Gothic/2/Declension

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Gothic Nouns[edit]

Gothic nouns have three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. All Gothic nouns change their ending depending on the case and gender. To further simplify Gothic nouns, we can put them into groups that share the same ending. These groups are called noun declensions. Gothic noun declensions are divided into seven distinct groups: a-declensions, o-declensions, i-declensions, u-declensions, r-declensions, and weak declensions. There is also a class of minor declensions.

The a-declension[edit]

The Gothic a-declension consists of masculine and neuter nouns. This class corresponds to the Latin and Greek second declension (Latin -us, -um; Greek ος, ον). Furthermore, this class is subdivided into pure a-stems, ja-stems, and wa-stems.

Pure a-stems[edit]

Case dags, dagōs
day m.
waúrd, waúrda
word n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative dags –s dagōs –ōs waúrd waúrda –a
Accusative (Vocative) dag dagans –ans
Genitive dagis –is dagē –ē waúrdis –is waúrdē –ē
Dative daga –a dagam –am waúrda –a waúrdam –am

Ja-stems[edit]

Ja-stems decline the same as pure a-stems, but with a -j preceding. Within the ja-stems, a distinction is made between those with a long syllable and those with a short syllable.

Case harjis, harjōs
army m.
haírdeis, haírdjōs
herdsman m.
kuni, kunja
race n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative harjis –jis harjōs –jōs haírdeis –eis haírdjōs –jōs kuni -i kunja –ja
Accusative (Vocative) hari -i harjans –jans haírdi -i haírdjans –jans
Genitive harjis –jis harjē –jē haírdeis –eis haírdjē –jē kunjis –jis kunjē –jē
Dative harja –ja harjam –jam haírdja –ja haírdjam –jam kunja –ja kunjam –jam

Wa-stems[edit]

Wa-stems nouns decline just like pure a-stems, but with -w.

Case þius, þiwōs
servant m.
kniu, kniwa
knee n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative þius –s þiwōs –ōs kniu kniwa –a
Accusative (Vocative) þiu þiwans –ans
Genitive þiwis –is þiwē –ē kniwis –is kniwē –ē
Dative þiwa –a þiwam –am kniwa –a kniwam –am

O-stems[edit]

This declension only contains feminine nouns and corresponds to the Latin and Greek first declension (Latin -a, -am; Greek -η, ην). Just like a-stems, it is subdivided into pure o-stems, jo-stems, and wo-stems.

Pure O-stems[edit]

Case giba, gibōs
gift f.
Singular Plural
Nominative-Accusative giba –a gibōs –ōs
Genitive gibōs –ōs gibō –ō
Dative gibái –ái gibōm –ōm

Jo-stems[edit]

Jo-stems decline just like pure o-stems, but with -j. Short stem jo-stems decline the same as pure o-stems.

Long syllable jo-stem have a different nominative singular ending in -i:

Case bandi, bandjōs
band f.
Singular Plural
Nominative bandi –i bandjōs –jōs
Accusative bandja –ja
Genitive bandjōs –jōs bandjō –jō
Dative bandjái –jái bandjōm –jōm

Wo-stems[edit]

Wo-stems decline just like pure o-stems.

I-Declension[edit]

The i-declension contains both masculine and feminine nouns.

Case gasts, gastis
stranger, guest m.
qēns, qēneis
wife f.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative gasts –s gasteis –eis qēns –s qēneis –eis
Accusative (Vocative) gast gastins –ins qēn qēnins –ins
Genitive gastis –is gastē –ē qēnáis –áis qēnē –ē
Dative gasta –a gastim –im qēnái –ái qēnim –im


Abstract nouns ending in -eins are declined like feminine i-stem nouns.

Case láiseins, láiseinōs
doctrine f.
Singular Plural
Nominative láiseins –s láiseinōs –ōs
Accusative láisein láiseinins –ins
Genitive láiseináis –áis láiseinō –ō
Dative láiseinái –ái láiseinim –im

U-Declension[edit]

The u-declension contains all genders. Both masculine and feminine nouns decline the same. Only a few neuter u-declension nouns are extant and no plural exist.

Case sunus, sunjus
son m.
faíhu
property n.
Singular Plural Singular
Nominative sunus –us sunjus –jus faíhu –u
Accusative (Vocative) sunu –u sununs –uns
Genitive sunáus –áus suniwē –iwē faíháus –áus
Dative sunáu –áu sunum –um faíháu –áu

Weak Declension[edit]

Masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns belong to this declension.

An-Declension[edit]

Weak masculine and neuter nouns belong to this declension.

Case atta, attans
father m.
haírtō, haírtōna
heart n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative atta –a attans –ans haírtō –ō haírtōna –ōna
Accusative attan –an attans –ans
Genitive attins –ins attanē –anē haírtins –ins haírtanē –anē
Dative attin –in attam –am haírtin –in haírtam –am

On-Declension[edit]

This declension is the feminine counterpart of the an declension.

Case tuggō, tuggōns
tongue f.
Singular Plural
Nominative tuggō –ō tuggōns –ōns
Accusative tuggōn –ōn
Genitive tuggōns –ōns tuggōnō –ōnō
Dative tuggōn –ōn tuggōm –ōm

Minor Declensions[edit]

R-Declension[edit]

A few family nouns inherited from Proto-Indo-European have a very archaic declension. Feminines and masculines have identical forms.

Case swistar, swistrjus
sister f.
Singular Plural
Nominative swistar –ar swistrjus –rjus
Accusative swistruns –runs
Genitive swistrs –rs swistrē –rē
Dative swistr –r swistrum –rum

-Nd Declension[edit]

These nouns are old present participles, corresponding to nouns in -nt in Latin and Greek.

Case frijōnds, frijōnds
friend m.
Singular Plural
Nominative frijōnds –s frijōnds –s
Accusative frijōnd
Genitive frijōndis –is frijōndē –ē
Dative frijōnd frijōndam –am

Consonant Declension[edit]

These nouns correspond to the consonant declensions in Latin and Greek (in both cases, part of the third declension). Only traces of masculines are extant, but feminines are fairly well attested.

Case reiks, reiks
ruler m.
baúrgs, baúrgs
city f.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative reiks –s reiks –s baúrgs –s baúrgs –s
Acc. reik baúrg
Gen. reikis –is, –s reikē –ē baúrgs –s baúrgē –ē
Dative reik reikam –am, um baúrg baúrgim –im