Contents‎ > ‎CHAPTERS‎ > ‎IV. DECLENSION‎ > ‎

313. Insertions between Stem

Insertions between Stem and Ending. After vowel-stems, an added n often makes its appearance before an ending. The appendage is of least questionable origin in nom.-acc. pl. neut., where the interchange in the old language of the forms of a- and i-stems with those of an- and in-stems is pretty complete; and the u-stems follow their analogy. Elsewhere, it is most widely and firmly established in the gen. pl., where in the great mass of cases, and from the earliest period, the ending is virtually nām after a vowel. In the i- and u-stems of the later language, the instr. sing. of masc. and neut. is separated by its presence from the fem., and it is in the other weakest cases made a usual distinction of neuter forms from masculine; but the aspect of the matter in the Veda is very different: there the appearance of the n is everywhere sporadic; the neuter shows no special inclination to take it, and it is not excluded even from the feminine. In the ending ena from a-stems (later invariable, earlier predominating) its presence appears to have worked the most considerable transformation of original shape.

a. The place of n before gen. pl. ām is taken by s in pronominal a- and ā-stems.

b. The y after ā before the endings āi, ās, and ām is most probably an insertion, such as is made elsewhere (258).