4.3.1. Second Declension

1. The Stem of nouns of the Second Declension ends in sonant and consonant, that is: -n, -r, (rarely -l, -m), -s and occlusive (especially -t). The flexion of the animates is substantially the same as that of the First Declension.

The Nominative ending is -s (with occlusive, and -m, -l), but there is also a Nominative singular with pure stem vowel (declension - and lengthened ending vowel), so that the full-grade Vocative is differentiated. And there is no confusion in Nom./Gen., as -s has a different vowel grade (Nom. -s, Gen. -es or -os)

2. Europaio nouns of the Second Declension have thus two models:

ANIMATES

 

Occlusive, -m, -l

-r, -n, -s

NOM.

-s

- (long vowel)

ACC.

-m ['m]

-m ['m]

VOC.

-

- (full grade)

GEN.

-e/os

-e/os

OBL.

-i, -ei

-i, -ei

Obliques can also be specialized in

Dat.-Abl.

-ei

-ei

Loc.

-i

-i

Ins.

-bhi, -mi

-bhi, -mi

NOTE. These specialized Oblique endings were probably already splitting in the IE III, at least in a dialect-to-dialect basis. In proto-i.-i. Dat. -ei, Loc. -i; in proto-ita. Dat. -ei, Loc.-Inst.-Abl. -i; in proto-gr. Inst. -bhi; in proto-bsl. Inst. -mi, and so on. There are no exact patterns for every language; what we can reliably know is that the original Oblique declension, -i, was split into -i and -ei in an early stage. At that time - possibly that of the Hittite kingdom-, both possibilities alternated depending on disambiguation needs. After that, each proto-language developed its own Dat.-Loc.-Ins. (and even Abl.) system, for which the table above is a likely beginning point for all of them.

3. Inanimates have pure vowel stems with different vocalic grades. In nouns there can be no confusion at all, as they are different words, but the neuter adjectives could be mistaken in Nominative or Vocative Animate. Distinction is thus obtained with vocalism, so in animate -on / inanimate -on, animate -es / inanimate -es (neuter nouns with -s theme are in -os).