[Spellyans] Declension classes (was: SWF questionable wordforms)

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed Sep 17 14:53:28 IST 2008


This is a very important discussion. We really need to do a survey of  
wordforms here in order to investigate the declension classes.

On 17 Sep 2008, at 10:27, Jon Mills wrote:

> By analogy with 'tavas', I think that 'dewas' would be better than  
> 'dewes'. There seems to be a set of words that end '-as' in the  
> singular and '-osow' in the plural:

This really needs looking into. The question is of declension class.  
Do we have a class of words in -aC with plurals -oCow, or a class of  
words in -eC with plurals -oCow?

Since the vowel pronounced in either -aC/-eC is schwa, it would in  
fact be extremely foolish for us to burden learners with a random -aC/- 
eC choice in the singular alongside a regular -oCow choice in the  
plural.

There is of course the question as to whether the consonant itself  
makes a difference; that could lead us to discover different classes.  
For instance, we might have an -as/-osow class but an -eth/-odhow class.

There are a number of questions to be answered here.

(1) Which words have plurals in -oCow and which have plurals in -aCow  
and which have plurals in -eCow?
(2) What is the singular for each of these?
(3) Is there a pattern with singulars in -eC/-aC/-oC?
(4) Is there a distinction made between different consonants C?

I believe that if we can find out the details here we may be able to  
really nail down the question of the correct forms.




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