Upper Sorbian Grammar


Declension of masculine nouns

Upper Sorbian masculine nouns as a rule in the nominative singular end with a consonant (or, strictly speaking, with a zero ending marked -0 in the table). Some of them may also end with -o (some personal names) and with -a.

Masculine nouns have the following set of endings:

SINGULAR
stem:softc z shardvelar
N-0
G-a (-u)
D-ej
Aanimate= Genitive
inanimate= Nominative
I-om
L-u-u/-'e
V-o-o/-'e-o
DUAL
stem:softother
N-ej-aj
G-ow
D-omaj
Avirile= Genitive
non-virile= Nominative
I-omaj
L-omaj
V= Nominative
PLURAL
stem:softc z shardvelar
Nvirile-ojo, -'a/-ja
non-virile-e-y-i
G-ow/-i-ow
D-am
Avirile= Genitive
non-virile= Nominative
I-emi-ami
L-ach
V= Nominative

The symbol -0 stands for a zero ending (an ending that is not represented by any sound in speech nor by any letter in writing).

The apostrophe before an ending shows that the preceding consonant of the noun's stem alternates according to the rules that are explained here.

Click here to see the alternations that take place during the process of declension of nouns including the ó vowel.

Some case endings need additional comment.

Gen.sing.
Some masculine nouns may have both -a and -u endings, but most of them may only have -a. There are no nouns that could have only -u ending in the Genitive singular, so the easiest way to avoid mistakes is to use always only the -a ending.

Acc.sing., Acc.du., Acc.plur.
In singular the accusative ending coincides with that of nominative, when a noun refers to a thing or a phenomenon, and with that of genitive, when a noun refers to a person or an animal. In dual and plural the accusative ending coincides with the genitive's one (resp. dual or plural) only for nouns that stand for a human being.

Loc.sing.
All the so-called soft-stem nouns and those that in Nom.sing. end with -c, s or z always have the -u ending. Other nouns may have both -u and -'e endings.

Voc.sing.
The -o ending usually (but not exclusively) have the soft-stem nouns and those that in the Nom.sing. end with h, ch, k, c, s. z. There is no rule that would describe the usage of vocative endings with other nouns.

Nom.plur.
Nouns that stand for animals or things (also phenomena) have the -y/-i ending (-i when a noun ends with h, ch or k and -y in all other cases) when they are hard-stem, and the -e ending when they are soft-stem.
Nouns that stand for human beings usually have the -ojo ending when they have only one syllable in the Nom.sing. When they are longer they may have one or more of all others Nom.plur. endings.

Gen.plur.
All nouns may have the -ow ending but some of the soft-stem nouns may also have the -i ending.

Ins.plur.
Hard-stem nouns have the -ami ending and soft stem ones have the -emi ending.

The following tables show some examples of masculine nouns' declensions:

A hard-stem personal noun with a monosyllabic nominative singular
nan father

singulardualplural
Nnannanajnanojo
Gnanananownanow
Dnanejnanomajnanam
Ananananownanow
I(z) nanom(z) nanomaj(z) nanami
L(w) nanje(w) nanomaj(w) nanach
Vnano!nanaj!nanojo!

A hard-stem non-animated noun:
hrěch sin

singulardualplural
Nhrěchhrěchajhrěchi
Ghrěcha/hrěchuhrěchowhrěchow
Dhrěchejhrěchomajhrěcham
Ahrěchhrěchajhrěchi
I(z) hrěchom(z) hrěchomaj(z) hrěchami
L(w) hrěchu/hrěše(w) hrěchomaj(w) hrěchach
Vhrěcho!hrěchaj!hrěchi!

A velar-stem animated non-personal noun:
hołb pigeon

singulardualplural
Nhołbhołbjejhołbje
Ghołbjahołbjowhołbjow
Dhołbjejhołbjomajhołbjam
Ahołbjahołbjejhołbje
I(z) hołbjom(z) hołbjomaj(z) hołbjemi
L(w) hołbju(w) hołbjomaj(w) hołbjach
Vhołbjo!hołbjej!hołbje!



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