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309. Plural

Plural. a. In the nominative, the general masculine and feminine ending is as. The old language, however, often makes the case āsas instead of ās from a-stems, and in a few examples also from ā-stems. From derivative ī-stems, īs instead of yas is the regular and usual Vedic form. Pronominal a-stems make the mas. nom. in e.

b. The neuter ending (which is accusative also) is in general i; and before this the final of a stem is apt to be strengthened, by prolongation of a vowel, or by insertion of a nasal, or by both. But in the Veda the hence resulting forms in āni, īni, ūni are frequently abbreviated by loss of the ni, and sometimes by further shortening of the preceding vowel.

c. The accusative ending is also as in consonant-stems and in the radical division of ī- and ū-stems (and in the old language even elsewhere). Stems in short vowels lengthen those vowels and add in the masculine n (for ns, of which abundant traces remain), and in the feminine s. In the neuter, this case is like the nominative.

d. In the instrumental, the case-ending is everywhere bhis except in a-stems, where in the later language the case always ends in āis, but in the earlier either in ais or the more regular ebhis (ābhis in the two personal pronouns; and the pronominal stem a [501] makes ebhis only).

e. The dative and ablative have in the plural the same form, with the ending bhyas (in the Veda often bhias), before which only a is altered, becoming e. But the two personal pronouns distinguish the two cases, having for the ablative the singular ending (as above pointed out), and for the dative the peculiar bhyam (almost never in Vedabhiam), which they extend also into the singular.

f. Of the genitive, the universal ending is ām; which (except optionally after radical ī and ū, and in a few scattering Vedic instances) takes after the final vowels an inserted consonant, s in the pronominal declension, n elsewhere; before n, a short vowel is lengthened; before s, a becomes e. In the Veda, it is frequently to be pronounced in two syllables, as a-am.

g. The locative ending is su, without any exceptions, and the only change before it is that of a to e.

h. The vocative, as in the dual, differs from the nominative only by its accent.