In linguistics, declension is the inflection of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and articles to indicate number (at least singular and plural), case (nominative or subjective, genitive or possessive, etc.), and gender. A declension is also a group of nouns that follow a particular pattern of inflection.
Declension occurs in many of the world's languages, and features very prominently in many European languages. Old English was a highly inflected language, as befits its Indo-European and especially its Germanic linguistic ancestry, but its declensions greatly simplified as it evolved into Modern English.
Famous quotes containing the word declension:
“And what if my descendants lose the flower
Through natural declension of the soul,
Through too much business with the passing hour,
Through too much play, or marriage with a fool?”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)
“And from the first declension of the flesh
I learnt mans tongue, to twist the shapes of thoughts
Into the stony idiom of the brain....”
—Dylan Thomas (19141953)