Are there other languages, besides Old Slavonic, with adjectives ending with pronoun, e.g.

добрый /dobryj/ he who is good;
доброе /dobrojo/ it which is good;
добрую /dobruju/ she who is good;
добрыя /dobryja/ they who are good


2 Answers 2


Lithuanian, which is related to but not descended from Slavic languages, is also supposed to have "pronominal adjectives", according to this web page: The Historical Grammar of Lithuanian language

That page indicates that pronominal adjectives don't exist in Indo-European languages outside of Baltic and Slavic.

It's not the same thing, but a somewhat similar phenomenon that does exist outside of Baltic or Slavic languages is the use of a definite article with an attributive adjective. This shows up in Greek, and I think I remember reading about it occurring in some Germanic language (possibly a type of Yiddish). Outside of Indo-European, you can find definite articles affixed or cliticized to adjectives in Semitic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew. Obviously, this is different in that the noun also is marked with the definite marker, and the definite marker is not a pronoun. However, definite articles and pronouns often do have some similarities. Another difference is that all of the languages that I mentioned in this paragraph put the definite marker at the start, not at the end of the adjective.

Slovenian uses "ta", which is apparently the same in form as a demonstrative pronoun, as something often called an "adjectival definite article". Unlike the examples in the previous paragraph, it apparently can't be used with a bare noun. Slovenian is a Slavic language.

In Germanic languages generally, there is the phenomenon of attributive adjectives having "strong" or "weak" inflection depending on the presence of a definite article. It seems that the "strong" inflectional suffixes are somehow related to demonstrative pronouns. "The adjective in Germanic and Romance Development, Differences and Similarities", by Freek Van de Velde, Petra Sleeman & Harry Perridon, says "The origin of the [Germanic] strong inflection [...] is the endings in the demonstratives, which rubbed off onto other elements, through an intermediate group of semi-pronouns (Kluge 1913: 209; Prokosch 1939: 261; McFadden 2009)" (p. 3).


These adjectives do not end in a pronoun, they end in a case ending. These are nominative case endings, which just so happen to be identical to certain nominative pronouns.

  • I don’t think it’s a coincidence, though ... if I remember correctly, those case endings are in fact supposed to have developed from suffixed pronouns. Mar 18, 2019 at 17:08
  • The Wikipedia article, as well as the following web page corroborates what I remember reading: babaev.tripod.com/archive/grammar32.html Mar 18, 2019 at 17:18
  • @sumelic, would you say the same thing about for example Latin? Mar 18, 2019 at 17:45
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    I'm not sure what you mean. I think of the Latin third-person pronoun as being "is, ea, id" in the nominative singular. But Latin neuter adjectives typically have a nominative singular form that ends in "um", less commonly "e" or "s" (or "x"), very rarely something else like "r". "Id" is not a typical neuter nominative singular adjective ending at all. (This Latin SE questions mentions some other words with the -d ending, and there only seem to be a handful: latin.stackexchange.com/questions/2536/…) Mar 18, 2019 at 18:27
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    @Wilson: I didn't say it was a pronoun, Artur Makarov did. I was disagreeing with your statement that the Latin and Slavonic adjectives were "typologically similar".
    – Colin Fine
    Mar 19, 2019 at 9:17

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