So I am now learning the third declension and am looking for advice about how to best memorize it. Which of these two ways would you recommend? ONE: My current tactic is to memorize the basic endings chart, and have as good a grasp on the various laws of phonetic combination as possible. Is this naive? TWO: Is it better to just memorize the various sub-classes of consonant declension nouns? My book (Mastronarde) suggests that there are six such classes, and they sort of overwhelm me:
1) labial/velar plosive stems
2) dental plosive stems:
a) masculine/feminines with a nominative in -is
b) masculine nouns with stem in -vt-
c) neuter nouns with stem in t
3) suffix -mat-
4) consonant stems ending in liquid (l, r) or nasal (n)
5) irregular stems in r
6) stems in s
Even if you think "TWO" is the way to go, I still really do like knowing the various phonetic laws of combination, but would appreciate reviewing them and knowing which apply to third declension changes.
Obviously, there are vowel contractions. But what of other combinations?
intervocalic sigma (sigma between two vowels often disappears)
is there a name for the times when sigma sucks into consonants to make psi out of pi, etc.? sigmatic elision or some such something?
And if you think "ONE" is the better approach, would you recommend a different way of creating the various sub-classes?