. 5
( 17)


tuj ∼ ytuj t= ∼ yt= (y†q)
gen ´ ´ «[∼ y«[
tv© ∼ ytv© †q ∼ y†q «v ∼ y«v
loc y=v y†q y«[
«v ∼ y«v †q ∼ †/ ∼ y†/ ∼ y†q «vb ∼ y«vb

[4] Nfr vyj/<ins> htifkfcm pflfxf.
That is how the problem used to get solved by me.

3.3.2 Third-person pronouns
Third-person pronouns, which by origin are demonstratives, distinguish gender,
and have a declension similar to that of demonstratives (§3.3.3).
Like personal pronouns, third-person pronouns always express the accusative
by using the genitive (or “animate”) form, even when they do not refer to ani-
mates (§4.1.6). Third-person pronouns occur with a preceding linking consonant
¤y≥ when they are governed by a preposition. The feminine instrumental form
allows a somewhat old-fashioned variant y†/ with prepositions, which occurs
more frequently than vyj 14´/:

[5] Jy crhskcz c yt/<ins> .
He disappeared with her.
[6] Vt;le yt/<ins> b vyjq djpybrkf ,jkmifz lhe;,f.
Between her and me there arose a close friendship.

14 Zalizniak 1977[a]:65. In text counts in the conservative usage of memoirist S. Golitsyn (Zapiski
utselevshego [Moscow, 1990]), yt/ was actually more frequent, by 29 xx to ytq 27 xx, with gthtl,
c, yfl, gjl. In the Uppsala Corpus, ytq predominated over yt/ with these prepositions (ytq 157
xx/191 xx = 82%). On www.lib.ru <15.IX.02>, ytq with these prepositions occurred 80 percent of
the time (ytq 23,144 xx / 28,795 xx total).
118 A Reference Grammar of Russian

Table 3.12 Declension of ¦njn, nj

msc msc=nt nt fem pl

¦njn ∼ nj ¦nj ∼ nj ¦nf ∼ n’ ¦nb ∼ n†
nom ´n ´
=nom<in> ∼ =nom ¦ne ∼ n© =nom<in> ∼ gen<an>
¦njuj ∼ njuj ∼
gen ´ ¦njq nj
´q ¦nb[∼ n†[
¦njve ∼ njv© ∼ ¦nbv ∼ n†v
dat ¦njq nj
¦njv ∼ nj ∼
loc ´v ¦njq nj
´q ¦nb[∼ n†[
¦nbv ∼ n†v ∼ ¦nbvb ∼ n†vb
ins ¦njq nj

Table 3.13 Declension of rfrj (nfrj
´q ´q)

msc msc=nt nt fem pl

nom rfrj
´q rfrj
´t rfr’z rfr«t
=nom<in> ∼ gen<an> =nom =nom<in> ∼ gen<an>
acc rfr©/
gen rfrj
´uj rfrj
´q rfr«[
dat rfrj
´ve rfrj
´q rfr«v
loc rfrj
´v rfrj
´q rfr«[
ins rfr«v rfrj
´q rfr«vb

In informal Russian e y†q is possible instead of e yt= when it has weak stress

[7] Kbwj e ytq ,skj gjhfpbntkmyjq rhfcjns.
That face of hers was of astounding beauty.

3.3.3 Determiners (demonstrative, possessive, adjectival pronouns)
Determiners, like adjectives, agree with a modi¬ed noun in gender--number and
case. The declensions of the two demonstratives, proximate э ´njn and distal nj
(Table 3.12) are similar, except for the vowel of the ending in the instrumental
singular and the plural. Determiners express animacy depending on the refer-
ence of the noun they modify (or refer to). If the noun is animate and either
masculine singular or plural of any gender, the demonstrative uses the geni-
tive form for the accusative. These demonstratives and all other elements with
adjectival declension allow an archaic variant with an extra syllable in the in-
strumental feminine singular: э ´nj/.
Nfrj ˜such™ and rfrj ˜what kind of™ have purely adjectival declension (§3.5.1).
´q ´q
15 In Golitsyn and the Uppsala Corpus, there was a total of 313 xx e ytt against 6 xx e ytq, or
98 percent. On www.lib.ru <15.IX.02>, e ytt occurred 95 percent of the time (e ytt 14,600 xx /
15,386 xx total).
Inflectional morphology 119

Table 3.14 Declension of y†rbq

msc msc=nt nt fem pl

nom y†rbq y†rjt y†rfz y†rbt
=nom<in> ∼ =nom =nom<in> ∼
acc y†re/
gen<an> gen<an>
y†rb[ († y†rjb[)

(o y†rjuj) y†rjtuj
gen y†rjq y†rjtq
y†rbv († y†rjbv)

(o y†rjve) y†rjtve
dat y†rjq y†rjtq
y†rb[ († y†rjb[)

(o y†rjv) y†rjtv
loc y†rjq y†rjtq
y†rbv († y†rjbv) y†rbvb († y†rjbvb)

ins y†rjq y†rjtq

= innovative, not standard

= archaic

Table 3.15 Declension of y’i (d’i), ndj (vj cdj
´q ´q, ´q)

msc msc=nt nt fem pl

y’i ∼ ndj y’it ∼ ndj= y’if ∼ ndjz y’ib ∼ ndj«
nom ´q ´
=nom<in> ∼ =nom y’ie ∼ ndj· =nom<in> ∼
gen<an> gen<an>
∼ ∼ y’ib[ ∼ ndj«[
gen y’ituj ndjtuj
´ y’itq ndj†q
∼ ∼ y’ibv ∼ ndj«v
dat y’itve ndjtv© y’itq ndj†q
∼ ∼ y’ib[ ∼ ndj«[
loc y’itv ndj=v y’itq ndj†q
∼ ∼ y’ibvb ∼ ndj«vb
ins y’ibv ndj«v y’itq ndj†q

The inde¬nite existential adjective y†rbq, stylistically old-fashioned, has a de-
clension containing some archaisms (e.g., msc gen sg y†rjtuj) alongside adap-
tations to a more productive pattern of declension (e.g., loc pl y†rb[ for older
The elaborated demonstratives э ´lfrbq, э
´nfrbq ˜such a™ decline just like any
adjective whose stem ends in the consonant [k] (uhj ´vrbq ˜loud™).

3.3.4 Possessive adjectives: 1SG vjq, 2SG ndjq, 1PL yfi, 2PL dfi, reflexive cdjq,
interrogative xtq
Possessive adjectives of personal pronouns -- 1sg vj 2sg ndj 1pl y’i, 2pl d’i,
´q, ´q,
re¬‚exive cdj -- decline in a fashion similar to э ´njn (Table 3.15). D’i declines
like y’i, vj and cdj like ndj To express possession by a third person, Rus-
´q ´q ´q.
sian uses the etymological genitive forms of the third-person pronoun msc=nt
tuj fem t=, pl «[, invariant forms that do not agree in gender--number and
case with the modi¬ed noun. (The true adjective «[ybq is substandard.) There
are some differences between tuj t=, «[ used as genitives and used as posses-
sives. As possessives, tuj t=, «[ do not elicit the ligature {n} after prepositions:
120 A Reference Grammar of Russian

Table 3.16 Declension of x†q

msc msc=nt nt fem pl

nom x†q xm= xmz
´ xm«
=nom<in> ∼ gen<an> =nom =nom<in> ∼ gen<an>
acc xm·
gen xmtuj
´ xm†q xm«[
dat xmtv© xm†q xm«v
loc xm=v xm†q xm«[
ins xm«v xm†q xm«vb

Table 3.17 Declension of d†cm, c†q

msc msc=nt nt fem pl

d†cm ∼ c†q dc= ∼ cb† dcz ∼ cbz dc† ∼ cb«
nom ´ ´
=nom<in> ∼ =nom dc· ∼ cb· =nom<in> ∼ gen<an>
dctuj ∼ ctuj ∼
gen ´ ´ dc†q c†q dc†[∼ c«[
dctv© ∼ ctv© ∼ dc†v ∼ c«v
dat dc†q c†q
dc=v ∼ c=v ∼ dc†[ ∼ c«[
loc dc†q c†q
dc†v ∼ c«v ∼ dc†vb ∼ c«vb
ins dc†q c†q

Table 3.18 Declension of c’v

msc msc=nt nt fem pl

nom c’v cfvj
´ cfv’ c’vb
cfv© († cfvj=)
=nom<in> ∼ gen<an> =nom =nom<in> ∼ gen<an>
gen cfvjuj
´ cfvj
´q cfv«[
dat cfvjv© cfvj
´q cfv«v
loc cfvj
´v cfvj
´q cfv«[
ins cfv«v cfvj
´q cfv«vb

= archaic

´vyfnt ˜in their room™ but d y«[ ˜inside them™, jn tuj jrhe;†ybz ˜from
d «[ rj ´
its surroundings™ but jn ytuj ˜from it™. In event nominals, for arguments anal-
ogous to subjects of intransitive predicates, only possessives, not true genitive
pronouns, are possible: {t= ∼ y’i} ghb[j ˜{her ∼ our} arrival™, j {tuj ∼ vj=v}
´l ´
jnx’zybb ˜about {his ∼ my} despair™ but not — ghb[j vtyz — jnx’zybt vtyz The
´l ´, ´.
fact that tuj t=, «[ are used here suggests that they are analogous to posses-
sive adjectives. The interrogative (relative, inde¬nite) possessive x†q ˜whose™ has
a declension similar to the demonstratives (Table 3.16).
Inflectional morphology 121

Table 3.19 Declension of jl«y

msc msc=nt nt fem pl

nom jl«y jlyj
´ jly’ jly«
=nom<in> ∼ gen<an> =nom =nom<in> ∼ gen<an>
acc jly©
gen jlyjuj
´ jlyj
´q jly«[
dat jlyjv© jlyj
´q jly«v
loc jlyj
´v jlyj
´q jly«[
ins jly«v jlyj
´q jly«vb

Table 3.20 Numeral paradigms

compound compound
ordinary paucal decade hundred round collective

nom gz
´nm nh« gznmltcz
´n nh«cnf cnj
´ ldj
=nom =nom<in> ∼ =nom =nom =nom =nom<in> ∼
gen<an> gen<an>
gen gzn« nh=[ gzn«ltcznb nh=[cj
´n cn’ ldj«[
dat gzn« nh=v gzn«ltcznb nh=vcn’v cn’ ldj«v
loc gzn« nh=[ gzn«ltcznb nh=[cn’[ cn’ ldj«[
ins gznm· nhtvz´ gznm·ltcznm/ cn’ ldj«vb

— Nhtvzcn’vb is cited with single stress, nh=[cn’[ and others with two stresses.

3.3.5 Declension of dtcm, cfv, jlby
D†cm ˜all™ and the old-fashioned demonstrative c†q have a basically demon-
strative declension, with soft stems (Table 3.17). The emphatic adjective c’v
(Table 3.18) and the adjectival numeral jl«y (Table 3.19) also have demonstrative

3.4 Quantifiers
Quanti¬ers include cardinal numerals, collectives, and approximate pronominal
quanti¬ers (e.g., cnj
´kmrj ˜so many™). Some are declined like nouns, some like
demonstratives (see Table 3.20). Ordinals, which decline as ordinary adjectives
(except nh†nbq), will be given for reference in parentheses in the discussion

Paucal numerals: Paucals, comprising msc=nt ld’, fem ld† ˜two™, nh« ˜three™,
and xtnßht ˜four™, use the case endings of plural adjectives, merging genitive
and locative, but have idiosyncratic stems: lde-, nh=-, xensh=- (but ins xenshmvz
Ordinals are dnjhj ˜second™ (different stem, ordinary declension), nh†nbq
122 A Reference Grammar of Russian

˜third™ (mixed adjectival declension: Table 3.26), xtnd=hnsq ˜fourth™ (ordinary

Single digits, teens: Many numerals decline like singular nouns in
Declension<iiia> . ˜Five™ through ˜nine™ stress the ending in the oblique cases, in-
cluding in the instrumental gz (ordinal gz ´nsq) ˜¬ve™, i†cnm (itcnj ˜six™, c†vm
´nm ´q)
(ctlmvj ˜seven™, dj ´ctvm, gen=dat=loc djcmv«, but ins dj ´ctvm/ (with the null
vowel restored) ∼ djcmvm· (the latter 11% on www.libr.ru <15.IX.02>) (djcmvj ´q)
˜eight™, and l†dznm (ltdz ´nsq) ˜nine™. ˜Eleven™ through ˜nineteen™, historically com-
pounds, have this declension with ¬xed stem stress: jl«yyflwfnm (jl«yyflwfnsq)
˜eleven™, ldty’lwfnm (ldty’lwfnsq) ˜twelve™ nhby’lwfnm (nhby’lwfnsq) ˜thir-
teen™, xtnßhyflwfnm (xtnßhyflwfnsq) ˜fourteen™, gzny’lwfnm (gzny’lwfnsq) ˜¬f-
teen™, itcny’lwfnm (itcny’lwfnsq) ˜sixteen™, ctvy’lwfnm (ctvy’lwfnsq) ˜seven-
teen™, djctvy’lwfnm (djctvy’lwfnsq) ˜eighteen™, ltdzny’lwfnm (ltdzny’lwfnsq)

Decades: The ¬rst three decades have the pattern of gz ´nm, also with
end stress, l†cznm (ltcz ´nsq) ˜ten™, ltczn«<gen=dat=loc> , ltcznm·<ins> , ld’lwfnm
(ldflw’nsq) ˜twenty™, ldflwfn«<gen=dat=loc> , nh«lwfnm (nhblw’nsq) ˜thirty™,
nhblwfn«<gen=dat=loc> . The decades from ˜¬fty™ through ˜eighty™, as com-
pounds, decline both parts like nouns of Declension<IIIa> : gznmltcz ´n
(gznbltcz´nsq) ˜¬fty™, gzn«ltcznb<gen=dat=loc> , itcnmltcz (itcnbltcz ´nsq) ˜sixty™,
c†vmltczn (ctvbltcz ´nsq) ˜seventy™, dj
´ctvmltczn (djcmvbltcz ´nsq) ˜eighty™ (ins
djctvm·ltcznm/ ∼ djcmvm·ltcznm/). The decade component ends in a hard
consonant in the nominative. In standard Russian, both parts should have a dis-
tinctively instrumental form (gznm·ltcznm/), but the form is sometimes partially
analogized to the other oblique forms in the unedited Russian of the web, on the
order of 10 percent (low 5% djcmvbltcznm/, high 13% ctvbltcznm/ <15.IX.02>).

Round: Certain “round” numerals have a minimal declension, with one form
for the nominative and accusative, another for the remaining cases: nom=acc
cnj gen=dat=loc=ins cn’ ˜hundred™, cj ´hjr, cjhjr’ ˜forty™, ltdzyj
´, ´cnj, ltdzyj
˜ninety™, and gjknjh’cnf, gen=dat=loc=ins gjk©njhfcnf ˜a hundred and a half ™,
the last two being etymologically derived from cnj ˜One and a half ™ has the same
pattern, though additionally the nominative distinguishes gender, like the pau-
cal ˜two™ (msc=nt nom=acc gjknjh’, fem nom=acc gjknjhß, gen=dat=loc=ins

Hundreds: The hundreds other than cnj itself -- ld†cnb ˜two hundred™, nh«cnf
˜three hundred™, xtnßhtcnf ˜four hundred™, gznmcj ˜¬ve hundred™, itcnmcj ˜six
´n ´n
Inflectional morphology 123

hundred™, ctvmcj ˜seven hundred™, djctvmcj ˜eight hundred™, ltdznmcj ˜nine
´n ´n ´n
hundred™ -- are compounds which should decline both parts. The oblique forms
of the low hundreds in less-than-standard Russian sometimes use forms analog-
ically based on the genitive; [8--11] were attested on the web <20.XII.01> with
substandard forms (marked “§”).

[8] Xbckj gjcnhflfdib[ ghb,bpbkjcm r ldevcnfv<dat> (§lde[cnfv<dat> ).
The number of victims approached two hundred.
[9] Vs ujdjhbkb j lde[cnf[<loc> (§lde[cjn<gen=loc> ) yf[crj-uthvfycrb[
ktrcbxtcrb[ gfhhfktkz[.
We remarked on two hundred Nakh-Germanic lexical parallels.
[10] Vэqkth vj;tn hf,jnfnm c ,jktt xtv ldevzcnfvb<ins> (§lde[cnfvb<ins> )
The mailer program can work with more than two hundred modems.
[11] Эnj ,skj yt nhelyj, yj lkz Dekmaf, c tuj nhtvzcnfvb<ins>
djcmvm/ltcznm/<ins> (§nht[cnfvb<ins> djcmvbltcznm/<ins> ) aeynfvb, <. . .>
That was not dif¬cult, but for Wolf, with his three hundred eighty pounds,
<. . .>

The ordinals of the hundreds are built from genitives: nh=[cj
´nsq ˜three
hundredth™, itcnbcj
´nsq ˜six hundredth™, etc.

Collectives: Collective numerals (ldj ˜twosome™, nhj ˜threesome™, x†ndthj
´t ´t
˜foursome™) have a plural adjectival declension in oblique cases: gen=loc
xtndthß[, dat xtndthßv, ins xtndthßvb.

Pronominal approximates: Approximates such as crj ´kmrj ˜how many™ follow
the declensional strategy of collectives: gen=loc crj ´kmrb[, dat crj
´kmrbv, ins
´kmrbvb. ˜Both™, which distinguishes gender throughout, declines in this fash-
ion (msc=nt nom=acc j ´,t, fem gen j,†b[, and so
´,f, gen j,j´b[; fem nom j
Nßczxf ˜thousand™ and vbkkbj ˜million™ decline like ordinary nouns. Nßczxf
has two instrumental forms, nominal nßczxtq and numeral-like nßczxm/

3.5 Adjectives

3.5.1 Adjectives
Long ago, adjectives had a “short” declensional ending identical to those of
substantives; the “long” forms are an innovation. The process of replacing short
forms by long forms has been a gradual one, extending over a thousand years.
124 A Reference Grammar of Russian

Table 3.21 Declension of adjectives: rh’cysq ˜beautiful™, l’kmybq ˜far™

msc msc=nt nt fem pl

nom rh’cysq rh’cyjt rh’cyfz rh’cyst
=nom<in> ∼ gen<an> =nom =nom<in> ∼ gen<an>
acc rh’cye/
gen rh’cyjuj rh’cyjq rh’cys[
dat rh’cyjve rh’cyjq rh’cysv
loc rh’cyjv rh’cyjq rh’cys[
ins rh’cysv rh’cyjq rh’cysvb

msc msc=nt nt fem pl

nom l’kmybq l’kmytt l’kmyzz l’kmybt
=nom<in> ∼ gen<an> =nom =nom<in> ∼ gen<an>
acc l’kmy//
gen l’kmytuj l’kmytq l’kmyb[
dat l’kmytve l’kmytq l’kmybv
loc l’kmytv l’kmytq l’kmyb[
ins l’kmybv l’kmytq l’kmybvb

By the nineteenth century, the long forms had won out in all contexts except
the strictly predicative context, the only context in which the original nominal
“short” forms are still preserved (see §5.2).
Long-form adjectives decline like demonstratives, except that adjectives have
heavy (VC or VCV) endings in the nominative and accusative. Adjectives can have
either hard stems (Table 3.21, rh’cysq ˜red™) or soft stems (Table 3.21, l’kmybq
˜far™). Soft-stem adjectives differ from hard-stem adjectives only in the spelling
of vowel letters. In certain adjectives the ¬rst or only vowel of the endings is
stressed in all forms, as in msc gen sg vjkjlj ˜young™, gen=loc pl vjkjlß[,
etc.; if so, the msc nom sg form is -j msc nom sg vjkjlj There is no distinc-
´q: ´q.
tion of gender in the plural declension of adjectives. Animacy is expressed in
the masculine singular and in the plural, by using the genitive form for the ac-
cusative (§4.1.6). Adjectives and participles allow an archaic, poetic instrumental
form: fem ins sg rh’cyj/, l’kmyt/, el’hbdit/.
Participles are declined as adjectives. Participles are formed using certain char-
acteristic consonants -- ¤o≥ in the present tense and ¤i≥ in the past tense --
and have the appropriate spellings of vowel letters after these consonants: ¤b≥
not ¤s≥, ¤t≥ not ¤j≥, ¤e≥ and ¤f≥.
In participles, re¬‚exive verbs use the full syllable of the re¬‚exive af¬x,
both after consonants (msc=nt ins sg jnlf·obvcz ˜surrendering to™, fem ins
sg el’hbditqcz ˜having bumped against™) and after vowels (msc=nt gen sg
jnlf·otujcz, el’hbditujcz).
Inflectional morphology 125

Table 3.22 Declension of participles: jnlf·obq ˜giving away™, el’hbdibq ˜having hit™

msc msc=nt nt fem pl

nom jnlf·obq jnlf·ott jnlf·ofz jnlf·obt
=nom<in> ∼ =nom =nom<in> ∼
acc jnlf·oe/
gen<an> gen<an>
gen jnlf·otuj jnlf·otq jnlf·ob[
dat jnlf·otve jnlf·otq jnlf·obv
loc jnlf·otv jnlf·otq jnlf·ob[
ins jnlf·obv jnlf·otq jnlf·obvb

msc msc=nt nt fem pl

nom el’hbdibq el’hbditt el’hbdifz el’hbdibt
=nom<in> ∼ =nom =nom<in> ∼
acc el’hbdie/
gen<an> gen<an>
gen el’hbdituj el’hbditq el’hbdib[
dat el’hbditve el’hbditq el’hbdibv
loc el’hbditv el’hbditq el’hbdib[
ins el’hbdibv el’hbditq el’hbdibvb

3.5.2 Predicative (˜˜short”) adjectives
The short-form adjectives, which were originally nominative case forms identical
to those of nouns, have no ending in the masculine singular (or {-º}), {-o} in the
neuter singular, {-a} in the feminine, and {-i} in the plural (spelled ¤s≥ with
hard stems). Many adjectives were suf¬xed. Productive suf¬xes were — mn > {-n-}
and — (k > {-k-}. The jer of these suf¬xes would have been lost in all forms except
the masculine nominative singular, when the jer was vocalized. The synchronic
result is that the masculine nominative singular of short adjectives takes full-
grade vocalism. The suf¬x {-k-} usually takes <o> and leaves the consonant
´hmrbq ˜bitter™, uj ). The suf¬x {-n-},
unaffected (C0 grade): ©pjr, rh†gjr (but uj ´htr
by virtue of its — m, once palatalized the preceding consonant. The earlier Ci
that resulted is still visible in, for example, msc sg short l©hty ˜bad™, n=vty
˜dark™, or, under stress, ev=y. However, since all paired consonants except — l have
lost palatalization before the [n], the consonants are no longer palatalized in
other forms (the restricted Ci grade): lehyj n=vysq, though [l˛] is maintained,
l†kmysq ˜effective™.
The small number of stems that ended in an etymological cluster CR have been
under pressure to develop an anaptyctic vowel in the masculine singular short
(nominative) form, when no vowel follows the cluster. Some develop full-grade vo-
´kjy ˜full™, cd†ntk ˜light™, x=hty ˜dark™, [bn=h ˜clever™, while jcn=h ∼ j
calism: gj ´cnh
126 A Reference Grammar of Russian

Table 3.23 Stress in short-form adjectives

{R} {RM} {M} {M(E)} {ME} {(M)E} {E}
e·nysq ,©hysq k’lysq uhz´pysq rh’cysq cd†;bq ©vysq
˜comfortable™ ˜stormy™ ˜harmonious™ ˜dirty™ ˜beautiful™ ˜fresh™ ˜intelligent™

msc e·nty ,©hty k’lty uhz
´pty rh’cty cd†; ev=y
nt e·nyj ,©hyj k’lyj uhz
´pyj rh’cyj
´ cdt;j´ evyj
pl e·nys ,©hys k’lys uhz
´pys rh’cyß cd†;« evyß
fem e·nyf ,©hy’ kfly’ uhzpy’ rhfcy’ cdt;’ evy’

{XY } = historically mixed type combining paradigm X and paradigm Y
{(X)Y } = historically mixed type combining paradigm X and paradigm Y, contribution of X
less prominent
’ . . . ß (etc.) = alternate stresses

˜sharp™ and iecn=h ∼ i©cnh ˜bright, sharp™ have variation. G=cnhsq ˜variegated™
maintains the cluster (g=cnh).
Passive participles have a single [n] in short forms (eytc=y, eytcty’) but double
[nn] in long forms (eytc=yysq). In certain adjectives there is a double conso-
nant in long forms, which is retained in the short forms: «crhtyybq ˜genuine™,
msc sg «crhtyty, fem sg «crhtyyf, nt sg «crhtyyt ∼ «crhtyyj, pl «crhtyyb ∼
«crhtyys; cfvjed†htyysq ˜self-con¬dent™, fem cfvjed†htyyf, nt -tyyj, pl -tyys
(though msc sg cfvjed†hty). Both consonants are kept if the adjective derives
from a noun ending in [n]: hfpyjcnjhj ´yybq ˜many-sided™, msc hfpyjcnjhj ´yty, fem
´yyz (cnjhjy’ ˜side™).
Most soft-stem adjectives are originally suf¬xed, like hfpyjcnjhj ´yybq or
l’kmybq. They have a hard [n] in the masculine: ,tcrh’ty ˜limitless™ (<,tcrh’qybq).
The rare unsuf¬xed soft-stem adjective c«ybq keeps C i , c«ym ˜blue™.
In the vast majority of adjectives, the root is stressed and remains so in all
short forms. In a limited number of adjectives, the ending of some short forms
can be stressed (Table 3.23).16
There are three old patterns -- stem-stressed {R}, mobile {M} (stress on the
ending only in the feminine), and end-stressed {E} -- and some innovative tran-
sitional patterns, in which end stress is more likely in the feminine than in the
plural and neuter. The masculine forms are somewhat independent. It is dif¬-
cult to predict what stable patterns will result from this gradation of patterns.
After {R }, which is by far the predominant pattern, only {(M)E}, a transitional
pattern, has any noticeable frequency, the other patterns being residual.

16 Zalizniak 1977[a]:33, 59--60, though with different ordering and notation; also SRIa 1.59--60.
Inflectional morphology 127

Table 3.24 Mixed declension of possessive surnames

msc fem pl

nom Rfhfvp«y Rfhfvpby’ Rfhfvpbyß
=gen =gen
acc Rfhfvpby©
gen Rfhfvpby’ Rfhfvpbyj
´q Rfhfvpbyß[
dat Rfhfvpby© Rfhfvpbyj
´q Rfhfvpbyßv
loc Rfhfvpby† Rfhfvpbyj
´q Rfhfvpbyß[
ins Rfhfvpbyßv Rfhfvpbyj
´q Rfhfvpbyßvb

3.5.3 Mixed adjectives and surnames
In the change from an original nominal in¬‚ection to a distinctively adjectival
declension, the heavy, adjectival endings have been adopted according to the
order: instrumental ≥ locative ≥ dative, genitive ≥ accusative ≥ nominative.
Surnames and possessive adjectives have paused at different points along this
Surnames are commonly derived from the possessive adjectives with the suf-
¬xes {-ov-} or {-in-}. These still have nominal endings throughout the singular
of the masculine, except in the instrumental, which has an adjectival (“long”)
ending; the feminine forms of names have adjectival endings in all singular
oblique cases. In the plural, only the nominative retains the nominal ending
(Table 3.24).
Possessive adjectives in {-ov-} (from nouns of Declension<Ia> ), as in Table 3.25
jnwj ˜father™s™, which are restricted in the contemporary language -- they are
characterized as “little used”17 -- differ from surnames by having the adjec-
tival ending additionally in the locative singular masculine. Possessive adjec-
tives in {-in}, which are derived from both feminine and masculine nouns of
Declension<II> and are used frequently, have taken a further step towards ad-
jectival endings in the masculine-neuter genitive and dative singular, which
(except for ¬xed expressions) now use adjectival endings: r v’vbyjve<nt dat sg>
(—v’vbye) p†hrfke ˜to mama™s mirror™.
The ordinal nh†nbq and generic possessive adjectives (k«cbq ˜of a fox™, vtld†;bq
˜of a bear™) likewise have mixed declension, with the same distribution of nom-
inal and adjectival endings as possessives in {-in} (Table 3.26).

3.5.4 Comparatives and superlatives
Adjectives form a synthetic comparative and an analytic comparative.

17 Zalizniak 1977[a]:63.
128 A Reference Grammar of Russian

Table 3.25 Mixed declension: jnwj ˜father™s™, v’vby ˜mother™s™

msc msc=nt nt fem pl

(jnwj (jnwj (jnwj (jnwj
nom ´d) ´dj) ´df) ´ds)
v’vby v’vbyj v’vbyf v’vbys
=nom<in> ∼ =nom =nom<in> ∼
acc ´de)
gen<an> gen<an>
(jnwj (jnwj (jnwj
gen ´df) ´djq) ´ds[)
v’vbyjuj v’vbyjq v’vbys[
(jnwj (jnwj (jnwj
dat ´de) ´djq) ´dsv)
v’vbyjve v’vbyjq v’vbysv
(jnwj (jnwj (jnwj
loc ´djv) ´djq) ´ds[)
v’vbyjv v’vbyjq v’vbys[
(jnwj (jnwj (jnwj
ins ´dsv) ´djq) ´dsvb)
v’vbysv v’vbyjq v’vbysvb

Table 3.26 Mixed declension: k«cbq ˜of foxes™, nh†nbq ˜third™

msc msc=nt nt fem pl

nom k«cbq k«cmt k«cmz k«cmb
nh†nbq nh†nmt nh†nmz nh†nmb
=nom<in> ∼ =nom =nom<in> ∼
acc k«cm/
gen<an> gen<an>
gen k«cmtuj k«cmtq k«cmb[
nh†nmtuj nh†nmtq nh†nmb[
dat k«cmtve k«cmtq k«cmbv
nh†nmtve nh†nmtq nh†nmbv
loc k«cmtv k«cmtq k«cmb[
nh†nmtv nh†nmtq nh†nmb[
ins k«cmbv k«cmtq k«cmbvb
nh†nmbv nh†nmtq nh†nmbvb

The analytic comparative is formed by modifying the usual form of the adjec-
tive by the adverb ,j´ktt. The adjective re¬‚ects the gender, case, and number of
the noun it modi¬es.
The synthetic comparative is invariant; for a given adjective, a single form is
used for all genders and numbers and cases. Synthetic comparatives, which are
effectively short-form adjectives, are not used freely in all argument positions
(§4.4.7). The synthetic comparative is formed regularly by suf¬xing -tt to the
stem of the adjective; in speech, it has long been pronounced -tq. This originally
colloquial variant is often written. Stress usually falls on the stem syllable of
the adjective, though the suf¬x is stressed in certain adjectives: ;tkn†t ˜more
Inflectional morphology 129

Table 3.27 Irregular synthetic comparatives

consonant positive comparative

{k g x} ∼ {c˛ ‹ ˇ ˇ}
sz ´hmrbq ˜bitter™, k=urbq ˜light™, ´dxt (kjdx†t),
uj uj
´hxt, k†uxt, kj
´drbq ˜agile™, ;tcnj´rbq ˜cruel™,
kj ;tcnj
´xt, x=nxt, ljhj
x=nrbq ˜precise™, ljhjuj ˜expensive™
{t d} ∼ {ˇ ˇ}
cz ,ju’nsq ˜rich™, u’lrbq ˜vile™, ,ju’xt, u’;t, ;«;t,
;«lrbq ˜fatty™, rjhj ´nrbq ˜short™, rjhj
´xt, y«;t, h†;t
y«prbq ˜low™, h†lrbq ˜rare™
{s z} ∼ {ˇ ˇ}
sz ´rbq ˜high™, ,k«prbq ˜near™,
dscj dßit, ,k«;t, ©;t
©prbq ˜narrow™
{st sk} ∼ {s ˛ ‹ } uecnj ˜thick™, gkj ´crbq ˜¬‚at™,
´q u©ot, gkj
´ot, ck’ot
ck’lrbq ˜sweet™
{P} ∼ {Pl˛} lti=dsq ˜cheap™ lti†dkt
? ∼ {-ˇe}/{-ˇe}
s z ´rbq ˜deep™, lfk=rbq ˜far™,
uke,j uk©,;t, l’kmit, lj
´kubq ˜long™, nj ´yrbq ˜¬ne™
lj nj
unpredictable v’ktymrbq ˜small™, ibhj ´rbq ˜wide™, v†ymit, i«ht, k©xit
´ibq ˜good™

yellow™ (22% ;tkn†q on the web <04.XI.02>), gecn†t ˜emptier™ (29% gecn†q), k/n†t
˜wilder™, csn†t ˜more satis¬ed™, cdzn†t ˜holier™.
Certain frequent adjectives use an older, more irregular form of the compara-
tive in {-e}, implying a modi¬ed consonant grade C j . The stem can be shortened,
by eliminating what were very old suf¬xes. In some instances the compara-
tive suf¬x adds its own consonant, {-se} or {-ze}. There are also unpredictable
‹ ‹
relations and instances of suppletion among the most frequent and familiar
words: [©;t ˜worse™ is isolated (though it derives etymologically from [elj ˜thin,
meager™); k©xit ˜better™ is used as the comparative of [jhj ´ibq ˜good™; ,j´kmibq
˜greater™, unusually for a comparative, is used as a long form in all cases (note
the difference in stress: ,jkmij ˜large™).
The superlative is formed by combining the adjective c’vsq with the positive
of the adjective: jy cksk cfvsv gjgekzhysv fldjrfnjv ˜he was reputed to be
the most popular lawyer™, nt lyb ,skb cfvsvb cxfcnkbdsvb ˜those days were
the happiest™.
The bookish pre¬x yfb- combines with the comparative of irregular adjectives
(yfbdßcibq ˜highest™, yfbk©xibq ˜very best™) or an extension of the comparative of
regular adjectives (yfb,†lytqibq ˜the very poorest™). The derivative expresses an
extreme degree of the adjective or adverb. It is now infrequent except in the most
common adjectives: yfbdscibt ehj;fb ˜the very highest harvests™, yfbkexibv
j,hfpjv ˜in the very best manner™, d yfbvtymitq cntgtyb ˜to the very least de-
gree™, yfbgthdtqitt ltkj ˜the very ¬rst priority™, Z ujnjd pf vfke/ gkfne cjplfnm
130 A Reference Grammar of Russian

dfv jnkbxysq, yfbrhfcbdtqibq, f cfvjt ukfdyjt -- bynthfrnbdysq cfqn! ˜I am
prepared to create for you an outstanding, exceptionally beautiful, and, most
importantly, interactive site for a modest price!™ Even for such adjectives, it is
more common to use the adverb yfb,j ´ktt with the adjective: yfb,jktt df;yst
djghjcs ˜the very most important questions™, yfb,jktt dscjrfz yfcsotyyjcnm
˜the very highest concentration™.

3.6 Declension of nouns

3.6.1 Categories and declension classes of nouns
Most nouns decline, and express distinctions of case and number. Nouns that
decline express two numbers and six basic cases,18 though no declension distin-
guishes all of the twelve logically possible forms.
The same markers of number and case are not used uniformly by all nouns.
Rather, there is a set of patterns, or declensions, and each noun is assigned to one
such class. Declensional classes then partition the lexicon of nouns, and might
be termed m o r p h o l o g i c a l g e n d e r . Declensional classes are more clearly
distinguished in the singular than in the plural; in the plural, the endings
for the oblique cases of the dative, locative, and instrumental are the same
for all nouns. In the nominative, accusative, genitive plural, each declension
class has its preferred endings used by the majority of nouns of a class, but
these are preferences, not absolutes. There are three large classes, or declensions.
Declension<I> has two subclasses (Declension<Ia> and Declension<Ib> ).19
The number of a noun is re¬‚ected by agreement in an attributive adjective
and, if the noun is the subject, in the number of the ¬nite verb. At the same
time, adjectives and verbs in the past tense express another property of nouns.
Nouns are partitioned into three classes, or s y n t ac t i c g e n d e r s , depending
on whether they elicit masculine or feminine or neuter agreement in adjectives
and verbs.20
In general, the two partitions of nouns -- morphological gender and syntac-
tic gender -- correspond closely. Declension<Ib> is exclusively neuters, except for
some isolated nouns (gjlvfcn†hmt ˜apprentice™)21 and derivatives (diminutives
djhjyrj ˜crow™, cjkjd†qrj ˜nightingale™, augmentatives djkx«ot ˜big wolf ™,
gfhy«ot ˜big fellow™, lehfx«ot ˜enormous fool™). Conversely, almost all neuter

18 On secondary cases: §5.5.
19 The question of how many declension classes there are is less signi¬cant than it might appear.
Recognizing fewer classes means recognizing more sub-declensions, and vice versa.
20 On gender: Jakobson 1932/1971[b], 1960/1971[b], Zalizniak 1967, Stankiewicz 1978, van Schooneveld
21 Zalizniak 1977[a]:54 cites cdthk«kj ˜kind of beetle™, vfpkj ˜someone who smears™, words not in
general currency.
Inflectional morphology 131

nouns -- except for the dozen or so neuter nouns in Declension<IIIb> -- belong
to Declension<Ib> . Declension<Ia> consists of masculine nouns. One interesting
complication is that some nouns in Declension<Ia> that refer to people by occu-
pation, such as dh’x ˜doctor™, are coming to be used in reference to women and
with feminine agreement in verbs and recently even in adjectives (§4.1.3). Syn-
tactic gender is coming to be determined by the sex of the entity referred to --
that is, by the r e f e r e n t i a l g e n d e r . Declension<II> is feminine, with two
large classes of exceptions. Descriptive nouns like ytgjc†lf ˜¬dgety person™ or
ytd†;lf ˜ignoramus™ can be used with either masculine or feminine agreement
according to their reference; they are then common gender. Diminutive names
like Nj´kz, :†yz, C’if and some isolated nouns (lz ˜uncle™, celmz ˜judge™)
´lz ´
are used to refer to males, and elicit masculine agreement in adjectives and
verbs. Thus Declension<II> is feminine except for nouns referring to human
beings whose syntactic gender follows referential gender. Declension<III> is fem-
inine except for the masculine singleton g©nm ˜route™ and the near-dozen neuters.
Overall, there is a signi¬cant degree of correspondence between syntactic gen-
der (the patterns of agreement nouns condition in adjectives and verbs) and
morphological gender (the declension class).22
Nouns belonging to Declension<Ia> that refer to animate beings ([12]) and all
plural nouns that refer to animate beings ([13]) use the genitive form in syntactic
contexts whenever the accusative case is appropriate (§4.1.6):
[12] Yt pyf/, eghtrfnm bkb [dfkbnm vjkjljuj<msc acc=gen> ht;bccthf<acc=gen> .
I am not sure whether to criticize or praise the young director.
[13] Ntnz Cfif exbkf vtyz<acc=gen> b vjb[<acc=gen> vkflib[<acc=gen> ctcnth<acc=gen> .
Aunt Sasha taught me and my younger sisters.

Here the notation “acc=gen” is used for cells in which this equivalence occurs.
Except for animate nouns, nouns of Declension<Ia> do not distinguish nomina-
tive and accusative singular: nom cnj = acc cnj Except for animates, plural
´k ´k.
nouns otherwise do not distinguish these cases: nom cnjkß = acc cnjkß. For
these cells in paradigms, the notation “nom=acc” is used.

3.6.2 Hard, soft, and unpaired declensions
Nouns of Declension<Ia> , Declension<Ib> , and Declension<II> have two closely
related variants. Some end in a “hard” mutable consonant (pfrj ˜law™, cn’lj
˜¬‚ock™, ;ty’ ˜woman™), others end in a “soft” mutable consonant (rj ˜horse™,
vj ˜sea™, ytl†kz ˜week™). The hard and soft variants seem different in appear-
ance, but the differences are only those that would be expected from rules of

22 Corbett 1982, 1988[a].
132 A Reference Grammar of Russian

spelling. Both “hard” and “soft” variants are listed for these declensions below.
c s z ˛‹
In addition, the stems that end in the unpaired consonants [c ˇ ˇ ˇ s¦], written
¤w x i ; o≥, or [j], look slightly different, because special spelling rules for
vowels are invoked after these consonants.

3.6.3 Accentual patterns
Each form of a noun has one vowel that is stressed. The vowel that is stressed
is not necessarily the same vowel in every case--number form of a noun. The set
of possibilities de¬nes an ac c e n t ua l pa r a d i g m or stress pattern. There is
a modest number of stress paradigms used by nouns. Some common threads
can be distinguished across declension classes. (a) Stress on the root in both
singular and plural, or {R sg : R pl }, is widespread: nom sg ytl†kz ˜week™, nom pl
ytl†kb. (b) Some nouns have stress on the ending in both singular and plural,
or {Esg : Epl }: nom sg uh†[ ˜sin™, gen sg uht[’, nom pl uht[© (except when the
ending is {-º}, when stress must be on the ¬nal syllable of the stem). (c) Some
nouns have the opposite stress in singular and plural: {Esg : R pl } nom sg jryj ´
´ryf, or, in the other direction, (d) {R sg : Epl } nom sg ckj
˜window™, nom pl j ´dj
˜word™, nom pl ckjd’. In nouns that stress the oblique plural, stress may retract
to the root in the nominative (and accusative) plural. This retraction can occur
(e) with root stress in the singular, or {R sg : Epl (R nom )}, as in nom sg p©, ˜tooth™,
gen sg p©,f, nom pl p©,s, dat pl pe,’v, or (f) with end stress in the singular,
or {Esg : Epl (R nom )}, as in nom sg rj ´ym, gen sg rjyz nom pl rj
´, ´yb, dat pl rjyz
These are the six most widespread patterns. In addition, a very small number
of nouns in Declension<II> retract stress to the stem in the accusative singular,
an alternation that requires an additional speci¬cation: nom sg lei’ ˜soul™, acc
sg l©ie {Esg (R acc ) : R pl }.

3.6.4 Declension<Ia>
Declension<Ia> is characterized by the following properties: (a) it has no overt
ending in the nominative singular (equivalently, the ending is {-º}); (b) it does
not have a distinct accusative singular case form: the accusative is identical
either to the nominative (inanimates) or to the genitive (animates); (c) it does not
syncretize the genitive, dative, and locative singular; (d) it has the instrumental
singular in {-om}; (e) it has both hard and soft stems that are largely parallel; (f )
the preferred nominative plural and genitive plural forms are nominative {-i}
and an overt genitive {-ov} or {-ej}.
Stress patterns are restricted. Consistent stress on the root (= {R sg : R pl }) is the
most usual, then consistent stress on the ending (= {Esg : Epl }). Other patterns
occur, and are illustrated in Table 3.28, but are represented by small numbers
of nouns.
Inflectional morphology 133

Table 3.28 Declension<Ia>

soft stem, soft stem
hard stem [ j] augment hard stem (animate) hard stem hard stem

{R sg : R pl } {Esg : R pl } {R sg : Epl (R nom )} {Esg : Epl (R nom )} {R sg : Epl } {Esg : Epl }

nom sg pfdj
´l rj
´k p©, rj
´ym x«y uh†[
=nom =nom =nom =gen =nom =nom
acc sg
gen sg pfdj
´lf rjk’ p©,f rjyz
´ x«yf uht[’
dat sg pfdj
´le rjk© p©,e rjy· x«ye uht[©
loc sg pfdj
´lt rjk† p©,t rjy† x«yt uht[†
ins sg pfdj
´ljv rjkj´v p©,jv rjy=v x«yjv uht[j´v
nom pl pfdj
´ls rj
´kmz p©,s rj
´yb xbyß uht[«
=nom =nom =nom =gen =nom =nom
acc pl
gen pl pfdj
´ljd rj
´kmtd pe,j´d rjy†q xbyj´d uht[j´d
dat pl pfdj
´lfv rj
´kmzv pe,’v rjyz
´v xby’v uht[’v
loc pl pfdj
´lf[ rj
´kmz[ pe,’[ rjyz
´[ xby’[ uht[’[
ins pl pfdj
´lfvb rj
´kmzvb pe,’vb rjyz
´vb xby’vb uht[’vb

˜factory™ ˜stake™ ˜tooth™ ˜horse™ ˜rank™ ˜sin™

Soft stems, listed separately here, differ from hard stems only in orthographic
details. In the nominative singular, a hard stem ends in a consonant letter;
in soft stems, the ¬nal consonant letter is followed by ¤m≥, indicating that a
mutable consonant is soft (palatalized). In other case forms, soft stems use the
soft-vowel letter that corresponds to the hard-vowel letter used in hard stems,
and it indicates that the consonant is palatalized. Thus the ¤z≥ letter marking
the genitive singular of rjyz indicates that the consonant is palatalized ([n˛ ])
and that the vowel is [’] under stress. The endings {-u} and {-i} behave in the
same fashion, and differ in soft stems from hard stems only by choosing the
appropriate vowel letter.
The locative singular of soft-stem nouns is identical to that of hard-stem nouns,
since in fact the ¬nal consonant of hard stems is palatalized before {-e}. The
instrumental singular is always spelled ¤jv≥ in hard stems. In soft stems, the
ending, when it is stressed, is pronounced as [om] (with a preceding palatalized
consonant) and can be spelled in explicit style as ¤=v≥, in neutral style as ¤tv≥;
unstressed, it is ¤tv≥. The genitive plural endings of hard and soft stems differ
in a more substantive way. Hard stems take {-ov}, spelled ¤jd≥, while soft stems
take {-ej}, spelled ¤tq≥.
Unpaired stems -- that is, stems ending in the consonants [j] or [c c‹ s ‹ z‹ s¦] --
present some complications.
134 A Reference Grammar of Russian

Some nouns in Declension<Ia> end in [j] preceded by a vowel, or {-Vj-}, spelled
as a vowel letter followed by ¤q≥: r«q ˜pole™, vep†q ˜museum™, rh’q ˜region, edge™,
uthj ˜hero™, gjwtk©q ˜kiss™. In other case-number forms, the ending itself begins
with a vowel, and the stem-¬nal [j] is spelled by a following soft-vowel letter; for
example, in gen sg rbz vep†z, rh’z, uthj gjwtk©z, the letter ¤z≥ spells the {-a}
´, ´z,
of the ending and the [j] of the stem. In the instrumental singular, the ending
{-om} is spelled as it would be after soft stems: under stress, as ¤=v≥ (explicit
style) or ¤tv≥ (neutral style): rb=v (rbtv), cjkjdm=v (cjkjdmtv). Not under stress,
the ending is spelled ¤tv≥: vep†tv, cwty’hbtv. The genitive plural of nouns
ending in stem-¬nal [j] is like that of hard stems. The basic ending is {-ov},
spelled as ¤=d≥ (explicit style, under stress) or otherwise as ¤td≥: stressed rb=d
´td, gjwtk©td. Before the {-i} of the
(neutral rbtd), unstressed vep†td, rh’td, uthj
nominative plural, the [j] is not actually pronounced: nom pl rb« is pronounced
as [k˛ ¬í], not — [k˛ ¬jí], similarly vep†b [e¬], not — [ej¬], uthj gjwtk©b.
In stems that end in {-ij-}, the locative singular is spelled ¤bb≥ rather than
¤bt≥: nom sg cwty’hbq ˜script™, loc sg cwty’hbb. With other vowels preceding the
stem-¬nal [j], the ordinary locative singular spelling ¤t≥ is used: nom sg uthj ´q,
loc sg uthj ´t.
In some nouns there is an alternation of full-grade vocalism (nom sg hex†q
˜brook™) and null-grade vocalism (gen sg hexmz (§2.5.6). The genitive plural is
{-ov}, with no vowel between the consonant and the [j]. The ending is spelled
¤td≥ (¤=d≥, explicit under stress): cjkjdmtd ˜nightingales™ (cjkjdm=d), hexmtd
Unpaired stems -- those ending in unpaired obstruents [ˇ ˇ ˇ s ˛ ‹ ], written ¤x i
; o≥ -- use the vowel letters they normally use: ¤f≥, ¤e≥ and, in the nominative
plural, ¤b≥. The nominative singular is spelled without ¤m≥. In this way the
ending-less nominative singular of nouns of this declension -- gfk’x ˜hangman™,
l©i ˜shower™, yj ˜knife™, njd’hbo ˜comrade™ -- can be distinguished in spelling
from the ending-less nominative singular of nouns of Declension<IIIa> -- l«xm
˜wildfowl™, uk©im ˜remote place™, hj ´;m ˜rye™, d†om ˜thing™. In the instrumental
singular ¤jv≥ is used when the ending is stressed, gfkfxj yj;j gkfoj ´v, ´v, ´v;
the ending is spelled ¤tv≥ when it is not stressed, gk’xtv ˜crying™, cf,jn’;tv
˜sabotage™, n©itv ˜ink™, njd’hbotv ˜comrade™. The locative singular is ¤t≥. The
genitive plural is {-ej}, not {-ov}: gfkfx†q, njd’hbotq, a result of the fact that
{-ej} was brought into Declension<Ia> by masculine nouns as they moved from
the masculine i-stem declension into Declension<Ia> .
Stems in [c] behave much like those in [c‹ ˇ ˇ s ˛ ‹ ]. Endings that begin with {-a}
or {-u} spell the ending with the hard-vowel letter. The instrumental singular is
¤jv≥ if stressed, as in jnwj but ¤tv≥ if unstressed: cfvjpd’ywtv ˜pretender™.
The genitive plural is {-ov}, spelled ¤jd≥ under stress (jnwj ¤td≥ not under
Inflectional morphology 135

Table 3.29 Stem types and endings, Declension<Ia>

end stress | gen sg dat sg ins sg gen pl nom pl
{-a} {-u} {-om} {-ov}∼{-ej} {-i}
stem stress

pfdj ˜factory™ |
hard -f -e -jv -jd -s
dj ˜ox™
´ke,m ˜dove™ | tv |
soft -z -/ -tq -b
rj ˜horse™ -tv (-=v)
njd’hbo ˜comrade™ | tv |
[c ‹ s ‹ z ‹ s¦] -f -e -tq -b
gfk’x ˜hangman™ -jv (-j
tv | -td |
[j] vep†q ˜museum™ -z -/ -b
r«q ˜pole™ -tv (-=v) -td (-=d)
tv | -td |
[c] cfvjpd’ytw ˜pretender™ -f -e -s
jn†w ˜father™ -jv (-j -jd (-j
´v) ´d)

x | y (z) = unstressed ending | stressed ending, neutral spelling (stressed ending, explicit

stress (y†vwtd<gen pl> ˜Germans™). The nominative plural is spelled with ¤s≥,
jnwß ˜fathers™, not ¤b≥.
The endings in the stem types of Declension<Ia> are listed in Table 3.29, with
stressed and unstressed variants where relevant.
Declension<Ia> prefers a speci¬c combination of endings in the nominative
and genitive plural, namely nom pl {-i} and an overt genitive plural, {-ov} ∼
{-ej}.23 There are deviations from this basic preference for Declension<Ia> . For
the most part, the deviations involve recognizable groups of nouns and, often,
changes in the morphophonology of the stem. The following special groups can
be distinguished.

Plural stem augment {-j-}: Thirty or so nouns use a stem augment in [j], an old
collective suf¬x, throughout the plural. The nominative plural is {-a}, usually
with the genitive plural {-ov} (rj ´kjc ˜ear™, nom pl rjkj ´cmtd); a
´cmz, gen pl rjkj
half-dozen allow the null ending, which implies a full vowel before the augment
[j]: l†dthm ˜husband™s brother™, nom pl ltdthmz gen pl ltdth†q. A small number
has a plural stem augmented by {-ovj-}: nom sg cßy ˜son™, nom pl csyjdmz gen
pl csyjd†q. Along with {-j-}, lh©u ˜friend™ has an unusual consonant: nom pl
lhepmz gen pl lhep†q.24

23 Jakobson 1957[b]/1971[b], Graudina 1964[a], 1964[b], Mahota 1993, Brown and Hippisley 1994.
24 This unusual grade, not recorded among the morphophonemic alternations (§2.5.2), goes back to
the second palatalization of velars. It would have been justi¬ed speci¬cally before nom pl {-i};
the consonant was preserved as the noun adopted the {-j} augment for the stem throughout the
136 A Reference Grammar of Russian

Stressed N O M P L {-’}: A number of nouns have stressed {-’} in the nominative
plural, which implies end stress throughout the plural (hence {R sg : Epl }); the
genitive plural is the usual: nom sg ,†htu ˜bank, shore™, nom pl ,thtu’, gen
,thtuj nom sg bycg†rnjh ˜inspector™, nom pl bycgtrnjh’, gen bycgtrnjhj nom
´d; ´d;
sg ex«ntkm ˜teacher™, nom pl exbntkz gen exbntk†q; nom sg rh’q ˜edge™, nom pl
rhfz gen pl rhf=d.
This pattern is avoided with nouns that have consistent end stress (excep-
tion: her’d ˜sleeve™, gen sg = nom pl herfd’) and, among trisyllabic stems, with
nouns whose ultimate syllable is stressed (nom sg ht;bcc=h ˜director™, nom pl
ht;bcc=hs, not — ht;bccth’).
This ending has a complex history. It derives from the nominative dual of
nouns that belonged to the mobile accentual paradigm, such as earlier nom
du ,thtu’ ˜(two) shores™. It was extended ¬rst to nouns that come in groups
or clusters, such as ljv’ ˜houses™, djkjc’ ˜head of hair™ (opposed to dj ´kjcs
˜strands of hair™). Then it was applied to (often borrowed) names of occupations,
ghjatccjh’ ˜professors™, rjylernjh’ ˜conductors™, bycnhernjh’ ˜instructors™, and
to implements and professional accoutrements, rfnth’ ˜launches™, nhfrnjh’ ˜trac-
tors™, ljujdjh’ ˜agreements™, even cjec’ ˜sauces™, njhn’ ˜pastries™. Thus the pattern
has been productive, inasmuch as it was used for new words. Yet at the same
time, even during its heyday at the beginning of the twentieth century, the
ending acquired the connotation of trade jargon (“de m†tier”), while “les classes
cultiv†es manifestent au contraire de la r†pugnance à employer ces formes.”25
Consistent with this paradoxical productivity and censure, the sociolinguistic
investigation from the 1960s (Krysin 1974) reports a mixed picture. The use of this
ending increased with certain nouns (by;ty†h ˜engineer™, r’nth, nh’rnjh) and
decreased with others (rjyl©rnjh, htl’rnjh ˜editor™, ck†cfhm ˜carpenter™, nj ´rfhm
˜turner™). For a third group, usage peaked in the cohort born 1930--39 and then
declined (,e[u’knth ˜bookkeeper™, ija=h ˜chauffeur™). Other words can be doc-
umented to be losing {-’}, especially in neologisms: compare uhj ´,s ∼ archaic
uhj,’ ˜graves™, r†kmyths ˜waiters™ ∼ archaic rtkmyth’, or ljv’ ˜houses, buildings™
but newer ltnljv’ ∼ l†nljvs ˜orphanages, children™s homes™. Thus this suf¬x,
though it has been productive, has also been restricted by sociolinguistic factors.
Its history is a cautionary tale against the presumption that change, once begun,
will necessarily continue in a linear fashion.

Ethnonyms: Nouns characterizing individuals by place of origin or membership
in an ethnic group are commonly built on the suf¬x {-an-}, and the singular
has an additional suf¬x {-in-}. The plural lacks the second morph and uses an

Beaulieux 1914:212. Zalizniak 1977[b], noting doublets, argues that the {-’} pattern can be adopted

as a marker of professional jargon, in contradistinction to general usage. See Shapiro 1985.
Inflectional morphology 137

otherwise unique ending {-e} and the null ending in the genitive plural: nom
sg fhvzy«y ˜Armenian™, nom pl fhvz ´yt, gen pl fhvz nom sg hjcnjdx’yby ˜per-
son from Rostov™, nom pl hjcnjdx’yt, gen pl hjcnjdx’y. (The nominative plural
ending is historically — e, spelled as ¤t≥; since it is not stressed, it is consistently
pronounced as [¬].) The pattern has been a productive way of deriving ethnonyms.
Just over one hundred items are cited in Zalizniak 1977[a].
Parts of this pattern for ethnonyms can occur without others. Uhf;lfy«y
˜citizen™ has nom pl {-e}, gen pl {-º}, with a stress shift: uh’;lfyt, uh’;lfy.
Three nouns have {-in-} in the singular but without {-an-}, and nom pl {-i} and
gen pl {-º}: nom sg ,jku’hby ˜Bulgarian™, nom pl ,jku’hs, gen pl, ,jku’h; nom
sg nfn’hby ˜Tatar™, nom pl nfn’hs, gen pl nfn’h. One noun has variation: nom
sg ,’hby ˜barin™, nom pl ,’ht ∼ ,’hs, gen pl, ,’h. Ujcgjl«y ˜gentleman™ loses
{-in-} and uses stressed {-’-} along with genitive plural zero: nom pl ujcgjl’,
gen pl ujcgj {jpz ˜master™ acquires an augment {-ev-} and uses nom pl
´l. ´by
{-a} -- unstressed -- along with a zero in the genitive plural: nom sg [jpz ´by,
´tdf, gen pl [jpz I©hby ˜brother-in-law™ loses the {-in-} suf¬x and
nom pl [jpz ´td.
acquires {-j-} as an augment, with {-ov} in the genitive plural: nom sg i©hby,
nom pl iehmz gen pl iehm=d (recently nom sg i©hby, nom pl i©hbys, gen pl
i©hbyjd). Wsu’y ˜Gypsy™ has the plural in {-e} and genitive plural (normally) in
{-º}, though it lacks the suf¬x {-in-}.
Some ethnonyms that have neither singular {-in-} nor nom pl {-e} have the
{-º} as the preferred or unique gen pl: nom sg ,fir«h ˜Bashkir™, nom pl ,fir«hs,
gen pl ,fir«h; nom sg uhep«y ˜Georgian™, nom pl uhep«ys, gen pl uhep«y; nom sg
ktpu«y ˜Lezgian™, nom pl ktpu«ys, gen pl ktpu«y; nom sg hevßy ˜Rumanian™, nom
pl hevßys, gen pl hevßy; nom sg n©hjr ˜Turk™, nom pl n©hrb, gen pl n©hjr. For
others there is variation between {-º} and {-ov} in the genitive plural: gen pl,
,ehz ∼ ,ehz ´njd ˜Buriats™, gen pl rfh†k ∼ rfh†kjd ˜Karelians™, gen pl nehrv†y ∼
nehrv†yjd ˜Turkmen™. Still exotic ethnonyms use {-ov} in the genitive plural:
,tle«y (gen pl ,tle«yjd) ˜Bedouins™, ,th,†h (gen pl ,th,†hjd) ˜Berbers™, ,eiv†y
(gen pl ,eiv†yjd) ˜Bushmen™, rfkvßr (gen pl rfkvßrjd) ˜Kalmyks™, nfl;«r (gen
pl nfl;«rjd) ˜Tajiks™, neyu©c (gen pl neyu©cjd) ˜Tunguz™, ep,†r (gen pl ep,†rjd)
˜Uzbeks™, [jhd’n (gen pl [jhd’njd) ˜Croatians™.
The usage in the genitive plural of ethnonyms was investigated in quantita-
tive contexts by Vorontsova (1976). Her results, summarized for four ethnonyms
in Table 3.30, were consistent with normative recommendations for usage. The
highest percentage of {-º} was recorded for uhep«y (84%), with normative {-º}. At
the other extreme, a low percentage of {-º} was reported for vj ´yujk (20%), for
which {-ov} is normative. Intermediate usage was reported for nehrv†y (50%),
which allows variation, and for ,fir«h (67%), with normative {-º}. In recent
usage on the web (four right-hand columns in Table 3.30 <20.XII.01>), the
distribution of {-º} and {-ov} seems to have polarized. Context seems to play
138 A Reference Grammar of Russian

Table 3.30 Genitive plural { -… } of ethnonyms

normative Vorontsova
usage (1976) quanti¬ers prepositions genitive

{-…} 84 98 96 91 100
{-…} 67 100 97 97 90
{-…} ∼ {-ov} 50 69 86 96 90
{-ov} 20 5 4 6 6

quanti¬ers = vyjuj, nsczx
prepositions = e, jn
genitive = bcnjhbz ∼ ghtlrb ∼ pf bcrk/xtybtv
all ¬gures are percentages

Table 3.31 Morphology of ethnonyms

stem augment {-an-} singular augment {-in-} nom pl gen pl
√ √
{-e} {-…}
rfke;’yby √
— {-e} {-…}
— — {-i} {-…}
— — {-i} {-…} ∼ {-ov}
— — {-i} {-ov}

little role, except that quanti¬ers have kept nehrv†y from fully generalizing
The range of options for ethnonyms is summarized in Table 3.31.

Young animals: The plural of names for the young of animals, with the suf¬x
{-at-}, have a neuter-like combination of endings, namely nom pl {-a}, gen pl {-º}:
ntk=yjr ˜calf ™, nom pl ntkz ´nf, acc=gen pl ntkz rjn=yjr ˜kitten™, nom pl rjnz
´n; ´nf,
acc=gen pl rjnz ht,=yjr ˜boy™, nom pl ht,z ´nf, acc=gen pl ht,z This is
´n; ´n.
because the plural suf¬x is historically a neuter; the nouns appear to belong
to Declension<Ia> only because that suf¬x has been paired with the suf¬x
{-on<o>k-} in the singular; this suf¬x puts the noun in Declension<Ia> in the
singular. By virtue of having different suf¬xes in the singular and plural, these
nouns switch declensional allegiance between singular and plural.

Counted nouns: While it is usual for nouns of Declension<Ia> to have an overt
ending in the genitive plural, the archaic null ending is preserved in nouns
belonging to certain lexical ¬elds that are commonly used in quantitative con-
structions: ethnonyms (as just illustrated), units of measurement (17% ltcznm
Inflectional morphology 139

rbkjuhfvv ˜ten kilograms™, 29% vyjuj rbkjuhfvb <04.XI.02>), commonly mea-
sured items (e.g., vegetables), military roles (cfg=h ˜sapper™, uec’h ˜Hussar™, lhfu©y
˜dragoon™, rfl†n ˜cadet™), and paired items (cfgj ˜boot™). The null ending is not
purely residual, to judge by the occasional use of gen pl r†l ˜Keds™ (cnhtkmyenm
,s gfhe rtl e dfc ytkmpz kb? ˜is it possible I might bum a pair of Keds from
you?™) alongside r†ljd (tckb [jnm gfhe rtljd yt dsytce, bcgjhxtyj yfcnhjtybt yf
dtcm ltym ˜if I don™t carry out at least one pair of Keds, my mood is shot for the
whole day™).26

Stem alternation: Two nouns have an idiosyncratic alternation of hard singular
stem and soft plural stem: nom sg cjc†l ˜neighbor™, nom pl cjc†lb, gen pl cjc†ltq
and nom sg x=hn ˜devil™, nom pl x†hnb, gen pl xthn†q.

3.6.5 Declension<Ib>
Declension<Ib> (Table 3.32) is almost exclusively neuter, except for derivatives of
masculines (ujhjl«irj ˜town™, njgjh«ot ˜ax™) and isolated masculines (notably,
gjlvfcn†hmt ˜apprentice™, an animate noun that participates in the animate
accusative). Declension<Ib> differs from Declension<Ia> in the singular by having
an overt ending in the nominative. When, rarely, this ending is stressed, both
after hard and soft consonants, this ending is [o] (e.g., ;bkm= ˜dwelling™). In the

plural, Declension<Ib> prefers a nominative in {-a} and genitive in {-º}.
Although the expected nominative singular is [o] under stress, three original

event nouns have stressed [†] in the nominative singular (and in the instru-
mental): ;bnb† ˜life™, loc sg ;bnb«, ins sg ;bnb†v; also ,snb† ˜being™, gbnb†
˜drinking™. Here [†] re¬‚ects the failure of — e > j in these historical Slavonicisms.
Only three members of Declension<Ib> have stems ending in paired soft con-
sonants: gj ´kt ˜¬eld™, vj ˜sea™, uj ˜woe™, with overt genitive plural (gjk†q).
´ht ´ht
Productive are event nouns in {-C-ij-}, whose locative singular is spelled ¤bb≥
and whose genitive plural is {-ij-º}, spelled ¤bq≥, such as nom sg pl’ybt, loc sg
pl’ybb, gen pl pl’ybq. A similar suf¬x is used to form abstracts or collectives that
are not deverbal, such as vyjujk·lmt ˜populousness™, gjlgj ´kmt ˜underground™,
rjgm= ˜lance™. With nouns of this shape, the genitive plural is usually {C-Vj-º}.
The sequence is spelled ¤bq≥ if it is unstressed (eo†kmt ˜ravine™, gen pl eo†kbq),
¤tq≥ if it is stressed (gbnm= ˜drinking™, gen pl gbn†q). (Gen pl h©;tq, from he;m=
˜ri¬‚e™, is exceptional.) Although the null ending is the general rule for nouns
of this declension, a dozen or so nouns of this shape use the genitive plural in

26 Vorontsova 1976 suggests that different lexical ¬elds have different directions of development,
though the differences are not profound. Use of {-º} declined slightly for ethnonyms, but in-
creased slightly for fruits and vegetables (fgtkmc«y from 26% to 39% -- with a peak of 42% in the
next-to-youngest generation!) and paired items (yjc´r from 25% to 45%).
140 A Reference Grammar of Russian

Table 3.32 Declension<Ib>

soft stem soft stem
{-Cj-} {-ij-} hard stem hard stem hard stem hard stem

{R : R pl } {R : R pl } {Esg : R pl } {R : Epl (R nom )} {R sg : Epl } {Esg : Epl }
sg sg sg

nom sg eo†kmt pl’ybt kbwj´ rhskmwj´ v†cnj ceotcndj´
=nom =nom =nom =nom =nom =nom
acc sg
gen sg eo†kmz pl’ybz kbw’ rhskmw’ v†cnf ceotcnd’
dat sg eo†km/ pl’yb/ kbw© rhskmw© v†cne ceotcnd©
loc sg eo†kmt pl’ybb kbw† rhskmw† v†cnt ceotcnd†
ins sg eo†kmtv pl’ybtv kbwj´v rhskmwj´v v†cnjv ceotcndj´v
nom pl eo†kmz pl’ybz k«wf rhßkmwf vtcn’ ceotcnd’
=nom =nom =nom<in> ∼ =nom =nom =nom<in> ∼
acc pl
gen<an> gen<an>
gen pl eo†kbq pl’ybq k«w rhsk†w v†cn ceo†cnd
dat pl eo†kmzv pl’ybzv k«wfv rhskmw’v vtcn’v ceotcnd’v
loc pl eo†kmz[ pl’ybz[ k«wf[ rhskmw’[ vtcn’[ ceotcnd’[
ins pl eo†kmzvb pl’ybzvb k«wfvb rhskmw’vb vtcn’vb ceotcnd’vb

˜gorge™ ˜building™ ˜face™ ˜porch™ ˜place™ ˜creature™

{-ov} instead: nom sg ©cnmt ˜estuary™, gen pl ©cnmtd. The frequent noun gk’nmt
˜dress™ belongs here (gen pl gk’nmtd), as does jcnhb= ˜point™ (gen pl jcnhb=d). Some
´kmtd ∼ gjlgj
nouns have variation: nom sg gjlgj ´kmt ˜cellar™, gen pl gjlgj ´kbq;
´dmtd ∼ dth[j
´dmt ˜upper reaches™, gen pl dth[j ´dbq. The overt geni-
nom sg dth[j
tive plural {-ov} occurs with nouns which use the collective {-j-} augment in
the plural, such as gthj ˜feather™, nom pl g†hmz, gen pl g†hmtd, and also with
´,kfrj ˜cloud™ (nom pl j,kfr’, gen pl j,kfrj The event nouns in {-C-ij-} have
j ´d).
the locative spelled ¤bb≥, while the deverbals and collectives in {-C-j-} should
have the locative spelled ¤mt≥. There was variation in the nineteenth century
between ¤mb≥ and ¤m˜≥. The alternate spelling is still re¬‚ected in the idiom d
gjkepf,snm« ˜in half-forgetfulness™.
Diminutives in {-c-} have the expected nominative plural in {-a} but show
variation in the genitive plural between {-ov} and {-º} (if the ending is {-º}, the
consonant cluster is broken up with the full vowel <e>). Ten older nouns use
only {-º}: nom sg ,k·lwt ˜saucer™, nom pl ,k·lwf, gen pl ,k·ltw, also c†hlwt
˜heart™, gjkjn†ywt ˜towel™, p†hrfkmwt ˜mirror™, vßkmwt ˜soap™. And only {-º} (with
full grade) is used for nouns with this suf¬x when the ending is stressed: nom sg
ckjdwj ˜word™ nom pl ckjdw’, gen pl ckjd†w. Some two dozen younger derivatives
use both {-º} and {-ov}: nom sg rjgßnwt ˜hoof ™, nom pl rjgßnwf, gen pl rjgßntw ∼
rjgßnwtd. The {-ov} ending is regular in ,jkj ´nwt ˜swamp™, gen pl ,jkj ´nwtd.
Inflectional morphology 141

Table 3.33 Declension<II>

soft stem {-Vj-}
soft stem hard stem hard stem
{R : R pl } {R : R pl } {Esg : R pl } {Esg (R acc ): R pl }
sg sg

nom sg ytl†kz k«ybz ;ty’ lei’
acc sg ytl†k/ k«yb/ ;ty© l©ie
gen sg ytl†kb k«ybb ;tyß lei«
dat sg ytl†kt k«ybb ;ty† lei†
loc sg ytl†kt k«ybb ;ty† lei†
ins sg ytl†ktq k«ybtq ;tyj´q leij´q
nom pl ytl†kb k«ybb ;=ys l©ib
=nom =nom =gen =nom
acc pl
gen pl ytl†km k«ybq ;=y l©i
dat pl ytl†kzv k«ybzv ;=yfv l©ifv
loc pl ytl†kz[ k«ybz[ ;=yf[ l©if[
ins pl ytl†kzvb k«ybzvb ;=yfvb l©ifvb

˜week™ ˜line™ ˜wife™ ˜soul™

The combination of nom pl {-i} and gen pl {-º}, characteristic of
Declension<Ia> , is found with nouns ending in a velar: nom sg d†rj ˜eyelid™,
´,kjrj ˜apple™, nom pl z
nom pl d†rb, gen pl d†r; nom sg z ´,kjrb, gen pl z ´,kjr;
also nom sg gk†xj ˜shoulder™, nom pl gk†xb, gen pl gk†x. This combination of
nom pl {-i} and gen pl {-º} occurs as a rule with certain gradated forms: ljv«irj
˜house™, jrj ´irj ˜window™, fh,©pbot ˜melon™ (§3.6.8). Isolated is nom sg ©[j ˜ear™,
nom pl ©ib, gen pl ei†q (similarly, archaic j ˜eye™, j
´rj ´xb, jx†q).
In Declension<Ib> consistent root stress and consistent end stress are again
statistically the most prominent, in part because suf¬xed derivatives fall into
one or the other class: {R sg : R pl } ;«ntkmcndj ˜residence™, {Esg : Epl } rjkljdcndj
˜sorcery™. Some high-frequency nouns fall into the two complementary patterns
which oppose singular and plural by stress: {R sg : Epl } nom sg v†cnj ˜place™,
nom pl vtcn’ and {Esg : R pl } nom sg kbwj ˜face™, nom pl k«wf.

3.6.6 Declension<II>
Alone of the declensions, Declension<II> (Table 3.33) distinguishes the nomina-
tive and accusative in the singular. This declension also merges the dative and
the locative singular (but not the genitive singular). The accusative plural is
merged with the nominative or genitive, by animacy, as in all paradigms. Again,
hard and soft stems do not differ other than orthographically. With stems end-
ing in {-Vj-}, the [j] is spelled by the following soft-vowel letter of the ending:
k«ybz ˜line™, pfn†z ˜trouble™, [dj ˜needles™, xtiez ˜¬sh scales™. The dative and
´z ´
142 A Reference Grammar of Russian

Table 3.33 (cont.)

soft stem hard stem hard stem hard stem
{R {E {Esg (R acc ): Epl (R nom )} {Esg : Epl }
: Epl (R nom )} : Epl (R nom )}
sg sg

nom sg lj
´kz ue,’ ujh’ gj[dfk’
acc sg lj
´k/ ue,© uj
´he gj[dfk©
gen sg lj
´kb ue,ß ujhß gj[dfkß
dat sg lj
´kt ue,† ujh† gj[dfk†
loc sg lj
´kt ue,† ujh† gj[dfk†
ins sg lj
´ktq ue,j´q ujhj´q gj[dfkj´q
nom pl lj
´kb u©,s uj
´hs gj[dfkß
=nom =nom =nom =nom
acc pl
gen pl ljk†q u©, uj
´h gj[d’k
dat pl ljkz´v ue,’v ujh’v gj[dfk’v
loc pl ljkz´[ ue,’[ ujh’[ gj[dfk’[
ins pl ljkz´vb ue,’vb ujh’vb gj[dfk’vb

˜lot™ ˜lip™ ˜mountain™ ˜praise™

locative singular is ¤bb≥ for stems in {-ij-}: dat=loc sg bcnj ´hbb ˜history™ but
dat=loc sg pfn†t. Before endings in {-i}, the [j] is not pronounced.
In the plural, the nominative is universally {-i}, and the genitive is pref-
erentially {-º}. For stems in {-Vj-}, the genitive plural is spelled with ¤q≥
(pfn†q, bcnj ´hbq). The ¬nal paired consonant of soft-stem nouns normally remains
palatalized, and is spelled ¤m≥: ytl†kz ˜week™, gen pl ytl†km; pfhz ˜dawn™, gen pl
´hm. Nouns in {-Cj-} have a null ending with full grade inserted between the
consonant and [j]. That vowel is spelled ¤t≥ under stress (cdby†q ˜swine™, cnfn†q
˜articles™) and ¤b≥. unstressed (gen pl uj ´cnbq ˜guests™).
The overt gen pl {-ej} is possible with certain soft-stem nouns: lz ˜uncle™,
´kz ˜portion™, gen pl ljk†q; cntpz ˜way™, gen pl cntp†q. Some-
gen pl lz ´ltq; lj ´
times {-ej} occurs alongside {-º}: ghjcnsyz ˜sheet™, gen pl ghjcnßym ∼ ghjcnsy†q;
hfcn†hz ˜absent-minded person™, gen pl hfcn†hm ∼ hfcn†htq; vt;’ ˜boundary™,
gen pl vt;†q ∼ v†;. The overt ending is also possible with some soft-stem
nouns ending in a cluster: yjplhz ˜nostril™, yjplh†q, though other nouns use {-º}
and an inserted vowel: r’gkz ˜drop™, gen pl r’gtkm; g†nkz ˜loop™, gen pl g†ntkm;
ptvkz ˜land™, gen pl ptv†km. Nouns in {-Cn˛ -} insert a vowel with {-º} ending and,
contrary to the general principle of maintaining palatalization, usually harden
the consonant: g†cyz ˜song™, gen pl g†cty; ,’iyz ˜tower™, ,’ity; cg’kmyz ˜bed-
room™, cg’kty. This hardening in turn has exceptions: lth†dyz ˜village™ gen pl
lthtd†ym; ,’hsiyz ˜gentryman™s daughter™, ,’hsitym.
Declension<II> has an interesting archaic stress paradigm, in which the stress


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