What's the linguistic relationship between plural suffixes "-ler/-lar" in Turkish and "-er" in some Nordic/Germanic languages?

  • 1
    Got any examples? Such brief questions often don't captivate the audience. May 11, 2013 at 11:45
  • 1
    There is no relationship, it's a coincidence. Jul 22, 2017 at 11:56

2 Answers 2


This similarity is rather coincidental. According to widely accepted theories, Turkish and Germanic languages aren't cognates. And plural endings usually don't get borrowed from one language to another, except a part of a noun.

Are you sure that the Turkish plural ending is ''-er'' and ''-ar''? Not ''-ler'' and ''-lar''? For example: kitap ("book") — kitaplar, medrese — medreseler.

The Scandinavian (Norwegian) examples could be: bok ("book") — bøker, skole ("school") — skoler. So ''-er'', ''-r'', ''-ar'' without ''l''.

  • If "plural endings usually don't get borrowed from one language to another", then their similarity shows an intrinsic relation between languages, doesn't it?
    – user2045
    May 11, 2013 at 12:37
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    No. They might be similar by mere conincidence as well. Example: Dutch "daarin" ("therein") and Persian "dar în" ("in that"). They are completely unrelated, even if they look the same and mean the same. May 11, 2013 at 13:09
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    If you find several hundred such pairs, all showing regular sound variations, then you have the basis to argue for some kind of relationship. But without several hundred such pairs between specific languages, the odds are overwhelming it's coincidence.
    – jlawler
    May 11, 2013 at 13:13
  • "plural endings usually don't get borrowed from one language to another" - does not English borrow them quite frequently?
    – Anixx
    May 3, 2023 at 19:34

In Nordic Germanic languages the final -r came from -s via regular sound change.

  • Are you sure? Their proto-language pluralised via stem changes as much as suffixes. Jul 22, 2017 at 11:54
  • @AdamBittlingmayer We can be sure because the final s is still found in Gothic. Jul 22, 2019 at 14:51

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