 

111. Like kuningin are declined forasagin, prophetess, friuntin, friend, burdin, burden, &c.

 

c. Feminine Abatract Nouns in -ī.

 

112. This declension comprises two classes of stems which were originally different, but which have entirely fallen together in their inflection in OHG.(1) adjectival abstract nouns the stems of which originally ended in -īn, nom. -ī; (2) verbal abstract nouns with stems ending in -īni. Cp., on the one hand, Gothic mikilei, greatness, formed from mikils, great, diupei, depth, from diups, deep, gen.mikileins, diupeins (weak declension); and, on the other hand, dupeins, a dipping, formed from dupjan, to dip, naseins, a rescuing, from nasjan, to rescue, gen. dupeinis, naseinis (i-declension).

Sing. Nom. Acc.

Gen. Dat.

hōhī (hōhīn), height.

Plur. Nom. Acc.

 

hōhī (hōhīn)

 

Gen.

hōhīno

 

Dat.

hōhīm, -īn.

 

 

113. Like hōhī are declined scōnī, beauty, suozzi, sweetness, snllī, quickness, tiufī, depth, menigī, managī, multitude, irstantanī, resurrection, toufī, a dipping, welī, choice, leitī, a leading &c.

 
3. The i-declension.

114. The OHG. i-declension contains masculine and feminine nouns only. The -i was dropped regularly in the nom. and ace. sg. of nouns with long stems, after the analogy of which it was also dropped for the most part in those with short stems. See 57. Cp. the corresponding distinction in OE.

a.        Masculines.

 

Sing.

Plur.

Nom.

Acc.

gast, guest

gesti

 

Gen.

gastes

gesteo, -io; gesto

 

Dat.

gaste

gestim, -in; -en

 

Instr.

gastiu, gestiu; gastu

 

 

Note.On the consonantal combinations which prevent umlaut from taking place where it might be expected, see 43.

 

115. Like gast are declined liut, people, wurm, worm, aphul, apple, slag, blow, scrit, step.wini, friend, quiti, saying, and a few others retain the -i in the nom., acc. sg.; but follow gast in the other cases. Many u- and consonant stems have passed over into this declension : original u-stems were skilt, shield, wirt, master of the house, heit, manner, sun, son; consonant stems, fuo, foot, zan, zand, tooth, nagal, nail.

 

b. Feminines.

 

Sing.

Plur.

Nom.

Acc.

anst, favour

ensti

 

Gen.

ensti

ensteo, -io; ensto

 

Dat.

ensti

enstim, -in; -en

 

Note.On the consonantal combinations which prevent umlaut, see 43.

 

116. Like anst are declined stat, place, jugund, youth, fart, journey, gift, gift, giburt, birth, &c. kuri, choice, and turi, door, retain the i in the nom., acc. sg., but follow anst in the other cases. Like anst are also declined the old u-stems fluot, flood, lust, desire, and the consonant stems gans, goose, miluh, milk, magad, virgin, and a few others.

 

4. The u-declension.

117. The u-declension no longer existed in OHG. as an independent declension; the nouns originally belonging to it having been for the most part transferred to the i-declension and also a few to the a-declension. Below will be found a summary of the more frequent traces of this declension still existing in OHG.

 

a. Masculines.

118. Situ, custom, fridu, peace, hugu, understanding, sigu, victory, witu, wood, sunu (beside sun) retained their u in the nom., acc. sg. ( 57, 2); in the other cases they followed the i-declension.

 

b. Neuter.

119. Fihu, cattle, retained the u in the nom., acc. sg. ( 57, a), in the gen. and dat. sg. it had the same endings as wort, word.

 

c. Feminine.

120. Hant was declined like anst, except that in the dat. pi. it retained the old u-endings hantum, -un, -on; cp. NHG. abhanden, vorhanden.


B. Weak Declension (n-stems)

121. The weak declension contains all three genders.

 

a.        Masculines.

 

Sing.

Plur.

Nom.

hano, cock

hanon, hanun

Acc.

hanon, hanun

hanon, hanun

Gen.

henen, hanin

hanōno

Dat.

hanen, hanin

hanōm, -ōn

 

b.        Neuters.

 

Sing.

Plur.

Nom. Acc.

hrza, heart

hrzun, -on

Gen.

hrzen, hrzin

hrzōno

Dat.

hrzen, hrzin

hrzōm, -ōn

 

Feminines.

 

Sing.

Plur.

Nom.

zunga, tongue

zungūn

Acc.

zungūn

zungūn

Gen.

zungūn

zungōno

Dat.

zungūn

zungōm, -ōn

 

122. Like hano are declined hērro, hēro, master, wahsmo, fruit, ohso, ox, strno, star, gomo, man, namo, name, willo, will, forasago, prophet, &c.

 

123. Like hrza are declined ouga, eye, ōra, ear, wanga, cheek.

 

124. Like zunga are declined quna, woman, diorna, maiden, sunna, sun, &c.

C. Minor Declensions

1. Monosyllabic Consonant Stems.

 

125. a. Masculines.

 

Sing.

Plur.

Nom. Acc.

man, man

man

Gen.

mannes

manno

Dat.

man, manne

mannum, -un; -om, -on

 

Note.eoman, ioman, some one, neoman, nioman, no one, have the pronominal ending -an in the acc., thus eomannan, neomannan,

zan, zand, tooth, and fuo, foot, have passed over into the i-declension, the latter, however, retained the consonantal endings -um, -un, -on in the dat. plural.

 

126. No traces of neuters of this class now remain, unless there be such a trace in the dat. sg. hūs, to a house, beside hūse.

 

b. Feminines.

127. The nouns originally belonging here have also mostly passed over into the i-declension.

 

Sing.

Plur.

Nom. Acc.

naht, night

naht

Gen.

naht

nahto

Dat.

naht

nahtum, -un, -on

 

Note.buoch, book, was mostly neut. in the sg.,as gen. buoches, dat. buoche; in the pl. it was fem. and declined like naht.

burg, borough, city, and brust, breast, were sometimes declined like naht, and sometimes like anst.

 

2. Stems in -r.

128. To this class belonged: fater, father, bruoder, brother, muoter, mother, tohter, daughter, and swster, sister.

 

129. Sing. Plur.

Nom. Acc.

fater

faterā, -a

Gen.

fater; fateres

fatero

Dat.

fater; fatere

faterum, -un, -on

 

Note.fateres, fatere and the pl. forms have been made after the analogy of the a-stems.

 

130. Sing. Nom. Acc. Gen. Dat. muoter

Plur. Nom. Acc. muoter

Gen. muotero

Dat. muoterum, -un, -on.

 

131. Like muoter were also declined bruoder, tohter, and swster.

 

3. Stems in -nt.

132. To this class belonged present participles used as nouns (for the inflection of the participles themselves, see 147).

 

Sing.

Plur.

Nom. Acc.

friunt, friend

friunt; friuntā, -a

Gen.

friuntes

friunto

Dat.

friunte

friuntum, -un, -on

 

Note.Here belonged originally a large number of nouns, as fīant, enemy, wīgant, warrior, &c., all of which have passed into the a-declension.

 

4. Stems in -os. -es.

133. This class corresponded to the Greek neuters in -os, Latin us, gen. -eris.

 

134. Sing. Plur.

Nom. Acc.

lamb, lamb

lembir

Gen.

lambes

lembiro

Dat.

lambe

lembirum, -om; -un, -on

Instr.

lambu, -o

-un, -on.

135. Like lamb were declined kalb, calf, blat, leaf, grab, grave, and a few others.

 

[ Contents ] [ Intro ] [ Glossary ]
Chapters
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