4.2.5. The Plural in the First Declension

1. The following table depicts the general system, common to the First and Second Declension.

 

Animate

Inanimate

NOM.

-es

                               -a, -a

ACC.

-ms

VOC.

-es

GEN.

-om, -em

OBL.

-bhis, -bhos; -mis, -mos; -si

The obliques can also be specialized in

Dat.-Abl.

-bhios / -mos, bhos

Loc.

-si, -su, -se

Ins.

-bhis / -mis

NOTE. The inanimate plural forms, -a and -a, correspond possibly to an older theme vowel of an earlier stage of the language, *-h and *-eh after the Laryngeals' Theory.

2. Unlike in the Singular, in which only some Nominatives have an -s, in Nom.-Voc. Plural the -s is general, and there is always one fix-grade vowel, e. So, the opposition Singular-Plural in -s/-es is actually a /e distinction. This opposition has also sometimes another mark, that of the vowel before the ending (see 4.7).

3. The Nom.-Voc. Plural Animate is normally in -es; as in cowes

There are forms in -eies for -i themes, as in oweies; in -eues for -u themes, as in suneues; in ijes, -uwes for -i, -u; as in bhruwes;

4. The Accusative Plural Animate is in -ms: owims, sunums, coms/coums

NOTE. Many scholars reconstruct for IE III the accusative plural ending -ns, because most of the attested proto-languages show either -ns (as some endings in Sanskrit or Germanic) or long vowel, sometimes with -s. Most of them also admit an original, older -ms form (a logical accusative singular -m plus the plural mark -s), but they prefer to reconstruct the attested -ns, thus (implicitly) suggesting an intermediate phase (IE II -ms> IE III *-ns> proto-languages -ns/-_s), common to all proto-languages. We don't know if this intermediate phase happened, and if it was common to all languages, or even if it was common to those languages which present in some declensions -ns, and in other declensions another endings. What we do know is that the form -ms is older than any other, and that it existed already in the IE II dialects, as the Anatolian dialects show.

5. Nom.-Voc. Acc. Plural Inanimate in -a

6. Genitive Plural Animate in -om/-om and -em: owi-om, noqti-om, sunuw-em/sunuw-om, cow-om

NOTE. The -m of the Acc. sg. An., Nom.-Acc.-Voc. sg. Inan. and this case could sometimes be equivocal. It is disambiguated with the vocalic grade, full or lengthened, which the Genitive takes - as the singular is always .

7. The Obliques are generally divided into two groups, that of the i.-i., gr., arm., lat., and cel. in -bh-; and another of the ger. and bsl. in -m-. There are, thus, -bhis, -bhos, -bhios, -bhi, and -mis, -mos: sunubhis / sunubhos / sunubhios / sunumis / sunumos.

NOTE. The forms are so divided into the different dialectal systems, that it is impossible to reconstruct a general system in which each of the Oblique cases have a particular ending.

There is also another ending possible, that in -s-i, -s-u, s-e, generally Locative (in i.-i. and bsl.), but also possibly general Dat.-Loc.-Ins. (as in Greek): sunusi / sunusu / sunuse

In the Oblique Plural specialized system, which is a common feature of Proto-Baltoslavic and Proto-Indo-Iranian (and, to some extent, of the Proto-Greek and Proto-Armenian) dialects, the Instrumental was probably formed adding the plural mark -s to the Instrumental Singular of the Second Declension, -bhi, -mi. The Dat.-Abl. was then opposed in vowel stem to the Instrumental: -bhos or -mos against -bhis or -mis. The Locative is constructed with an -s marking the plural, and an -i which is the locative mark.

NOTE. Its origin is probably the plural mark -s-, to which the local case ending -i is added. This is a general oblique ending in the thematic declension.

 

f. owi

m. sunu

f. bhru

m. cou

NOM.

oweies

suneues

bhruwes

cowes

ACC.

owims

sunums

bhrums

coums

VOC.

oweies

suneues

bhruwes

cowes

GEN.

owiom

sunuwem

bhruwom

cowom

OBL.

owebhos

sunubhis

bhrumis

coumos