Third Declension (Declinatio tertia)

The circumflex accent ( ) is used to denote the length of the vowels.



Third declension includs nouns of all the three genders, the stems of which end either by a consonant or by the vowel i- (i- stems).
 

Consonant Stems

The Latin grammarians have called the words of this subdivision imparisyllaba, i.e. of unequal syllables, because they have one more syllable in Gen.-Dat.-Acc.-Abl.sg. than in Nom.-Voc. sg., cf. the following examples (they present Nominative vs. Genitive):

The nouns of masculine and feminine gender that make their Nom. sg. with -s ending often change the stem consonant before this ending or loose it altogether, cf.: The bilabial consonant [p] and [b] are, however, preserved unchanged before -s, cf.: The -s- belonging to the stem is changed regularly to -r- between two vowels, cf.: The nouns of this subdivision are declined as follows:
 
Cases
Singular
m
f
n
m
f
n
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.
Abl.
Voc.
rector
rectoris
rectori
rectorem
rectore
rector
natio
nationis
nationi
nationem
natione
natio
tempus
temporis
tempori
tempus
tempore
tempus
dux
ducis
duci
ducem
duce
dux
lex
legis
legi
legem
lege
lex
nomen
nominis
nomini
nomen
nomine
nomen
 
Plural
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.
Abl.
Voc.
rectores
rectorum
rectoribus
rectores
rectoribus
rectores
nationes
nationum
nationibus
nationes
nationibus
nationes
tempora
temporum
temporibus
tempora
temporibus
tempora
duces
ducum
ducibus 
duces
ducibus 
duces
leges
legum
legibus 
leges
legibus 
leges
nomina
nominum
nominibus 
nomina
nominibus 
nomina

Vocal Stems

To this subdivision belong two major groups of nouns:
    The first group includes a few feminine nouns that have equal number of syllables (in the terms of the old grammarians they are parisyllaba) in Nom.-Voc. sg. and Gen.-Dat.-Acc.-Abl. sg., such as:

    The second group includes neuter nouns ending in Nom. sg. by -e, -al, -ar, such as: Historically they have also been parisyllaba.

The nouns of the vocal stem are declined as follows:
 
Cases
Singular
f
n
n
n
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.
Abl.
Voc.
turris
turris
turri
turrim
turri
turris
mare
maris
mari
mare
mari
mare
animal
animalis
animali
animal
animali
animal
exemplar
exemplaris
exemplari
exemplar
exemplari
exemplar
 
Plural
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.
Abl.
Voc.
turres
turrium
turribus
turris
turribus
turres
maria
marium
maribus
maria
maribus
maria
animalia
animalium
animalibus
animalia
animalibus
animalia
exemplaria
exemplarium
exemplaribus
exemplaria
exemplaribus
exemplaria

Mixed Stems

This subdivision includes nouns that have historically belonged to the i- stem, but later on have adopted the endings of the consonant stem, except for Gen. pl. where they have preserved the vowal ending -ium. The following three groups of nouns are related to this declensional pattern:

All parisyllaba of -es and -is (but those pertaining to the i- stem), such as:

The nouns that in Nom. sg. are of one syllable and are ended by -s preceded by a consonant, such as: The nouns of -er whose stems are ended by two or more consonants, such as: The nouns of this subdivision are declined as follows:
 
Cases
Singular
mf
f
f
m
f
n
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.
Abl.
Voc.
civis
civis
civi
civem
cive
civis
nubes
nubis
nubi
nubem
nube
nubes
urbs
urbis
urbi
urbem
urbe
urbs
imber
imbris
imbri
imbrem
imbre
imber
nox
noctis
nocti
noctem
nocte
nox
os
ossis
ossi
os
osse
os
 
Plural
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.
Abl.
Voc.
cives
civium
civibus
cives
civibus
cives
nubes
nubium
nubibus
nubes
nubibus
nubes
urbes
urbium
urbibus
urbes
urbibus
urbes
imbres
imbrium
imbribus
imbres
imbribus
imbres
noctes
noctium
noctibus
noctes
noctibus
noctes
ossa
ossium
ossibus
ossa
ossibus
ossa

 

Comparative Table of the various casual endings for the three stems
 
 
Abl. sing.
Acc. sing.
Gen. pl.
Nom. Acc. Voc. 
pl. n.
cons. stem
i- stem
mixed stem
-e
-i
-e
-em
-im
-em
-um
-ium
-ium
-a
-ia
-a

 

Particularities

1. The following parisyllaba have in Gen. pl. the ending -um instead of -ium:

2. The following mixed stem nouns form their Abl. sg. both by -e and -i endings: 3. The masculine and neuter nouns of Gen. pl. ending -ium have preserved the older ending -is for Acc. pl. together with the more common ending -es, cf.: 4. Some consonant stem nouns, especially those ending in Nom. sg. by -as, have a doublet ending -ium for Gen. pl.: The noun lis, litis f quarrel has for Gen. pl. only litium.

5. The nouns vis f strength, bos, bovis mf cow, sus, suis (sueris) mf swine and Juppiter, Jovis m Jupiter, the Roman supreme god have specific declensional patterns:
 
Cases
Singular
f
mf
mf
m
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.
Abl.
Voc.
vis 
-- 
-- 
vim 
vi 
vis
bos 
bovis 
bovi 
bovem 
bove 
bos
sus 
suis, sueris 
sui 
suem 
sue 
sus
Juppiter 
Jovis 
Jovi 
Jovem 
Jove 
Juppiter
 
Plural
Nom.
Gen.
Dat.
Acc.
Abl.
Voc.
vires 
virium 
viribus 
vires 
viribus 
vires
boves 
boum 
bobus, bubus 
boves 
bobus, bubus 
boves
sues 
suum 
subus, suibus 
sues 
subus, suibus 
sues
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
-- 
--

 

Gender of the nouns of the III declension

1. Most nouns ending by:

are masculine, cf.:
codex, codicis m book
eques, equitis m horseman
flos, floris m blossom
leo, leonis m lion
rector, rectoris m guide, driver
passer, passeris m sparrow
2. Most nouns ending by: are feminine, cf.:
ars, artis f art
caedes, caedis f murder
laus, laudis f praise
libertas, libertatis f liberty
nox, noctis f night
ratio, rationis f reason
salus, salutis f health
tussis, tussis f cough
valetudo, valetudinis f health
virgo, virginis f virgin
3. Most nouns ending by: are neuter, cf.:
animal, animalis n animal
caput, capitis n head
flumen, fluminis n river, stream
genus, generis n kind, class, sort, family
guttur, gutturis n throat
lac, lactis n milk
nectar, nectaris n nectar
rete, retis n net
schema, schematis n scheme
tempus, temporis n time

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