Albanian morphology

This article concerns the morphology of the Albanian language, including the declension of nouns and adjectives, and the conjugation of verbs. It refers to the Tosk-based Albanian standard regulated by the Academy of Sciences of Albania.

Nouns (declension)Edit

Albanian nouns are of three genders, with neuter disappearing. Nouns are morphologically altered for number (singular/plural), definiteness (indefinite/definite), and case. The cases are nominative, accusative, dative, ablative and vocative. Many texts include a genitive case, but this is produced using a linking clitic (see below) and is morphologically identical to the dative. The vocative is distinguished from the nominative in the case of only a few nouns. The dative and the ablative are identical, except for the indefinite plural. The indefinite accusative is always the same as the indefinite nominative.

Plural formationEdit

Albanian plural formation is highly irregular. Suffixes include -ra, -a, -e, -onj, , but modification of the stem by final consonant palatalization or internal vowel mutation is common.

Regular noun endingsEdit

The indefinite form of the noun is identical in the nominative and accusative cases, being the uninflected form of the noun in the singular, and the form noted above in the plural. The following are the endings for the dative and ablative cases when the noun is in indefinite form:

singular, masculine/neuter nouns i i
singular, feminine nouns e e
plural ve sh

The endings for nouns in definite form are as follows:

singular, masculine nouns of "u" type u un/në ut
singular, masculine nouns of "i" type i in/në it
singular, neuter nouns t(ë) t(ë) it
singular, feminine nouns a n(ë) s(ë)
plural it/t(ë) it/t(ë) ve(t)

The masculine nouns of "u" type are those whose uninflected form ends in a stressed front vowel or in -h, -k or -g. Others are of "i" type.

For examples of noun declension patterns, see Albanian language (Grammar).


Personal pronounsEdit

The personal pronouns decline for case, as do nouns; they have additional clitic (weak) forms in the accusative and dative.

NOM ACC DAT ABL ACC (clitic) DAT (clitic)
1st pers. singular unë mua mua meje
2nd pers. singular ti ty ty teje
3rd pers. singular, masculine ai atë atij atij e i
3rd pers. singular, feminine ajo atë asaj asaj e i
1st pers. plural ne ne neve nesh na na
2nd pers. plural ju ju juve jush ju ju
3rd pers. plural, masculine ata ata atyre atyre i u
3rd pers. plural, feminine ato ato atyre atyre i u

Demonstrative pronounEdit

The declension of the demonstrative pronouns is very similar to that of the 3rd person personal pronouns.

masc. sing. ky këtë këtij
fem. sing. kjo këtë kësaj
masc. plural këta këtyre këtyre
fem. plural këto këtyre këtyre

Adjectives (declension)Edit

The linking cliticEdit

An Albanian noun phrase typically has the form "N Lnk Adv* A" where Lnk is the declinable particle described below. (If adverbs appear between the adjective and the linking particle, then the latter must take its indefinite form.) The linking particle agrees with the noun in gender, case and number.

Indefinite linking clitic:

SG.M i
SG.F e

Definite linking clitic:

SG.M i e
SG.F e e
PL e e

The adjectives themselves are also declined to agree with the noun in gender and number. Paradigms differ depending on whether the adjective is or is not used with the linking particle.

Adjectives with the linking cliticEdit

One group of adjectives uses the same form for all except the feminine plural, which uses the ending -a. The other does not differ by number, but has an -e on the feminine and none on the masculine.

Adjectives without the linking cliticEdit

Some adjectives are used without the linking particle. These take different endings from those that use the linking particle, and come in seven different types.

- - - -
- - - a
- - e e
- ë e e
- ? e e
- ? ? ?

Each row is a different declension class. Each cell labeled "?" indicates varied/irregular endings.

Verbs (conjugation)Edit

In the active voice, Albanian morphologically alters the indicative present, imperfect and aorist, the optative present, and the admirative present and imperfect (with 6 person/number inflections for each), as well as the imperative (2nd person singular and plural) and a participle (indeclinable). (The admirative endings are regular across conjugational classes and are similar to forms of the auxiliary kam.) All other mood/tense/aspect combinations are produced periphrastically using the auxiliary kam (have) and indeclinable particles. The Albanian passive voice continues the Indo-European medio-passive, and has separate declension paradigms for the indicative present and imperfect, as well as the imperative. The other forms are produced from these and from the active forms periphrastically.

Regular paradigms (active voice)Edit

Class 1Edit

- IND.Present IND.Imperfect IND.Aorist Optative
1 oj oja ova ofsha
2 on oje ove osh
3 on onte oi oftë
1 ojmë onim uam ofshim
2 oni onit uat ofshi
3 ojnë onin uan ofshin

Imperative: Singular -o, Plural -oni

Participle: -uar

Class 2Edit

- IND.Present IND.Imperfect IND.Aorist Optative
1 - ja a sha
2 - je e sh
3 - te i
1 im nim ëm shim
2 ni nit ët shit
3 in nin ën shin

Imperative: Singular -, Plural -ni

Participle: -ur

Class 3Edit

- IND.Present IND.Imperfect IND.Aorist Optative
1 - ja ta ça
2 - je te ç
3 - nte ti ttë
1 nim tëm tshim
2 ni nit tët tshit
3 nin tën tshin

Imperative: Singular -, Plural -ni

Participle: -tur

Irregular verbsEdit

Most proper Albanian verbs are irregular since they change their only vowel of the stem, often rearranging consonant order or by changing the stem completely. Verbs of foreign origin like studioj, kandidoj, refuzoj, provoj, etc. are regular. Verbs derived from nouns, like ndryshoj (from ndryshe, different), vlerësoj (from vlerë, value), are normally regular. Here are some examples of irregular verbs:

kam ‘have’ (auxiliary)Edit

kam, ke, kisha, pata, paça, ki, pasur. (I have, you have, I had (aorist), I had (simple perfect), I (wish to) have, (imperative) have!, had (participle).

jam ‘be’ (auxiliary)Edit

jam, është, isha, qesh, qofsha, ji!, qenë.

shoh, to see

shosh, sheh, shihja, pashë, pafsha, shih!, parë.

ha, to eat.

ha, ha, haja, hëngra, ngrënsha, ha!, ngrënë.

rri, to stay

rrí, rri, rrija, ndenja, ndenjsha, rrì!, ndejur.

vij, to come

vij, vjen, vija, erdha, ardhsha, eja!, ardhur.

bie, to fall

bie, bie, bija, rashë, rafsha, bjer!, rënë.

flas, to speak

flas, flet, flisja, fola, folsha, fol!, folur.

them, to say

them, thua, thoja, thashë, thënça, thuaj!, thënë.


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