The history of Old English and its development — страница 3

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divided into strong and weak ones, the same as verbs in Germanic. While the first had a branched declension, special endings for different numbers and cases, the weak declension was represented by nouns which were already starting to lose their declension system. The majority of noun stems in Old English should be referred to the strong type. Here are the tables for each stems with some comments - the best way of explaining the grammar. a-stems                    Singular Nom. stán (stone)  scip (ship)  bán (bone)  reced (house)  níeten (ox) Gen.  stánes          

scipes       bánes           recedes           níetenes Dat.   stáne            scipe         báne            recede             níetene Acc.  stán              scip           bán             

reced               níeten                   Plural Nom.  stánas         scipu         bán              reced                níetenu Gen.    stána          scipa         bána           

receda             níetena Dat.    stánum        scipum      bánum          recedum          níetenum Acc.   stánas         scipu         bán              reced               níetenu This type of stems derived from masculine and neuter noun o-stems in Proto-Indo-European. First when I

started studying Old English I was irritated all the time because I couldn't get why normal Indo-European o-stems are called a-stems in all books on Old English. I found it a silly and unforgivable mistake until I understood that in Germanic the Indo-European short o became a, and therefore the stem marker was also changed the same way. So the first word here, stán, is masculine, the rest are neuter. The only difference in declension is the plural nominative-accusative, where neuter words lost their endings or have -u, while masculine preserved -as. A little peculiarity of those words who have the sound [æ] in the stem and say farewell to it in the plural:          

Masculine                         Neuter      Sing.              Pl.             Sing.               Pl. N  dæg (day) dagas     fæt (vessel)  fatu G  dæges       daga       fætes           fata D  dæge         dagum