Lesson 11: Nouns/The Third Declension


160. Class 1. Masculine and feminine nouns ending in a stop (mute).

Third declension nouns which end in a stop will show phonetic change in the nom. sing, and dat. plur., owing to the σ of the ending. The change is regular and takes place according to the following table:

labials π, β, φ, + σ = ψ                                             
palatals κ, γ, χ + σ = ξ
dentals τ, δ, θ + σ = σ(σ)

The declension pattern otherwise conforms to the model, τίς.

161. Class l.a. Nouns in a labial (π, β)

Only nine nouns of this type appear in the literature covered by Bauer (they were never common); see Appendix II for a full catalogue. There are no examples in -φ-.

                            λαῖλαψ, λαίλαπος, ἡ whirlwind

  S P
N λαῖλαψ ( < π-ς ) λαίλαπες
G λαίλαπος λαιλάπων
D λαίλαπι λαίλαψι(ν) ( < π-σι )
A λαίλαπα λαίλαπας

Note: Phonetic change (π + σ = ψ) in nom. sing, and dat. plur.

162. Class l.b. Nouns in a palatal (κ, γ, χ)

Nouns of this type are more common (35 in the literature covered by Bauer).

                              σάρξ, σαρκός, ἡ flesh

  S P
N σάρξ ( < κ - ς ) σάρκες
G σαρκός σαρκῶν
D σαρκί σαρξί(ν) ( < κ - σι )
A σάρκα σάρκας

                              σάλπιγξ, σάλπιγγος, ἡ trumpet

  S P
N σάλπιγξ ( < γ-ς ) σάλπιγγες
G σάλπιγγος σαλπίγγων
D σάλπιγγι σάλπιγξι(ν) ( < γ - σι )
A σάλπιγγα σάλπιγγας

                              θρίξ, τριχός, ἡ hair

  S P
N θρίξ               τρίχες                  
G τριχός τριχῶν
D τριχί θριξὶ(ν)
A τρίχα τρίχας

1620. Notes:

1620.1 The phonetic change, κ, γ, χ + σ = ξ, takes place in the nom. sing, and the dat. plur. In all other respects these nouns conform to the model, τίς.

1620.2 In θρίξ the θ¸ is deaspirated (§928.2) wherever the χ appears so as not to have two aspirates in succeeding syllables (the aspirated form concurs with the appearance of the σ in the ending, which transforms χ into ξ).

↓ 1621. Irregularities.

1621.1 A commonly occurring noun belonging to this class is γυνή, γυναικός, ἡ woman. The stem is γυναικ-. The nom. sing, shows a shortened stem and is therefore irregular (the vocative γύναι also appears in the New Testament as well as in Attic [Smyth §285.6]).

γυνή, γυναικός, ἡ woman

  S P
N γυνή γυναῖκες
G γυναικός γυναικῶν
D γυναικί γυναιξί(ν)
A γυναῖκα γυναῖκας

Note: The nom. sing, is a short form of the stem; the dat. plur. shows the regular phonetic change (κ + σ = ξ).

1621.2 νύξ, νυκτός, ἡ night, another commonly occurring noun belonging to this class, really ends in -κτ- (shown by the genitive), but it behaves in the nom. sing, and dat. plur. as though it ended in -κ-: ἡ νύξ, ταῖς νυξί(ν).

↑ 1621.3 ἀλώπηξ, -εκος, ἡ fox, shows a change in stem vowel from strong to middle grade (η to ε); the long vowel is found only in the nom. sing. (cf. nouns of classes 2., §§165f., 4.b. and 5.b., §§183f., 188f.).

163. Class 1.c. Nouns in a dental (τ, δ, θ)

In these nouns the dental disappears before the σ of the nom. sing, and dat. plur. endings (§160).

                              χάρις, χάριτος, ἡ grace

  S P
N χάρις ( <τ - ς ) χάριτες
G χάριτος χαρίτων
D χάριτι χάρισι(ν) ( < τ - σι )
A χάριν (χάριτα) χάριτας

                              ἐλπίς, ἐλπίδος, ἡ hope

  S P
N ἐλπίς, ( < δ - ς ) ἐλπίδες
G ἐλπίδος ἐλπίδων
D ἐλπίδι ἐλπίσι(ν) ( < δ - σι )   
A ἐλπίδα ἐλπίδας

1630. Notes:

1630.1 The only noun with stem in θ is ὄρνις, ὄρνιθος, ὁ (ἡ) bird. It also appears in the form ὄρνιξ, ὄρνιχος, ὁ (ἡ) (Ill.l.b.). Bl-D §47 (4).

1630.2 A commonly occurring type of this class has a nom. sing, in -της, gen. -τητος (e.g. χρηστότης, χρηστοτητος, ἡ, goodness). Although they follow the pattern of χάρις, the multiplication of τ’s tends to be confusing.

1630.3 Some nouns of this class have an acc. sing, in -ιν (substitute ν for ς of the nom. sing.), e.g. ἡ χάρις, τὴν χάριν. In the case of χάρις, τὴν χάριτα also appears. Cf. §1540.2 and nouns of classes III.7.a., 7.b., 7.d. (§§199f., 200f., 202f.).

1630.4 This class is the masc.-fem. counterpart to neuter stems in -τ- (III.3.a. and b.; §§170-1730).

↓ 1631. Irregularity.

A commonly occurring noun belonging to this class is πούς, ποδός, ὁ, foot. Like γυνή (§1621.1), πούς is an irregular nom. sing. The stem is ποδ-, and the other forms are regular:

                              πούς, ποδός, ὁ foot

  S P
N πούς πόδες
G ποδός ποδῶν
D ποδί ποσί(ν) ( < δ - σι )
A πόδα πόδας

With πούς belong the compounds of which it is the second element: Ἀγαθόπους, δασύπους, πολύπους, all ὁ.

164. Summary. Class 1 nouns are declined like τίς, but one must reckon a) with the phonetic change occasioned by the juxtaposition of σ with a stop in the nom. sing, and dat. plur., and b) with an occasional acc. sing, in -ιν rather than -ιτα or -ιδα. Γυνή and πούς have odd nom. singulars.

165. Class 2. Masculine nouns with stems in -ντ-

The few nouns of this class are divided between those which have no ending in the nom. sing, and those which have -ς. It is necessary to distinguish them from simple τ-stems (class I.e.) because of the dat. plur. In spite of their infrequency, they are important for the reason that the two subclasses offer analogies for the declension of the masculine participle. Nearly all of these nouns show variation between a long stem vowel (ω, η) in the nom. sing, and a short stem vowel (ο, ε) elsewhere (cf. §1621.3 and nouns of classes 4.b. and 5.b., §§183f., 188f.).

Some of these substantives in -ντ-, in fact, were originally participles. Robertson-Davis §177. Cf. §§247f. for the masculine participle.

166. Class 2.a. Stems in -ντ- with no ending in the nominative singular

                              ἄρχων, ἄρχοντος, ὁ ruler

  S P
N ἅρχων ( < -ωντ ) ἄρχοντες
G ἄρχοντος ἀρχόντων
D ἄρχοντι ἄρχουσι(ν) ( < -οντσι )
A ἄρχοντα ἄρχοντας

1660. Notes:

1660.1 Since τ cannot stand at the end of a word (§923) , it is dropped in the nom. sing.: ἄρχων.

1660.2 The stem shows vowel gradation: long ω in the nom. sing., short ο elsewhere. (One proper name, Σολομῶν, -ῶντος, ὁ, retains the long stem vowel; see Bl-D §55(2) for variation in declension.)

1660.3 In the dat. plur., -ντ- disappears before σ (§929.9), and the preceding vowel is lengthened in compensation (compensatory lengthening, §914): αρχοντσι > αρχο-σι > αρχουσι.

167. Class 2.b. Stems in -ντ- with -ς in the nominative singular.

ἱμάς, ἱμάντος, ὁ strap, thong

  S P
N ἱμάς ( < -αντς ) ἱμάντες
G ἱμάντος ἱμάντων
D ἱμάντι ἱμᾶσι(ν) ( < -αντσι )
A ἱμάντα ἱμάντας

1670. Notes:

1670.1 The -ντ- is lost before the σ of the nom. sing, and dat. plur. The compensatory lengthening does not visibly affect α, but in ὀδούς, ὀδόντος, ὀδοῦσι(ν), ὁ tooth, the ο of the stem is lengthened to ου. ἱμάς and ὀδούς are the only common nouns of this class.

↓ 1670.2 Three proper names, however, follow the same pattern: Κλήμης, -εντος, ὁ; Πούδης, -εντος, ὁ, i.e. stems in -ντ- with -ς in the nom. sing. Note the change from long to short stem vowel; the plural, of course, does not come into consideration.

168. Summary. Nouns of Class 2 present problems only in the nom. sing, and dat. plur., and in the variation between long and short stem vowel. The dat. plur., ἄρχουσι(ν), in particular, is subject to confusion with the third person plur. present, active, indicative of certain verbs: λύουσι(ν) (see §318). Although few in number in themselves (twelve examples in the literature covered by Bauer, see Appendix II), they will be joined by a host of masculine participles.

1680. Catalogue of third declension nouns, classes 1. and 2., appearing in the New Testament ten times or more (for a complete catalogue, see Appendix II).

III.1. Masculine and feminine nouns ending in a stop
a. stems ending in a labial — no examples
b. stems ending in a palatal
γυνή, γυναικός, ἡ woman [cf. gyneaology]
σάρξ, σαρκός, ἡ flesh [cf. sarcophagus}
νύξ, νυκτός, ἡ night
θρίξ, τριχός, ἡ hair [cf. trichosis, trichology]
σάλπιγξ, σάλπιγγος, ἡ trumpet
c. stems ending in a dental
χάρις, χάριτος, ἡ grace
πούς, ποδός, ὁ foot [cf. chiropodist; podium; tripod]
ἐλπίς, ἐλπίδος, ἡ hope
παῖς, παιδός, ὁ and ἡ boy, girl, servant [cf. paediatrics or ped-]
χιλιάς, χιλίαδος, ἡ a thousand [cf. chiliasm]
σφραγίς, σφραγῖδος, ἡ seal, signet [cf. spragistics]
χρηστότης, χρηστότητος, ἡ goodness
III.2. Masculine nouns with stems in -ντ-
a. no ending in the nominative singular
ἄρχων, ἄρχοντος, ὁ ruler [cf. monarch]
δράκων, δράκοντος, ὁ dragon [cf. Latin draco; Eng. dragon]
b. -ς in the nominative singular
ὀδούς, ὀδόντος, ὁ tooth [cf. odontology]