Appendix:Irish fourth-declension nouns
The Irish fourth declension is made up primarily of masculine nouns; however, abstract nouns ending in a vowel are nearly always feminine (eagla, aigne). The nominative singular can end in: a vowel; the diminutive suffix ‑ín (cailín); a few that end in a consonant (bus, ainm).
There is no special form for the genitive singular. The dative and vocative singular are likewise identical to the nominative singular.
The fourth declension plurals are strong plurals with very few exceptions.
The vocative forms, both singular and plural, are the same as the nominative.
A weak plural is characterised by the genitive plural having the same form as the nominative singular. There are only a couple of exceptional nouns classed as such in the fourth declension.
- bó f (“cow”), gs. bó, npl. ba, gpl. bó
- grásta f (“grace”), grásta, grásta, grást
- neach m (“person”), neach, neacha, neach
|Vocative||a bhó||a bha|
A strong plural is characterised by the genitive plural maintaining the same form as the nominative plural. Strong plural forms found in the fourth declension are (singular: plural):
- -a, -e: -aí, -í
- -ín: -íní
- -le, -ne: -lte, -nte
- -í, -aoi, -é: -the
The first two are the most common.
|Vocative||a fhile||a fhilí|
As a general rule, nouns of the fourth declension are masculine.
The feminine nouns are:
- Most abstract nouns ending in a vowel:
- Female personal names ending in -ín
- Máirín, Nóirín.
- Concrete nouns that are nonetheless feminine
Nouns which refer to females, but are grammatically masculine
For nouns referring to females but which are grammatically of masculine gender, the referential pronoun is feminine: is cailín í.
Nouns ending in consonants other than -ín
Most nouns of the fourth declension end in vowels or -ín. Nouns with other, consonant endings (with their plural form) include:
- ainm m (“name”), ainmneacha
- béarlagair m (“jargon”)
- bus m (“bus”), busanna
- cailif m (“cailif”), cailifí
- cic m (“kick”), ciceanna
- cleas m (“gang”), cleasanna (as 1st, trick)
- cliamhain m (“son-in-law”), cliamhaineacha
- cruicéad m (“cricket”) (teanglann: 1st)
- dabht m (“doubt”), dabhtanna
- dosaen m (“dozen”), dosaenacha
- Eanáir m (“January”), Eanáirí
- éimír m (“emir”), éimírí
- fabht m (“fault”), fabhtanna
- gild m (“guild”), gildeanna
- Iúil m (“July”), Iúilí
- laghad m (“smallness”) (teanglann: 1st, but unchanged genitive)
- Máirt f (“Tuesday”), Máirteanna
- máistir m (“master”), máistirí
- méid m (“amount”) (as 2nd f, size)
- mosc m (“mosque”), moscanna
- saibhir m (“richness”), saibhirre
- sáirsint m (“sergeant”), sáirsintí
- seilf m (“shelf”), seilfeanna
- seoch m (“dyke”), seochanna
- stad m (“stop”), stadanna
- téacs m (“text”), téacsanna
- tiubh m (“throng”)
- tobac m (“tobacco”)
- uncail m (“uncle”), uncailí
- veain m (“van”), veaineanna
- veist m (“vest”), veisteanna
- -eas,-iam (modern technical term from Latin -us, -ium)
- e.g. víreas, úráiniam
- -blast, -clast (modern technical term from Greek βλαστός (blastós) κλαστός (klastós))
Nouns in other declensions ending in vowels
Verbal nouns in short or long vowels (i.e., first verbal declension) form their verbal genitive using the verbal adjective e.g. -(a)ithe. Therefore, they are not classed as fourth declension nouns.
However, their substantive genitive is in the fourth declension.
- dóigh, vn. dó, gs as s. dó, gs as vn. dóite
- luaigh, lua, luaite
- leáigh, leá, leáite
- nigh, ní, nite
- suigh, suí, suite
The substantive genitive of second declension verbal nouns ending in vowels have the form of the verbal adjective.
- éirigh, vn. éirí, gs s. and vn. éirí
The fifth declension is the only other declension with nouns ending in a vowel, albeit relatively few.
- Alba f (“Scotland”)
- araí f (“bridle”)
- cara m (“friend”)
- caora f (“sheep”)
- comharsa f (“neighbour”)
- cú m (“hound”)
- dearca f (“acorn”)
- dearna f (“palm of hand”)
- Éire f (“Ireland”)
- eo m (“salmon”)
- faocha f (“periwinkle”)
- gualcha f (“coal mine”)
- ionga f (“nail”)
- lacha f (“duck”)
- leaba f (“bed”)
- leite f (“porridge”)
- meanma f (“mind”)
- monarcha f (“factory”)
- pearsa f (“person”)
- The cardinals greater than 10 ending in a vowel (20, 30, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 - all except 40):
For a list of nouns having fourth and other declension forms, see the multiple declension table in the Irish nouns appendix.
- An Caighdeán Oifigiúil, 2017
- A Grammar of the Irish Language, O'Donavan, 1845
- Irish declension on Wikipedia
- Irish declension on WikiBooks, with exercises
- Declension overview and guesser on Nualéargais
- Irish declension overview on Project Gutenberg
- ^ In the Hiberno-English sense of "two or three or so"