Old Norse/Noun Declension

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In this chapter, the following concepts are explained:

  • strong masculine declension
  • strong feminine declension
  • strong neuter declension
  • strong r-stem declension
  • strong nd-stem declension
  • weak masculine declension
  • weak feminine declension
  • weak neuter declension

Labial mutation (aka. u-umlaut) is marked by an L before the ending.

Front mutation (aka. i-umlaut) is marked by an F before the ending.

Strong masculine declension[edit]

a-stem nouns[edit]

a-stem masculine nouns
case singular plural
nominative -r -ar
genitive -s, -ar -a
dative -i L -um
accusative -∅ -a

For the genitive singular, some nouns had -s, others had -ar, still others had both.

ja-stem nouns[edit]

ja-stem masculine nouns
long stem short stem
case singular plural singular plural
nominative -ir -ar -r -jar
genitive -is -a -s -ja
dative -i L -um -i L -jum
accusative -i -a -∅ -ja

Masculine short stem are rare. The only ones are niðr, herr and beðr.

Long stems have i instead of j unless followed by back vowels (here a, u). j disappears anyways after a long stem, unless preceded by g or k.

wa-stem nouns[edit]

wa-stem masculine nouns
case singular plural
nominative L -r L -var
genitive L -s, -var L -va
dative L -vi L -um
accusative L -∅ L -va

i-stem nouns[edit]

i-stem masculine nouns
case singular plural
nominative -r -ir
genitive -s, -ar -a
dative -∅, -i L -um
accusative -∅ -i

u-stem nouns[edit]

u-stem masculine nouns
case singular plural
nominative L -r F -ir
genitive -ar -a
dative F -i L -um
accusative L -∅ L -u

Consonant stem nouns[edit]

Consonant stem masculine nouns
case singular plural
nominative -r F -r
genitive -s, -ar -a
dative (F) -i, -∅ L -um
accusative -∅ F -r

Strong feminine declension[edit]

ō-stem nouns[edit]

ō-stem feminine nouns
case singular plural
nominative L -∅ -ar
genitive -ar -a
dative L -∅, -u L -um
accusative L -∅ -ar

-stem nouns[edit]

-stem feminine nouns
long stem short stem
case singular plural singular plural
nominative L -r -ar L -∅ -jar
genitive -ar -a -jar -ja
dative L -i L -um L -∅, -ju L -jum
accusative L -i -ar L -∅ -jar

-stem nouns[edit]

-stem feminine nouns
case singular plural
nominative L -∅ L -var
genitive L -var L -va
dative L -∅, -u L -um
accusative L -∅ L -var

i-stem nouns[edit]

i-stem feminine nouns
case singular plural
nominative L -∅, -r -ir
genitive -ar -a
dative L -∅, -u L -um
accusative L -∅ -ir

Consonant stem nouns[edit]

Consonant stem feminine nouns
case singular plural
nominative L -∅ F -r
genitive -ar, (F -r) -a
dative L -∅ L -um
accusative L -∅ F -r

Strong neuter declension[edit]

a-stem nouns[edit]

a-stem neuter nouns
case singular plural
nominative -∅ L -∅
genitive -s, -ar -a
dative -i L -um
accusative -∅ L -∅

ja-stem nouns[edit]

ja-stem neuter nouns
long stem short stem
case singular plural singular plural
nominative -i L -i -∅ L -∅
genitive -is -a -s -ja
dative -i L -um -i L -jum
accusative -i L -i -∅ L -∅

Long stems have i instead of j unless followed by back vowels (here a, u). j disappears anyways after a long stem, unless preceded by g or k.

wa-stem nouns[edit]

wa-stem neuter nouns
case singular plural
nominative L -∅ L -∅
genitive L -s, -var L -va
dative L -vi L -um
accusative L -∅ L -∅

Strong r-stem declension[edit]

r-stem nouns
case singular plural
nominative -ir F -r
genitive L -ur F -ra
dative L -ur F -rum
accusative L -ur F -r

r-stem nouns are those of family members and relationships. They are faðir, móðir, bróðir, systir and dóttir. faðir has an alternative genitive singular feðr.

Strong nd-stem declension[edit]

nd-stem nouns
case singular plural
nominative -i F -r
genitive -a -a
dative -a L -um
accusative -a F -r

nd-stem nouns were originally present participles used substantively, like English he witnessed the killing of his mother.

Weak masculine declension[edit]

an-stem masculine nouns[edit]

an-stem masculine nouns
case singular plural
nominative -i -ar
genitive -a -a
dative -a L -um
accusative -a -a

jan-stem masculine nouns[edit]

jan-stem masculine nouns
case singular plural
nominative -i -jar
genitive -ja -ja
dative -ja L -jum
accusative -ja -ja

Weak feminine declension[edit]

ōn-stem feminine nouns[edit]

ōn-stem feminine nouns
case singular plural
nominative -a L -ur
genitive L -u -na
dative L -u L -um
accusative L -u L -ur

jōn-stem feminine nouns[edit]

jōn-stem feminine nouns
case singular plural
nominative -ja L -jur
genitive L -ju -na
dative L -ju L -jum
accusative L -ju L -jur

īn-stem feminine nouns[edit]

īn-stem feminine nouns
case singular plural
nominative -i -ar
genitive -i -a
dative -i L -um
accusative -i -ar

Weak neuter declension[edit]

an-stem neuter nouns[edit]

an-stem neuter nouns
case singular plural
nominative -a L -u
genitive -a -na
dative -a L -um
accusative -a L -u

jan-stem neuter nouns[edit]

jan-stem neuter nouns
case singular plural
nominative -ja L -ju
genitive -ja -na
dative -ja L -jum
accusative -ja L -ju