The three masculine declensions have the following identifying characteristics:
- 1st declension: nom. sing. in -s or -š, thematic vowel -a- (e.g. vīrs "man, husband")
- 2nd declension: nom. sing. in -is (or -ns/-ss, see below), thematic vowel -i- (e.g. skapis "shelf")
- 3rd declension: nom. sing. in -us, thematic vowel -u- (e.g. tirgus "market, bazaar")
The full paradigms of endings for the three declensions is given in the following table:
|1st decl.||2nd decl.||3rd decl.|
The 2nd declension exhibits palatalization of the final stem consonant in the genitive singular and throughout the plural (p → pj in the example above, but see below for full details). Exceptions to this include compound nouns and proper names ending in -dis or -tis (e.g. Atis, gen. sing. Ata).
A small subclass of 2nd declension nouns have identical nominative and genitive singular (most of them ending in -ens). These are part of the so-called consonant stem nouns: e.g. akmens "stone", asmens "blade", mēness "moon", rudens "autumn", sāls "salt", ūdens "water" and zibens "lightning". The 2nd declension noun suns "dog" has the regular genitive singular suņa.
Famous quotes containing the word masculine:
“Women have a hard time of it in this world. They are oppressed by man-made laws, man-made social customs, masculine egoism, the delusion of masculine superiority. Their one comfort is the assurance that, even though it may be impossible to prevail against man, it is always possible to enslave and torture a man.”
—H.L. (Henry Lewis)