Latin has many ambiguous endings. For example, in Latin, -is can be the ending for:

  • First and second declension Ablative and Dative Plural of any gender.
  • Third declension Genitive Singular.
  • Third declension Nominative Singular of -i stem words
  • Some forms of verbs.

I know that if I put words in sentence the ambiguity will vanish, but I still prefer the unambiguity when words are standalone.

Are there any inflectional languages that have less ambiguous endings than Latin?

BTW, can such languages I mentioned in the title be Ancient Greek and Sanskrit?

(Sorry if my English sucks.)

  • 3
    The Latin endings aren't actually that ambiguous. Remember there's a difference between -is and -īs.
    – Draconis
    Mar 29 at 4:14

1 Answer 1


It depends exactly what you mean by "inflectional".

If you are restricting it to fusional languages (including many Indo-European languages, and all or nearly all of the older ones), then probably not: syncretism of endings seems to go with this.

If you are using "inflectional" to include agglutinative languages, then endings are much more likely to be distinct.

  • 3
    Even though Proto-Indo-European had some syncretism, I would say that the level varies substantially among the daughter languages, especially if we are only looking at declensions. The average Greek noun has unique endings in all cases, except for neuter nouns, which always have identical nominative and accusative forms in all numbers. Sanskrit has more forms and more duplication, but nowhere near the level of Latin. Mar 29 at 20:33

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