3.5. General Rules of Gender

3.5.1. Names of Male beings, and of Rivers, Winds, Months, and Mountains are masculine:

pater, father; Karlos, Charles; Rhein, the Rhine; Auster, south wind; Magjos, May; Urales, the Urals.

NOTE. Names of Months are properly adjectives, the masculine noun mens, month, being understood: as, Januarios, January.

a. A few names of Rivers ending in -a (as, Volga), and many Greek names ending in -e (which usually corresponds to Europaio -a), are feminine; others are variable or uncertain.

b. Some names of Mountains are feminines or neuter: as, Alpes (f.), the Alps

3.5.2. Names of Female beings, of Cities, Countries, Plants, Trees and Gems, of many Animals (especially Birds), and of most abstract Qualities, are feminine:

mater, mother; Julia, Julia; Roma, Rome; pinu, pine; sapphiros, sapphire; weraos, true (cf. very);

a. Some names of Towns and Countries are masculine: as, Swereghe, Sweden; or neuter, as, Anglendhom, England; Illyrikom, Illyria.

b A few names of Plants and Gems follow the gender of their termination; as, kentaureom (n.), centaury; akanthos (m.), bearsfot; opalos (m.), opal.

NOTE. The gender of most of the above may also be recognized by the terminations, according to the rules given under the different declensions.

3.5.3. Indeclinable nouns, infinitives, terms or phrases used as nouns, and words quoted merely for their form, are neuter:

wrdh, right; nehilum, nothing ; gummi, gum;

3.5.4. Many nouns may be either masculine or feminine, according to the sex of the object. These are said to be of Common Gender: as, eksaliom, exile; cous, ox or cow; parent, parent.

NOTE. Several names of animals have a grammatical gender, independent of sex. These are called epicene. Thus, wlqos, wolf, is always masculine, and wlpes, fox, is always feminine.

3.5.5. Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives and Participles are declined in two Numbers, singular and plural; and in five Cases, nominative, vocative, accusative, genitive and oblique - which is in some dialects was further subdivided into combinations of dative, locative, instrumental and ablative.

NOTE 1. The Northern dialects usually had five cases, while the southern ones had eight, although the situation has evolved differently due to migrations and linguistic contacts. The traditional theories maintain that the Oblique case is a relic of the original, more complex system of eight noun cases from the common PIE language. On the contrary, the five-case system is for other, more modern scholars, the older situation, later changed by some languages (especially the southern) by way of merging or splitting the five original cases. It would have been, then, an innovation of the individual dialects (hence the difficulty in reconstructing four unitary oblique cases), just as the phonetic satemization. Both trends influenced then the Baltoslavic dialects, possibly in close contact with the Indo-Iranian dialects before (and even after) the great migrations. It is thus a general opinion that in IE III both dialectal trends related to inflection coexisted. In this Grammar we follow the general Northern trend, i.e. the five-case inflection, and disregard the other four cases altogether.

NOTE 2. In the number we use singular and plural, and not dual, not only because of its doubtful existence in IE III times and the difficulties with its reconstruction, but because it is also more practical in terms of modern European languages.

I. The Nominative is the case of the Subject of a sentence.

II. The Vocative is the case of Direct Address.

III. The Accusative is the case of the Direct Object of a verb.  It is used also with many of the prepositions.

IV. The Genitive may generally be translated by the English Possessive, or by the Objective with the preposition of.

V. The Oblique may be translated as:

a. The case of the Indirect Object. It may usually be translated by the Objective with the preposition to or for.

b. The place where.

c. The thing with.

d. The Objective with from, by, with, in or at. It is often given with prepositions.

NOTE . The oblique case appears in the English pronoun set; these pronouns are often called objective pronouns; as in she loves me (accusative), give it to me (dative) or that dirt wasn't wiped with me (instrumental), where me is not inflected differently in any of these uses; it is used for all grammatical relationships except the genitive case of possession and a non-disjunctive nominative case as the subject.