11 votes
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What is the meaning of the Latin names of grammatical cases (in general, not in Latin)?

The traditional Latin names are formed from the supine stems of verbs—basically, a way of turning a verb into a noun, and then into an adjective. Nōminātivus, for example, comes from nōmināre "to name"...
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11 votes
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Is it possible in Sanskrit to distinguish between the names Rāma and Rām i.e. राम and राम् when used in a sentence?

In the dictionaries, the Sanskrit name राम (Rāma), together with most other Sanskrit words, is given in the form of the stem. राम (Rāma) is the stem, and in a sentence it can be used only as a direct ...
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10 votes
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Declensions in Polish

I can recommend this book: Słownik odmiany rzeczowników polskich by Stanisław Mędrak. The good news is that it's exactly what you want: a dictionary that lists all the noun declension paradigms. The ...
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10 votes
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Languages preserving loanword inflections

A great number of loanwords from Ancient Greek have been integrated into Czech with great attention to the original forms. For instance, many Ancient Greek nouns from the third (athematic) declension ...
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9 votes

Are there commonly accepted graphic symbols for common declension forms?

As jk mentioned, linguists tend to use abbreviations rather than graphics for this. One standardized list is found in the appendix of the Leipzig glossing rules, which gives SG, DU, PL, etc for ...
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8 votes

Are there natural languages with the following properties (seen in Esperanto)?

The language possesses nouns, adjectives, and a definite article Nouns and adjectives are both inflected for number and case and show agreement The definite article is not inflected, but is ...
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7 votes
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What is it called when one "conjugates" adjectives?

As curiousdannii said, it's a type of inflection. In Latin, adjectives were traditionally classified as nouns (nomina; specifically nomina adjectiva); the nouns that weren't adjectives were called "...
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7 votes
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Are there natural languages with the following properties (seen in Esperanto)?

Generalising from fdb's answer about Arabic and postmortes' answer about Maltese: there are several languages in the Semitic family that have these three properties. Inflected nouns and adjectives are ...
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7 votes
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How did Latin drop noun declension?

It differs from language to language but in general, it is attributed to the case forms becoming too similar to maintain the distinction due to various sound changes. E.g. in Old French, this is ...
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  • 2,273
7 votes
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Historical explanations for soft/hard declensions in Czech

Balto-Slavic languages developed their own way to decline adjectives, by combining the nominal forms with the forms of personal pronouns (In Slavic *jъ, ja, je). Many Slavic languages (e.g., Russian) ...
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6 votes

Languages preserving loanword inflections

This is more likely to happen when the original language is fairly well known amongst the community of writers–speakers of the adopting language. Latin often does it for Greek words. That is, one ...
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  • 7,838
6 votes

Is a language without inflection a language without subject?

"Subject" is not defined as the argument which agrees with the affixes of the verb. Sometimes, "subject" is defined as that argument which verbs agree with. In the modern era, you might start with the ...
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6 votes

Is there some intrinsic relationship between the nominative plural and genitive singular?

I am not sure about “intrinsic”. It is, however, main-stream Indo-Europeanist theory that the suffix * -es marks both the genitive singular and the nominative plural m/f in proto-Indo-European. Though ...
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6 votes

Are there commonly accepted graphic symbols for common declension forms?

No. In fact, there aren't any graphics used for that purpose. Among linguists, abbreviations are used all over the place, and under Universal Features you can find a representative set of ...
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5 votes
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Plural form declension with numbers in Turkish

In Turkish, a plural declension is not needed if the noun is modified by a numeral. (If it is used, it is emphatic.) In fact, it is not needed with any modifier that already implies plural. arkadaş (...
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5 votes

Why did English lose declensions while German retained them?

I always thought that English lost its cases as a result of Viking settlement. Although the root words were quite often the same, the inflections were different. However, it was found that if the ...
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5 votes

Are there natural languages with the following properties (seen in Esperanto)?

Welsh is another such language, to some extent at least. Nouns and adjectives do not inflect for case; most nouns and a subset of adjectives inflect for number; the majority of adjectives do not ...
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5 votes

Can an object be in functional case A even though it's declined like case B?

Case (including Finnish partitive) is a morphological form, and object is a grammatical function (if we set aside the theory of abstract case). I would say that partitive objects are partitive objects,...
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  • 316
4 votes

Are there natural languages with the following properties (seen in Esperanto)?

Maltese exhibits these properties (which you might have expected after @fdb's answer since Maltese is the "Arabic" European language). The definite article in Maltese is il- and does not change ...
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3 votes
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declining numerals in Old English

Quote from An Introduction to Old English by George Leslie Brook, page 51: §132 The cardinal numerals from 4 to 19 generally remain uninflected when they stand before a noun; when they follow a noun ...
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3 votes

Are there languages with more cases than Latin?

I'm not sure I understood what you want to know: Whether there are languages with more than six cases, or languages where ablative is used for more than "by, by whom, with, from, in, on"? There ...
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3 votes
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What is the origin of declension/conjugation classes?

The development of arbitrary morphological classification results from innumerable factors that obscure the relationship between form and function. For example, there may be a sound change that ...
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  • 67.7k
3 votes

Is there something deeper behind the “verb classes swapping” of the subjunctive endings in Romance languages?

From 280 of Benjamin W. Fortson's Indo-European Language and Culture: The Italic subjunctive is not a continuation f the Proto-Indo-European subjunctive, which became a future. There are at least ...
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3 votes

Why did English lose declensions while German retained them?

English is not alone in that. The languages of mainland Scandinavia also lost the case system. And so did the western Romance languages, which did not lose the full vowels in the endings. Also German ...
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3 votes
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Can an object be in functional case A even though it's declined like case B?

I think broadly speaking, yes. Forgive a misinterpretation here as I am unfamiliar with Finnish and only have a cursory knowledge of German, but it seems to me that there is a confusion here between ...
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3 votes

Is there reason to believe that English will drop declension of personal pronouns "soon?"

You're right that case declension in English is confined to pronouns. It used to be a feature of nouns and adjectives as well, but that was lost; presumably the reason it's retained in pronouns has to ...
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  • 10.5k
2 votes

Common change of conjugation of the verbs in spoken languages?

There are two main senses in which people speak of conjugations (as countable things). One is (seemingly) arbitrary lexical classes such as -er, -ar, -ir verbs in Spanish. The other is classes of ...
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  • 67.7k
2 votes

Is there some intrinsic relationship between the nominative plural and genitive singular?

In the Latin first and second declensions the identity of the Nom. pl. and Gen. sg. is probably accidental. The former is imported from the pronominal declension, where the PIE ending for o-stems was *...
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