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

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

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.

More information about the Spellyans mailing list