The main noun declensions are set out on the Grammar tables page, but there are several minor declensions. They are "minor" in terms of the number of nouns within each class, but the many of the nouns themselves are very common in use.
The u declension includes masculine and feminine nouns but no neuter nouns. The genders are declined identically. It includes nouns ending -u and a few which do not (though they might have had it in a lost, early form of proto-English).
Nouns with -uEdit
Nouns without -uEdit
Abstract nouns with -u / -oEdit
All these are abstract, feminine nouns. They rarely have plurals.
Umlaut forms generallyEdit
Some nouns undergo a change in the vowel, on the lines on normal Old English vowel mutation. Several of these survive into Modern English, for example foot – feet, mouse – mice. This is a common Germanic trait, rationalised in Modern German whereby the change in the vowel is represented by adding an umlaut to the vowel. In Old English the vowel is simply changed.
There are a few classes of these umlaut forms, of which the first below is the commonest. In every case, the nominative and accusative forms are identical.
Umlaut forms – 1; (fot)Edit
Umlaut forms – 2; (burg)Edit
Feminine nouns. The example given below is the usual one, but atypical of the class in one respect: Burg (or in its Mercian dialect form burh) also undergoes a change in the final consonant, from a hard g to a soft ig
Variant forms are recorded in this declension.
- boc – bec
- gos – ges
- mus – mys
Niht usually follows the burg pattern but without changing its vowel, or sometimes takes the regular feminine endings of the pattern in which the accusative is the same as the nominative. For the former the pattern is:
Family relationship nounsEdit
Family relationship words. Both masculine and feminine nouns are in this class, but their forms word to word may differ and different usage appears in different dialects and in different ages. The examples below are the more common usages.
Present participle nounsEdit
Nouns ending in -end are formed from present participles and these behave like adjectives declined in the strong form. These are masculine
Writers did not have a consistent approach to Latin names. A Latin name typically has an ending which mutates with declension in Latin, and the two main approaches appear to be:
- Decline the name with its native Latin forms, as if writing in Latin
- Use Englisc endings in place of the Latin one in oblique cases.
Thus the Persian King Cyrus is Cyrus in the nominative, but we also have "In Cyres dagum".
Latin also provides a number of place-names ending in -ia (which are feminine in Latin). Rather than treating these as if they were Englisc strong Masculine nouns like nama, usually they are treated as feminine, with the -ia changed to -ie in oblique cases.
There are no plurals in names of course.