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40. The Stem of nouns of the First Declension ends in ā-. The Nominative ending is -a (the stem-vowel shortened), except in Greek nouns.

41. Latin nouns of the First Declension are thus declined:—

stella , F., star
STEM stellā-
NOM. stella a star -a
GEN. stellae of a star -ae
DAT. stellae to or for a star -ae
ACC. stellam a star -am
ABL. stellā with, from, by, etc. a star -ā
NOM. stellae stars -ae
GEN. stellārum of stars -ārum
DAT. stellīs to or for stars -īs
ACC. stellās stars -ās
ABL. stellīs with, from, by, etc. stars -īs

a. The Latin has no article; hence stella may mean a star, the star, or simply star.

Gender in the First Declension

42. Nouns of the first declension are Feminine.

Exceptions: Nouns masculine from their signification: as, nauta, sailor. So a few family or personal names: as, Mūrēna , Dolābella , Scaevola 1; also, Hadria, the Adriatic.

Case-Forms in the First Declension

43. a. The genitive singular anciently ended in -āī (dissyllabic), which is occasionally found: as, aulāī. The same ending sometimes occurs in the dative, but only as a diphthong.

b. An old genitive in -ās is preserved in the word familiās , often used in the combinations pater (māter, fīlius, fīlia) familiās, father, etc., of a family (plur. patrēs familiās or familiārum).

c. The Locative form for the singular ends in -ae; for the plural in -īs (cf. p. 34, footnote): as, Rōmae, at Rome; Athēnīs, at Athens.

d. The genitive plural is sometimes found in -um instead of -ārum, especially in Greek patronymics, as, Aeneadum, sons of Æneas, and in compounds with -cŏla and -gĕna, signifying dwelling and descent: as, caelicolum, celestials; Trōiugenum, sons of Troy; so also in the Greek nouns amphora and drachma.

e. The dative and ablative plural of dea, goddess, fīlia, daughter, end in an older form -ābus (deābus, fīliābus) to distinguish them from the corresponding cases of deus, god, and fīlius, son (deīs, fīliīs). So rarely with other words, as, līberta, freed-woman; mūla, she-mule; equa, mare. But, except when the two sexes are mentioned together (as in formulas, documents, etc.), the form in -īs is preferred in all but dea and fīlia .

Note 1.--The old ending of the ablative singular (-ād) is sometimes retained in early Latin: as, praidād, booty (later, praedā ).

Note 2.--In the dative and ablative plural -eis for -īs is sometimes found, and -iīs (as in taeniīs ) is occasionally contracted to -īs ( taenīs ); so regularly in words in -âia (as, Bâīs from Bâiae).

Greek Nouns of the First Declension

44. Many nouns of the First Declension borrowed from the Greek are entirely Latinized (as, aula, court); but others retain traces of their Greek case-forms in the singular.

Electra, F. synopsis, F. art of music, F.
NOM. Ēlectra (-ā epitomē mūsica (-ē
GEN. Ēlectrae epitomēs mūsicae (-ēs
DAT. Ēlectrae epitomae mūsicae
ACC. Ēlectram (-ān epitomēn mūsicam (-ēn
ABL. Ēlectrā epitomē mūsicā (-ē
Andromache, F. Æneas, M. Persian, M.
NOM. Andromachē (-a Aenēās Persēs (-a
GEN. Andromachēs (-ae Aenēae Persae
DAT. Andromachae Aenēae Persae
ACC. Andromachēn (-am Aenēān (-am Persēn (-am
ABL. Andromachē (-ā Aenēā Persē (-ā
VOC. Andromachē (-a Aenēā (-a Persa

Anchises , M. son of Æneas, M. comet, M.
NOM. Anchīsēs Aeneadēs (-a comētēs (-a
GEN. Anchīsae Aeneadae comētae
DAT. Anchīsae Aeneadae comētae
ACC. Anchīsēn (-am Aeneadēn comētēn (-am
ABL. Anchīsē (-ā Aeneadē (-ā comētā (-ē
VOC. Anchīsē (-ā, -a Aeneadē (-a comēta

There are (besides proper names) about thirty-five of these words, several being names of plants or arts: as, crambē, cabbage; mūsicē, music. Most have also regular Latin forms: as, comēta; but the nominative sometimes has the a long.

a. Greek forms are found only in the singular; the plural, when it occurs, is regular: as, comētae, -ārum, etc.

b. Many Greek nouns vary between the first, the second, and the third declensions: as, Boōtae (genitive of Boōtēs, -is), Thūcȳdidās (accusative plural of Thūcȳdidēs , -is). See § 52. a and § 81.

Note.--The Greek accusative Scīpiadam , from Scīpiadēs, descendant of the Scipios, is found in Horace.

1 Scaevola is really a feminine adjective, used as a noun, meaning little left hand; but, being used as the name of a man (originally a nickname), it became masculine. Original genders are often thus changed by a change in the sense of a noun.

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