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Regular Declensions — Declension 2

Posted by on March 6, 2015

The Second Declension

When we talk about declensions, we deal mainly with nouns (and also adjectives that are used nominally, i.e., as nouns, as in “The good, the bad and the ugly”). The second declension comprises all feminine words ending in iwith the exception of monosyllabic or disyllabic nouns (not adjectives) having a single consonant before the i, e.g. bi  (seed), koddi  (curry), suri  (knife), talli  (a small branch of a tree) which all belong to the fourth declension. Hence even disyllabic adjectives with single consonants before the ending i come under this declension.

Unlike the words of the first declension, where neuter nouns form their plurals differently from the masculine nouns, the words belonging to the second declension form not only their flex stems but even their plurals in the same manner. The singular flex stem is formed by replacing the ending i with ê, the plural (nominative) is formed by replacing the i with , and the plural flex stem is formed by by replacing the i with eam. However, in the case of disyllabic adjectives with a single consonant before the i (mentioned above), if the first vowel happens to be an o or e, it opens out in the plural flex stem. Thus the o‘s in gori, gorê and goreô are all closed, while it is open in the word goream. Listen to these sounds in the last example below.

Here are some examples of words of the second declension:

Singular Plural
 bokddi  bokddê  goat  bokddeô  bôkddeam  goats
 ostori  ostorê  woman  ostoreô  ostôream  women
 mhatari  mhatarê  old lady  mhatareô  mhataream  old ladies
 gori  gorê  fair lady  goreô  goream  fair ladies

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