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Appendix:Irish fourth-declension nouns

The Irish fourth declension is made up primarily of masculine nouns; however, abstract nouns ending in a vowel are nearly always feminine (eagla, aigne). The nominative singular can end in: a vowel; the diminutive suffix ‑ín (cailín); a few that end in a consonant (bus, ainm).

There is no special form for the genitive singular. The dative and vocative singular are likewise identical to the nominative singular.

The fourth declension plurals are strong plurals with very few exceptions.

The vocative forms, both singular and plural, are the same as the nominative.

Contents

Weak pluralsEdit

A weak plural is characterised by the genitive plural having the same form as the nominative singular. There is only a couple[1] of exceptional nouns classed as such in the fourth declension.

  •  f (cow), gs. bó, npl. ba, gpl.
  • grásta f (grace), grásta, grásta, grást
  • neach m (person), neach, neacha, neach
(cow) Singular Plural
Nominative ba
Vocative a bhó a bha
Genitive
Dative ba

Strong pluralsEdit

A strong plural is characterised by the genitive plural maintaining the same form as the nominative plural. Strong plural forms found in the fourth declension are (singular: plural):

  • -a, -e: -, -í
  • -ín: -íní
  • -le, -ne: -lte, -nte
  • -í, -aoi, -é: -the
  • also:
    • -nna
    • -(n)(e)acha

The first two are the most common.

file (poet) Singular Plural
Nominative file filí
Vocative a fhile a fhilí
Genitive file filí
Dative file filí

Feminine nounsEdit

As a general rule, nouns of the fourth declension are masculine.

The feminine nouns are:

  • Most abstract nouns ending in a vowel:
    • aigne f (mind)
    • eagla f (fear)
    • teanga f (language, tongue)
    • etc.
    • exceptions:
      • dlí m (law)
      • gleo m (battle)
      • rince m (dance)
  • Female personal names ending in -ín
    • Máirín, Nóirín.
  • Concrete nouns that are nonetheless feminine

Female nounsEdit

For female nouns of masculine gender, the referential pronoun is feminine: is cailín í.

Nouns ending in consonants other than -ínEdit

Most nouns of the fourth declension end in vowels or -ín. Nouns with other, consonant endings (with their plural form) include:

  • ainm m (name), ainmneacha
  • béarlagair m (jargon)
  • bus m (bus), busanna
  • cailif m (cailif), cailifí
  • cic m (kick), ciceanna
  • cleas m (gang), cleasanna (as 1st, trick)
  • cliamhain m (son-in-law), cliamhaineacha
  • cruicéad m (cricket) (teanglann: 1st)
  • dabht m (doubt), dabhtanna
  • dosaen m (dozen), dosaenacha
  • Eanáir m (January), Eanáirí
  • éimír m (emir), éimírí
  • fabht m (fault), fabhtanna
  • gild m (guild), gildeanna
  • Iúil m (July), Iúilí
  • laghad m (smallness) (teanglann: 1st, but unchanged genitive)
  • Máirt f (Tuesday), Máirteanna
  • máistir m (master), máistirí
  • méid m (amount) (as 2nd f, size)
  • mosc m (mosque), moscanna
  • saibhir m (richness), saibhirre
  • sáirsint m (sergeant), sáirsintí
  • seilf m (shelf), seilfeanna
  • seoch m (dyke), seochanna
  • stad m (stop), stadanna
  • téacs m (text), téacsanna
  • tiubh m (throng)
  • tobac m (tobacco)
  • uncail m (uncle), uncailí
  • veain m (van), veaineanna
  • veist m (vest), veisteanna
  • -eas,-iam (modern technical jargon via Latin -us, -ium)
    • e.g. úráinium, víreas
  • -blast, -clast (modern technical jargon via Greek βλαστός (blastós) κλαστός (klastós))

Nouns in other declensions ending in vowelsEdit

Verbal nounsEdit

Verbal nouns in short or long vowels (i.e., first verbal declension) form their verbal genitive using the verbal adjective e.g. -(a)ithe. Therefore, they are not classed as fourth declension nouns.

However, their substantive genitive is in the fourth declension.

The substantive genitive of second declension verbal nouns ending in vowels have the form of the verbal adjective.

Exception:

  • éirigh, vn. éirí, gs s. and vn. éirí

Fifth declensionEdit

The fifth declension is the only other declension with nouns ending in a vowel, albeit relatively few.

Multiple declensionsEdit

For a list of nouns having fourth and other declension forms, see the multiple declension table in the Irish nouns appendix.

External linksEdit

Wiktionary templatesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ In the Hiberno-English sense of "two or three or so"

See alsoEdit