Appendix:Irish first-declension nouns

The Irish first declension is made up of masculine nouns. The nominative singular ends in a broad (velarized) consonant, which is made slender (palatalized) in the genitive singular. The most common formation of the plural has the opposite pattern: the nominative ends in a slender consonant, the genitive in a broad consonant (these plurals are known as weak plurals in comparison with strong plurals which maintain the identical form for all cases in the plural).

bád "boat" Singular Plural
Nominative bád báid
Vocative a bháid a bháda
Genitive báid bád
Dative bád báid
(obsolete) bádaibh

When ch in the genitive singular and nominative plural of a polysyllabic word is made slender, it also becomes gh.

marcach "a horseman" Singular Plural
Nominative marcach marcaigh
Vocative a mharcaigh a mharcacha
Genitive marcaigh marcach
Dative marcach marcaigh
(obsolete) marcachaibh

Some nouns undergo a vowel change before the slender consonant of the genitive singular/nominative plural:

Many words of this declension form the plural with one of the endings -(a)í, -ta, -tha, -anna. These are known as "strong plural" endings, which means the plural is identical in all cases in the standard language. Some examples:

Some nouns have a weak plural (a plural where the genitive is different from the nominative, and is identical to the form of the nominative singular) in -a:

Other strong plural formations are found in:

Last modified on 28 June 2013, at 14:27