In the PIE heteroclitic neuter noun *u̯ód-r̥, gen. **u̯éd-n̥-s ‚water‘, the Germanic languages eliminated the alternation in favour of either r- or n-stem variants (cp. OHG waz(z)ar vs. Goth. wato). Little attention has been paid to a doublet in West Norse that resulted from a paradigm split. Instead of regular vatn two (or three) eleventh- and twelfth-century Icelandic skalds used exceptional vatr that appears neither in the standard dictionary of OWN poetry nor in older text editions, which are rich in conjectures. Additional lexical evidence, namely vatur, is found in a Faeroese ballad from the late 1700s. OWN vatr (< PNorse *watra < PGmc. *watran) seems to be a back formation from nom./acc. pl. vǫtr* < PNorse *watru < PGmc. *watrō parallel to PGmc. *watnō that was formed with the zero grade of the suffix taken from PGmc. *wat-n-õn gen. pl. (and presumably levelled *wat-n-amᵃ/ᵢz).
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