Lower Sorbian/Grammar/Declension of nouns

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Masculine nouns[edit]

Hard stems[edit]

Hard-stemmed are those nouns that aren't soft-stemmed.

singular plural dual
NOM dub `oak` [1] duby [7] duba
GEN duba [4] dubow [8] dubowu
DAT dubu [6] dubam duboma
ACC =NOM./GEN. [2] =NOM./GEN. [3] =NOM./GEN. [3]
INS dubom dubami duboma
LOC dubje [5] dubach duboma

[1] moving vowels: (a) -e-, (b) -o-, (c) -a- (and their soft counterparts), that stay in NOM. sg., but they disappear in oblique cases, e.g. (a) wogeń-wognja `fire`, wugeń-wugnja `chimney`, wugel-wugla `coal`, robel-robla `sparrow`, keŕ-krja `bush`, kóśeł-kotła `kettle`, nugeł-nugła `corner`, charchel-charchla `reflux`, źeń-dńa `day`; (b) djaboł-djabła `devil`, kozoł-kozła `goat`, wopor-wopra `casualty, sacrifice`; (c) pjas-psa `dog`, błazan-błazna `fool, jester`

[2] the category of animacy
ACC. sg. =
= { animate nouns = GEN.}, e.g. cłowjeka `of a man`
= { unanimate nouns = NOM.}, e.g. dub `of an oak`

[3] the category of personhood (note: every personal nouns is also an animate noun)
ACC. pl., du. =
= { personal nouns = GEN.}, e.g. cłowjekow `of men`
= { impersonal nouns = NOM.}, e.g. duby `of oaks`

[4] endings of hard stem GEN. sg.: (a) –a, (b) –u
(a) -a only nouns:

  • 2- and more sylable nouns, e.g. cłowjek-cłowjeka
  • animate nouns, np. syn-syna `son`, pjas-psa
  • (1) most `bridge`, (2) list `letter; leaf`, (3) kut `corner`, (4) kśud `whip; torment`, (5) kwět `flower`, (6) šćit `defence; shield`, (7) sud `court`, (8) pšut `stock; sprout; tail`

(b) -u only nouns: (1) dom-domu `house`, (2) mjod-mjodu `honey`
(c) nouns hesitating between -a/-u endings: 1-sylable unanimate nouns (it happens that a choice of the ending changes the meaning, e.g. dwór-dwóra `farm` : dwór-dwóru `yard`, lud-luda `people, nation` : lud-ludu `people, folk`]

[5] LOC. sg. hard stem masculine endings: (a) –je, (b) –u:
(a) -je only nouns:

  • nouns not mentioned in (b) and (c)
  • exceptional nouns ending with –k: bok - na boce `side`, flak - na flace `place`, Pśiłuk - w Pśiłuce `Preilack`, rarely also jězyk - na jězyce `language`

(b) -u only nouns:

  • nouns ending with -z, -s, -c, -ž, -š, -k, e.g. woz - na wozu, gólc - we gólcu `boy`
  • some nouns ending with –d i –g: (1) rod-w rodu `sex`, (2) bog - w bogu `god`*, (3) lud - w ludu*, (4) rěd - po rědu `order` - in that meaning (*), (5) narod - pśi narodu `birth`, (6) nałog - po nałogu `habit` [forms with (*) go only with the -u form]

(c) nouns hesitating between -ja and -u: nouns ending with -u, e.g. brjuch - w brjuchu / w brjuše `stomach`, měch - w měchu / w měše `bag`, proch - w prochu / w proše `dust`

[6] DAT. sg. hard stem masculine endings: (a) –u, (b) –oju: (a) -u only nouns:

  • majority of nouns ending with -s, -z, e.g., np. cas-casu `time`, wóz-wózu `wagon`
  • first of the nouns in a concatenation of 2 personal nouns, e.g. kněz faraŕ-knězu faraŕeju `Mr. priest`

(b) –oju only nouns:

  • personal nouns, e.g. nana-nanoju `dad`, syn-synoju
  • nouns with GEN. sg. ending with -u, e.g. dom-domoju, dwór-dwóroju
  • nouns with LOC. sg. ending with -u, e.g. casnik-casnikoju `newspaper`, grěch-grěchoju `sin`

(c) nouns with -u or -oju: the rest not mentioned in (a) and (b)

[7] NOM. pl. hard stem masculine endings: (a) –y, (b) –e, (c) –i:
(a) -y only nouns

  • nouns not mentioned in (b) and (c)
  • historically hard-stemmed nouns ending with -z, -s, e.g. pjas-psy, cas-casy, głos-głosy `voice`, woz-wozy, kłos-kłosy `ear of grain`, włos-włosy `hair`, kus-kusy `piece`, raz-razy `time; blow`
  • nouns ended with –tš, np. wětš-wětšy `wind`, jatš-jatšy `Easter`, pśětš-pśetšy `crow beaming`, Pětš-Pětšy `Peter`, kmotš-kmotšy `godfather`
  • rarely also personal nouns ending with -c, alternatively with the ending -c, e.g. gólc-gólcy

(b) -e only nouns

  • nouns ending with -z, -s, -c, -ž, -š, -č, e.g. rjeśaz-rjeśaze `chain`, mjasec-mjasece `month, moon`, škórc-škórce `starling`, towariš-towariše `comrade`, muž-muže `husband; man`

(c) -i only nouns

  • nouns ending with –k, -g, np. cłowjek-cłowjeki, nałog-nałogi
  • (1) bratš-bratśi `brother`, (2) stari `parents`

(d) nouns hesitating between -y and -i endings: cart-carśi/carty `devil`, sused-suseźi/susedy `neighbour`, cygan-cygani/cygany `Gypsy`, Žyd-Žyźi/Žydy `Jew`, profet-profeśi/profety `prophet`, nan-nani/nany `father` [forms ending with -y name particular persons, with -i - the whole genus]

[8] GEN. pl. hard stem masculines: beside –ow ending there exist:
(a) null ending - after numerals and prepositions and always in case of settlement names, e.g. korc - pěś korc `tub (measure of volume)`, gody - do god `Christmas`, jatšy - do jatš, kamjeny - do kamjen `oven (pl.tant.)`, pśěg woł `ox carriage`, šesć muž, styri raz, do Dreždźan
(b) -y ending, used in same situations as (a) in case of nouns ending with -z, -s, -c, -ž, -š, -č, e.g. pjenez-pjenezy `money`

Soft stems[edit]

Nouns ending with ź, ś, ć, j, l, ŕ, b’, p’, m’, ń, w’

singular plural dual
NOM kóń `horse` [1] kónje [7] kónja
GEN kónja kónjow [8] kónjowu
DAT kónjoju [6] kónjam kónjoma
ACC =NOM./GEN. [2] =NOM./GEN. [3] =NOM./GEN. [3]
INS kónjom kónjami kónjoma
LOC kónju kónjach kónjoma

[1] Cf. moving vowels (Hard stems 1)

[2] Cf. animacy (Hard stems 2)

[3] Cf. personhood (Hard stems 3)

[6] DAT. sg. soft stem masculine endings: (a) –oju, (b) –u, (c) –eju:
(a) nouns ending with -oju: all, except those mentioned in (b) and (c)
(b) –u nouns:
(1) kij-kiju `stock`, (2) znoj-znoju `sweat`, (3) złoźej-złoźeju `thief`, (4) łokś-łokśu `elbow` (c) –eju nouns: nouns ending with '–aŕ i –al, denoting profession names, e.g. faraŕ-fararjeju `priest`, kowal-kowaleju `blacksmith`

[8] GEN. pl. soft stem masculine endings: apart from –ow ending, there exists -i ending, which is used in those cases, as in point Hard stems, 8a, e.g. tyźeń - wjele tyźeni `week`

Exceptions[edit]

[1] a nouns luźe `people`

NOM. pl. luźe
GEN. pl. luźi
DAT. pl. luźam
ACC. pl. luźi, resp. luźe
INS. pl. luźimi
LOC. pl. luźach

[2] NOM. sg. źeń `dzień` - GEN. sg. dnja and further on like kóń (alternate LOC. sg. we dnjo) - NOM. ACC. pl. dny

[3] following nouns make special collective plural forms: kněz-kněža `mister-mistress and mistress`, bur-burja `peasant-peasantry`, kmotš-kmotša `godfather-godparents`

Alternative and relic forms[edit]

[1] apart from INS. pl. ending with –ami, there exists INS. pl. ending with –ymi (-imi)

[2] there exist relics of vocative case: (1) kněžo! `mister`, (2) nano! `father`, (3) of deminutives: bratśiko! `little brother`, wujko! `little uncle`, synko! `little son`, (4) of 1-sylable colloquial forms of masculine names: Mato!, Fryco!, Hanzo!, (5) of surnames endings with consonantal groups: Latk - kněz Latko!, Mětk - kněz Mětko!

Masculine nouns ending with -a[edit]

They are inflected following the patterns of feminine nouns, e.g. wojwoda `prince`, družba, podružba `best man (on a wedding)`, groba `count`, borša `apprentice`, šołta `commune leader`, nawožeńa `groom`, patriarcha, profeta, itd.; they are generally defined in masculine gender, however, rarely can they stay in feminine, e.g. taka nara, našeje boršy

Neuter nouns[edit]

Hard stems[edit]

singular plural dual
NOM słowo `word` słowa słowje
GEN słowa słowow [2] słowowu
DAT słowu słowam słowoma
ACC =NOM. =NOM. =NOM.
INS słowom słowami słowoma
LOC słowje [1] słowach słowoma

[1] LOC. sg. hard stem neuter endings:
(a) –je: a typical ending
(b) –u:

  • an alternative form in over-2-sylable-long nouns ending with -stwo, e.g. w kśesćijaństwu
  • an alternative form of wucho - we wuchu : we wuše `ear`
  • nouns woko – we woku `eye`, łyko – pśi łyku `bast`
  • deminutives ending with –ko, np. blidko – na blidku `little table`

[2] GEN. pl. hard stem neuter endings: apart from –ow ending, there also exists null ending - it follows numerals and prepositions, it's also a default form for settlement names e.g. słowo – wjele słow

Soft stems[edit]

Neuter nouns ending with a soft consonant and those ending with -z, -s, -c, -ž, -š, -č

sg.

pl.

du.

NOM

mórjo `sea` [3]

mórja

móri [6]

GEN

mórja

mórjow [2]

mórjowu

DAT

mórju [5]

mórjam

mórjoma

ACC

=NOM.

=NOM.

=NOM.

INS

mórjom [4]

mórjami

mórjoma

LOC

mórju

mórjach

mórjoma

[2] also null ending of GEN. pl. (Hard stems 2)

[3] following nouns have ending of NOM. sg. -je
(1) strowje `health`, (2) zele `herb`, (3) wjasele `happiness`, (4) kopje `copy`, (5) žyźe `velvet`, (6) pjerje `feather`, (7) verbal nouns ending with -nje, np. wuknjenje `learning`

[4] in LOC. sg. of soft stem neuters there are following endings:
(a) –om: nouns with NOM. sg. ending with –o
(b) –im: nouns with NOM sg. ending with -je, e.g. daśe - w daśi `giving`,
(c) –i: only in a phrase na poli `in the field`

[5] in DAT. sg. there is also an alternative ending –oju, often used for 1-sylable nouns (wokno – we woknoju `window`) and verbal nouns (kšyśe – ku kšyśoju `hiding`)

[6] II palatalisation + corelation i:y - after ź, ś, ć, j, l, ŕ, b’, p’, m’, ń, w’: -i - after z, s, c, ž, š, č: -y

Consonant stems [1][edit]

sg.

pl.

du.

NOM

zwěrje `animal`

zwěrjeta

zwěrjeśi

GEN

zwěrjeśa

zwěrjetow [2]

zwěrjeśowu [4]

DAT

zwěrjeśu

zwěrjetam

zwěrjeśoma [4]

ACC

=NOM.

=NOM.

=NOM.

INS

zwěrjeśim[3]

zwěrjetami

zwěrjeśoma[4]

LOC

zwěrjeśu

zwěrjetach

zwěrjeśoma [4]

[1] there are 2 types of thematic extensions (underlined part of a word in the table): (a) jeś:jet, (b) jenj, np. znamje-znamjenja `sign`; in the type (b) belongs also a word mě''-měnja `name`

[2] also null ending in GEN. pl. (Hard stems 2)

[3] more rarely instead of INS. sg. ending of neuter consonant-stemmed nouns –im comes –om

[4] in du. neuter nouns with -jeś:jet- take sometimes also hard thematic extension –jet–, np. zwěrjetoma

Exceptions[edit]

[1] a noun źiśe `child`:

  • in sg. it has only NOM. and ACC.
  • in pl. it's inflected like consonant-stemmed neuter without thematic extension
  • lacking sg. and du. forms are replaced with consonant-stemmed neuter noun with jeś:jet góle

sg.

pl.

du.

NOM

źiśe

źiśi

góli

GEN

góla

źiśi

gólowu

DAT

gólu

źiśam

góloma

ACC

=NOM.

=NOM.

=NOM.

INS

gólim

źiśimi

góloma

LOC

gólu

źiśach

góloma

[2] plural and dual number of words (1) woko, (2) wucho

NOM. ACC. du.

wócy

wušy

GEN. du.

wócowu

wušowu

DAT. INS. LOC. du.

wócyma

wušyma

NOM. ACC. pl.

wócy

wušy

GEN. pl.

wócow

wušow

DAT. pl.

wócam

wušam

INS. pl.

wócymi

wušymi

LOC. pl.

wócach

wušach

similarly wobwócy `eyebrows`, yet woko i wucho in metaphorical meanings - regularly

[3] alternative GEN. pl. of wokno: woken

Alternative and relic forms[edit]

[1] apart from INS. pl. ending with –ami there exists ending –ymi (imi)

[2] in DAT. sg. of consonant-stemmed neuter nouns there can come an alternative ending –oju

Feminine nouns[edit]

Hard stems ending with -a[edit]

+ (1) łdza `tear`,(2) sotša `sister`, (3) kmotša `godmother`

sg.

pl.

du.

NOM

ryba `fish`

ryby [1]

rybje

GEN

ryby [1]

rybow [2]

rybowu

DAT

rybje

rybam

ryboma

ACC

rybu

ryby [1]

rybje

INS

rybu

rybami

ryboma

LOC

rybje

rybach

ryboma

[1] so called IV palatalisation: after k, g ending –i instead of –y, e.g. ruka-ruki

[2] endings of GEN. pl. of hard stem feminines: except from -ow ending there xists null ending, which follow numerals and prepositions and is always used in case of settlement names, e.g. krowa – wjele krow `cow`, wójcamało wójc `sheep`


Soft stems ending with -a and -wej[edit]

+ those ending with historically soft -z, -s, -c, -ž, -š, -č [4]

sg.

pl.

du.

NOM

duša `dusza`

duše

dušy [3]

GEN

duše

dušow [2]

dušowu

DAT

dušy [3]

dušam

dušoma

ACC

dušu

duše

dušy [3]

INS

dušu

dušami

dušoma

LOC

dušy [3]

dušach

dušoma

[2] endings of soft stem feminine GEN. pl. : apart from –ow ending there exists also –i : –y ending (Cf. [3]) – it follows numerals and prepositions and is always used in case of settlement names, e.g. duša – wjele dušy

[3] i:y corelation

  • after ź, ś, ć, j, l, ŕ, b’, p’, m’, ń, w’: -i
  • after z, s, c, ž, š, č: -y

[4] in indlection of feminine soft stem nouns ending with –wej in oblique cases e falls out and w is becoming softened, e.g. cerkwej-cerkwje `church`

Soft stems ending with consonant[edit]

a soft consonant or a historically soft-z, -s, -c, -ž, -š, -č

sg.

pl.

du.

NOM

rěc `language`

rěcy [3]

rěcy [3]

GEN

rěcy [3]

rěcow [2]

rěcowu

DAT

rěcy [3]

rěcam

rěcoma

ACC

rěc

rěcy [3]

rěcy [3]

INS

rěcu

rěcami

rěcoma

LOC

rěcu [5]

rěcach

rěcoma

[2] ending of GEN. pl. of consonant feminines: apart from the ending –ow there exists ending –i : –y (cf. [3]) – it follows numerals and prepositions and is always used in case of settlement names, e.g. rěc – wjele rěcy

[3] i:y corelation (cf. Hard stems 3)

[5] LOC. sg. endings of consonant feminies:
(a) –i: for nouns ending with a soft consonant (ź, ś, ć, j, l, ŕ, b’, p’, m’, ń, w’), e.g. kazń-kazni `commmandment`
(b) –u: for nouns ending with a historically soft consonant (z, s, c, ž, š, č)

Alternative and relic forms[edit]

[1] apart from INS. pl. ending with –ami there exist also an ending –ymi (imi), which is particularly often used with the names of domestic animals, np. gus - z gusymi `goose with geese`

[2] a bookish and relatively rare word maś `mother` is a relic of a so-called r-stem declension: GEN. sg. maśerje (maśi) - DAT. sg. maśeri (maśi) - ACC. sg. maśeŕ - INS. sg. maśerju - LOC. sg. maśeri (maśi) - VOC. sg. maśi (maś) - du. and pl. regularly: maśeri, maśerjowu, etc.

[3] a noun kněni `mistress` before surnames isn't inflected, e.g. daj to kněni Krawcowej