Lesson 13: Nouns/The Third Declension
180. Third declension nouns in class 4. end in a liquid (λ, ρ), those in class 5. in a nasal (ν). The chief distinction between the two classes is the dative plural: the ν in nouns of class 5. is lost before the ending, -σι. Nouns in both classes are characterized by varying degrees of vowel gradation in the stem. Division into subgroups is based upon this feature:
|Class 4.||Stems in λ, ρ|
|4.a.||Stems showing strong grade only|
|4.b.||Stems showing variation between strong/middle grades|
|4.c.||Stems showing three grades|
|Class 5.||Stems in ν|
|5.a.||Stems showing strong grade only|
|5.b.||Stems showing variation between strong/middle grades|
|5.c.||Stems showing variation between strong/weak grades|
Nouns in these classes are not numerous, but those in 4.c. are of high frequency.
181. Class 4. Masculine and feminine nouns ending in a liquid.
Stems in -ηρ, ωρ originally showed three grades of the final stem vowel: strong -ηρ, ωρ middle -ερ, ορ, and weak -ρ. These grades were subsequently leveled out, i.e. generalized, in many instances in the interest of simplicity, some in the strong grade, some in the middle grade, and one example, ἀνήρ, ἀνδρός, ὁ, in the weak grade. Those leveled out in the strong grade show the strong grade throughout (4.a., cf. 5.a.); those leveled out in the middle grade show the strong grade in the nom. sing, and the middle grade elsewhere (4.b., cf. 5.b.). The nouns of class 4.c. (mostly relationship nouns, e.g. father, mother, daughter), however, have preserved vowel gradation to a considerable degree.
182. Class 4.a. Liquid stems showing the strong grade only
σωτήρ, σωτῆρος, ὁ savior
1820. Mnemonic hints:
1820.1 Except for the nom. sing., which has no ending, these nouns follow the pattern of τίς precisely.
1820.2 These nouns have the strong grade throughout: -ηρ, -ωρ.
↓ 1821. A full catalogue of 4.a. nouns may be found in Appendix II. There are a few nouns listed there which exhibit some peculiarity or other:
1821.1 Καῖσαρ, Καίσαρος, ὁ, Caesar, is, of course, a Latin word which has been adapted to this pattern in Greek; its only peculiarity is that its stem ends in -αρ rather than -ηρ or -ωρ.
1821.2 χείρ, χειρός, ἡ hand, a commonly occurring noun, is regular except for the dative plur. which is χερσί(ν): χείρ, χειρός, χεισί, χεῖρα; χεῖρες, χειρῶν, χερσί(ν), χεῖρας. Cf. αὐτόχειρ, -ος, ὁ or ἡ.
1821.3 μάρτυς, μάρτυρος, ὁ witness, forms a nom. sing, in -ς (the ρ disappears); the dat. plur. μάρτυσι(ν) follows the nom. sing, in dropping the ρ. The other forms are regular with -ρ-. Cf. πρωτόμαρτυς, -υρος, ὁ; ψευδόμαρτυς, -υρος, ὁ.
↑ 1821.4 ἅλς, ἁλὁς, ὁ, salt, is the only noun with stem in λ. In Attic it was declined: ἅλς, ἁλός, ἁλί, ἅλα; ἅλες, ἁλῶν, ἅλσι(ν), ἅλας (i.e. regularly), but this form is rare in hellenistic Greek (ἁλί Mk 9:49 v.l.; στήλη ἁλός, pillar of salt, 1 Clem. 11:2 [Gen 19:26]). A new form ἅλας, ἅλατος, τό, has been assimilated to stems in -τ- (§172).
1821.5 One neuter, πῦρ, πυρός, τό fire belongs to this class. It appears only in the sing, and is regular (nom. and acc. are identical): πῦρ, πυρός, πυρί, πῦρ.
183. Class 4.b. Liquid stems showing variation between strong/middle grades.
|ἀστήρ, ἀστέρος, ὁ star||ἀλέκτωρ, ἀλέκτορος, ὁ cock|
Note: a hellenistic dat. plur. is not attested for stems in -ηρ; ἀστράσι(ν) is the Attic form and shows the weak grade (-τρ-). Stems in -ωρ, however, show the middle grade (-ορ-) in the dat. plur.
1830. Mnemonic hints:
1830.1 Except for the nom. sing., which has no ending, these nouns follow the pattern of τίς precisely.
1830.2 These nouns have the strong grade (-ηρ, -ωρ) in the nom. sing., and the middle grade (-ερ, -ορ) elsewhere.
A full catalogue of 4.b. nouns may be found in Appendix II.
184. Class 4.c. Liquid stems showing three grades
This is a small group, mostly relationship nouns, but several are of high frequency.
|πατήρ, πατρός, ὁ father||μήτηρ, μητρός, ἡ mother|
|θυγάτηρ, θυγατρός, ἡ daughter|
1840. Mnemonic hints:
1840.1 The pattern is identical for all three nouns (and γαστήρ, γαστρός, ἡ belly).
1840.2 The strong grade appears only in the nom. sing.; there is no ending.
1840.3 The weak grade (-τρ-) appears in the gen. and dat. sing., and dat. plur.; the middle grade (-τερ-) elsewhere.
1840.4 The endings are regular, i.e. like τίς.
1841. Note: The dat. plur. shows the weak grade (-τρ-). When ρ comes between two consonants, it becomes vocalic, i.e. develops a vowel, in order to assist pronunciation (§913). Vocalic or sonant ρ is written ρ̬. The dat. plur. developed thus: πατρ̬σι > πατράσι.
185. Another noun showing vowel gradation is ἀνήρ, ἀνδρός, ὁ man, husband.
While ἀνήρ shows only the strong grade (-ηρ) in the nom. sing, and the weak grade (-ρ) elsewhere, it is closely related to the relationship nouns. Wherever the weak grade appears, δ is developed between ν and ρ to assist in pronunciation (Smyth §130). The dat. plur. is like πατράσι(ν); see. §1841.
186. Class 5. Masculine and feminine nouns ending in ν
Nouns of class 5. also conform to the model, τίς, except for the nom. sing., which has no ending (like class 4.). Only two other features require noting: a) class 5. nouns have either the strong grade of final stem vowel throughout (5.a.), or the strong grade in the nom. sing, and the middle grade elsewhere (5.b.), or the strong grade in the nom. sing, and the weak grade elsewhere (5.C.); b) the ν regularly disappears in the dat. plur. leaving no apparent trace.
187. Class 5.a. Stems in ν showing the strong grade only
|αἰών, αἰῶνος, ὁ age||Ἕλλην, Ἕλληνος, ὁ Greek|
Note: The ν disappears in the dat. plur. without leaving any apparent trace (See Smyth §250 N.).
↓ 1870. Most nouns in 5. a. are in -ων, -ωνος (only two in -ην, -ηνος). A few stems in -ιν and -αν follow the same pattern:
1870.1 ὠδίν, ὠδίνος, ἡ, birth-pain: ὠδίν (Attic nom. ὠδίς), ὠδίνος, ὠδῖνα, ὠδῖνες, ὠδίνων, ὠδῖσι(ν), ὠδῖνας.
1870.2 μεγιστάν, μεγιστᾶνος, ὁ great man: μεγιστᾶνες, μεγιστάνων, μεγιστᾶσι(ν), μεγιστάνας (plur. only).
1870.3 μέλαν, μέλανος, τό ink: μέλαν, μέλανος, μέλανι, μέλαν (sing, only; neuter: nom. and acc. alike), though a neuter, belongs to this class.
Like the foregoing but with nom. sing, in -ς:
1870.4 ἀκτίς, ἀκτῖνος, ἡ ray, beam (of the sun)
1870.5 ῥίς, ῥινός, ἡ nose; plur. nostrils (Papias 3*: ῥίνας): Attic — LXX — ῥίς, ῥινός, ῥινί, ῥῖνα, ῥῖνες, ῥινῶν, ῥισί(ν), ῥῖνας.
1870.6 Σαλμίς, Σαλαμῖνος, ἡ, Salamis: Acts 13:5 Σαλαμίνι, v. l. -ινῃ (B1-D §57).
↑ A complete catalogue of 5.a. nouns may be found in Appendix II.
188. Class 5.b. Stems in ν showing variation between the strong/middle grades.
|εἰκών, εἰκόνος, ἡ image; form|
|ποιμήν, ποιμένες, ὁ shepherd|
1880.1 The strong grade (-ων, -ην) appears in the nom. sing., the middle grade (-ον, -εν) elsewhere.
1880.2 The ν disappears in the dat. plur. without leaving any apparent trace (see Smyth §250 N.).
A complete catalogue of 5.b. nouns may be found in Appendix II.
189. Class 5.c. Stems in ν showing variation between strong/weak grades.
|κύων, κυνός, ὁ dog|
1890.1 The strong grade (-ων) appears in the nom. sing., the weak grade (-ν) elsewhere.
1890.2 The ν disappears in the dat. plur. as in nouns of classes 5.a. and 5.b.
↓ 1890.3 The only other noun of this type is ἀρήν, ἀρνός, ὁ lamb: ἀρήν (rare nom. sing.), ἀρνός, ἀρνί, ἄρνα, ἄρνες, ἀρνῶν, ἀρνάσι(ν), ἄρνας. Only ἄρνας is found in literature represented in Bauer (Lk 10:3, Barn 2:5). ἀμνός, -οῦ, ὁ, ἀρνίον, -ου, τό, and πρόβατον, -ου, τό (all second declension), sheep, lamb, are more common than ἀρήν.
190. Summary of classes 4. and 5.
190.1 The nouns in these classes are masculine or feminine
|exceptions:||πῦρ, πυρός, τό fire||(§1821.5)|
|μέλαν, μελάνος, τό ink||(§1870.3)|
190.2 The nom. sing, regularly has no ending
|exceptions:||μάρτυς, μάρτυρος, ὁ witness||(§1821.3)|
|ἅλς, ἁλός, ὁ salt||(§1821.4)|
|ἀκτίς, ἀκτῖνος, ἡ ray, beam||(§1870.4)|
|ῥίς, ῥινός, ἡ nose||(§1870.5)|
|Σαλαμίς, Σαλαμῖνος, ἡ Salamis||(§1870.6)|
190.3 The dat. plur.:
|a)||Nouns in 4.c. develop an α following ρ (vocalic ρ): -ρασι(ν);|
|b)||Nouns in 5 (all subgroups) lose ν before -σι without leaving any apparent trace.|
190.4 Vowel gradation:
|a) Nouns in 4.a. and 5.a. show no vowel gradation, the strong grade appearing throughout;|
|b) Nouns in 4.b. and 5.b. show variation between the strong grade in the nom. sing., and the middle grade elsewhere;|
|c) Nouns in 4.c. show three grades, except ἀνήρ, ἀνδρός, ὁ man, which shows only strong and weak grades; the latter is thus comparable to the two nouns in 5.c.|
1900.1 For vowel gradation in the stem cf. ἀλώπηξ, ἀλώπεκος, ἡ fox, (§1621.3) and the nouns in III.2.a. (§§165ff.).
1900.2 The nom. sing, of 5.a. and 5.b. nouns in -ων will be identical with the nom. sing, of nouns of 2.a., but the stems will be different elsewhere, and the dat. plur. of the latter will be -ουσι(ν) rather than -ωσι(ν) or -οσι(ν).