Campbell Weak declension
Nouns of Dental relationship stems Hogg Consonantal stems (r-stems) (p-stems) fin-stems: on-stems, Fn- stems all the equivalents of Campbell's minor declensions) Campbell Stems in Indo-European nd-stems Athematic nouns -es-, -os- Hogg s-stems nd-stems Root-stems Table 4.
These classes are briefly reviewed in order to show how they gave way to the weak declension (-ed) over a period of 1500 years.
It is this blend of a push-pull continuum between the regular (weak declensions) and irregular (strong declensions) inflectional propensities that compounds acquisitional difficulties among ESL learners who lack a native-like intuition of inflectional grammaticality.
In the East Riding final -n was lost, and as a result the weak declension
ceased to be recognizable as such.(20) In fact, -um for -an seems not to be recorded for the dative singular of weak nouns, though it is the rule for the dative plural.
The exponent of stem formation of the weak declension in Indo-European is traditionally reconstructed as being realized as [-en-] (and ablaut variants).
However, it is apparently a conversion that targets the weak declension.
That is, say the weak declension is a target for agentive conversions.
The impact of weak declension
is most evident in forms of the genitive pl., attested in West-Saxon prose texts, where nouns denoting tribal names regularly take either the non-syncopated ending -ena (-ana, -ona) or the syncopated -na, as in: -seaxna, Francna, Longbeardna, Miercna, Sumursaetna, Gotena, Iudena (-ana) (Brunner 1965: 231) (cf.