Special Specifications

Strong Nouns

The list of special specifications below are important to consider in order to understand certain differences or oddities some nouns may show:

1. Loss of e or h.

(a) When a word ends in e or h it drops the e or h to add the normal endings. Therefore the neuter noun rice "kingdom" with plural -u is ricu (not riceu) "kingdoms" and the masculine noun mearh "horse" with the plural as is mearas (not mearhas) "horses". The only exception is the neuter noun feorh "life". Since it ends in two consonants it omits the plural -u ending: feorh (not feoru) "lives".

(b) If there is no consonant before the h then the vowel of the ending is absorbed into the vowel of the word, or in other words, only the consonant of the ending appears, as sceos, (not sceoas) "shoes", the plural of the masculine word sceoh "shoe".

2. Plural e

A few words may show up with -e in the plural. For example, the masculine noun wine "friend" is sometimes wine or winas "friends". As well, some special masculine nouns referring to groups/tribes have this -e and are only plural, as Engle "Angles" and Seaxe "Saxons".

3. /a

If a word ends with an followed by one consonant the turns to a when the endings beginning with a or u are added. Therefore, the masculine noun dg with the ending -as is dagas (not dgas).

4. u/w

(a) There is a small group of nouns that end with a u that becomes w when endings are added.. There is one masculine noun bearu "grove", six neuter nouns bealu "woe", cudu "cud", teoru "tar", meolu "meal, flour", searu "device", smeoru "fat", and three feminine nouns beadu "battle" and sceadu "shadow" nearu "distress". The neuter nouns use this u for the plural -u ending as well, as bealu (not bealuu) "woes". Whenever other endings are added the u becomes w. For example, the masculine noun bearu with plural -as is bearwas (not bearuas) "groves".

b) Two feminine nouns omit the -u but have the -w when endings are added: md "meadow" (meadwa "meadows") and ls "pasture" (lswa "pastures").
5. Syncopation.

Some two-syllable words usually omit the vowel of the second syllable when endings are added. This "syncopation" usually happens if the first syllable has a long vowel as the neuter noun heafod "head", or if the first syllable ends in two consonants as the masculine noun engel "angel". Therefore when the plural -u is added to heafod it usually shows up as heafdu (instead of heafodu) "heads" and engel with the plural -as usually shows up as englas (instead of engelas).
6. Doubled Consonants

Some words end in a consonant that is sometimes single or double as feminine godnes or godness "goodness". When endings are added the doubled consonant is usually used: godnessa "goodnesses". Despite the double consonants the neuter nouns like this usually add the plural -u ending, as beddu "beds", the plural of bed or bedd "bed".
7. Compound words.

If a compound word ends with a masculine word it is masculine, if it ends with a neuter word it is neuter, and if it ends with a feminine word it is feminine. For example, lifwynn "life-joy" has the neuter noun lif in it, but is feminine because it ends with the feminine noun wynn "joy".
8. Genitive -ena.

(a)The plural ending in the Genitive is sometimes -ena instead of -a. This ending is from the other main group of nouns called the Weak Declension, as we shall see below. On words ending in a vowel followed by h this ending shows up as -na. Therefore when the masculine noun sceoh "shoe" with the ending -ena shows up as sceona.
9. Suffixes.

A special suffix such as the -ere of bacere "baker" or the -ung of leornung "learning" also belongs to a specific gender, therefore when a word ends with that suffix it belongs to that specific gender. Belong is a list of suffixes and the genders they belong to:

Masculine: -ere, -scipe, -dom, -had, -o or -a, -ing or ling
Neuter: -lac, et or ett
Feminine: -ung, -nes or ness, - or u

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