WA aʒtent

‘eighth’ (Modern English )


This form of the ord. is usually explained by input from ON, cp. OIcel áttandi ‘eighth’ (< PGmc *axtu-, cp. OE eahteoða, OFris achtenda, achtunda, achtanda, OS ahtodo, OHG ahtodo; ordinal to *axtōu). Forms with intrusive -n- were restructured under the influence of *seƀunđan, and occur in NGmc and WGmc, but not OE. The usual OE reflex was seofoþa, but ONb and the Mercian gloss to the Rushworth Gospels notably attest the variant seofunda, siofunda. It is possible, then, that the ON word reinforced an unattested native variant. The absence of a form of the ord. eighth with -n- before the start of the 13c and the distribution of the forms provide circumstantial evidence in favour of adducing ON input.

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

áttandi ‘eighth’
(ONP áttandi (num. ord.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far áttandi, Icel áttundi, Norw åttande, ODan atændæ, ottende, OSw āttunde

OE Cognate

eahteoða ‘eighth’

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



Forms with -n- are first attested c. 1200 and citations from MED and OED come mostly N, N/EM and E texts.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

WA 3830, 4836


MED eightend(ord. num.) , OED eightin (adj.)[ http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/59992?], HTOED , de Vries áttandi, Mag. átta, Orel axtuđōn ~ *axtuþōn, Kroonen *ahtudan-, AEW eahteoða, DOE eahteoða