There are a few hundred nouns of the second declension in Russian that do not have a nominative plural in the expected -ы but rather in -а, e.g. город-города. This ending is also invariably stressed.

I've noticed that for multisyllabic nouns with this plural, the stress in the singular virtually never falls on the last syllable. Thus far I've found only a single exception, рука́в-рукава́.

What is the reason for this?

  • 4
    I don't know why, history of Russian is not really an area of my expertise, but Zalizniak (Zalizniak 1967: 224 point 7; Zalizniak 1977/1987: 43) mentions this subtype 1b and 1c rukAv-rukavA (masc.), "слова с неодносложной конечноударной основой" . The examples he mentions are pretty rare, he calls them "редкие исключения" (rare exceptions, Zalizniak 1967: 227), e.g. b-pattern лемЕх and сокОл (variants of лЕмех and сОкол), 3b обшлАг, 1b рукАв. He also adds a couple of other nouns, such as инженерА офицерА (colloquial, not literary Russian) пароходА (in professional use only).
    – Alex B.
    Oct 12, 2022 at 14:56


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