cwconrad wrote:The lexical entry for a noun ordinarily lists three elements: (1) the nominative singular form of the noun, (2) the genitive singular form of the noun, (3) the gender of the noun. That's what the sequence you've cited -- λόγος, -ου, ὁ -- indicates. Instead of the article you may find a letter indicating the gender: λόγος, -ου, m.
You mustn't think of a lexical entry for a noun (or for any other inflected form either) as a word or sentence: λόγος, -ου, ὁ is not a Greek textual expression at all but rather a listing of information about this particular word; you might compare it with a listing of persons in a telephone directory where the regular sequence in each entry is: last name, first name, address, telephone number. This sequence is a purely conventional formula for items of information that identify the person listed in the directory or the word listed in a Greek lexicon or vocabulary list.
Why these particular elements? The first two items tell you what declensional pattern the noun follows -- in this instance, the second-declension o-stem pattern. But it's not enough to know that λόγος is a second-declension o-stem noun because there are several second-declension o-stem nouns that are feminine in gender, e.g. ἡ ὁδός, ἡ νόσος. Why do you need to know the gender of a noun? In order to understand which forms of adjectives may be used with it and which forms of pronouns may refer to such a noun: ὁ μακρὸς λόγος but ἡ μακρὰ νὴσος.
Why do we need both the nominative and the genitive forms of the noun? Because the form of the nominative is not enough to indicate completely what declensional pattern it belongs to. λόγος is a second-declension masculine noun with noun stem λογ- and genitive-case ending -ου, but the noun μέρος ("part") happens to be a third-declension neuter noun with a noun stem μερε- that contracts with a genitive case ending -ος to form μέρους. So, the lexical entry for this noun is μέρος, μέρους, τό -- indicating that this is a third-declension neuter noun with a stem in μερε-that will contract with vowel endings.
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