Lesson η': More Declensions

Here are some additional declensions of words we will find in Euclid that have differences from those already studied. Note the similarities in the endings. You will find it much easier to recognize a case than to construct one yourself. As always, the definite article is usually there to help you.

The first word, me/roj, is a neuter that has a stem ending in ε. This ε contracts with the vowels in the endings and disappears everywhere except in the dative. This also makes the plural nominative and accusative end in η, the contraction of εα, instead of the usual α. Do not be fooled by the nominative singular that this is a masculine noun of the o-declension, either. The next word, a)xiw/ma, is a member of a very common class of neuter nouns of the consonant declension (this is the first noun of the consonant declension that you have met). Four more examples are given at the bottom of the Figure. ba/sij is an example of an ι-stem. Its accusative ends in ν, one should notice, like those of the other vowel declensions. The word o(ri/zwn is a typical member of the consonant declension. Note that its accusative ends in α. Incidentally, this word is formed from the verb meaning to divide (just drop the final ν), since the horizon divides sky from sea.

The table at the left shows the declension of an adjective of a consonant declension, that is rather different from the ones we have met so far. Adjectives of this kind are not rare, so you should be on the lookout for them. Note that masculine and feminine share forms, and the neuter differs only in nominative and accusative. It often happens even in the o- and α-declension adjectives that there is no separate feminine form, but this is true for all adjectives of this type. In the accusative, εα contracts to η. Note that the adjective alone can be used as a noun, usually a neuter one, as we see from the example.

At the right is shown a adjective that uses the α-declension endings for the feminine, but consonant declension endings for masculine and neuter. There is no contraction in the neuter plural, and υs appear strangely in the singular. Nevertheless, there are several important adjectives of this type.

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Composed by J. B. Calvert
Created 12 September 2000
Last revised 15 June 2002