Nouns

Latvian nouns could be divided into declinable and indeclinable nouns. Most of Latvian nouns are declinable. Declinable nouns in Latvian are divided into 6 declensions (first declension, second declension, third declension, fourth declension, fifth declension, sixth declension). The declension of noun is determined by its ending and gender.

Gender  Ending

(sing. nom.) 

Declen-

sion 

Examples  Exceptions 
masculine  s,   dls (son)

te (calf) 

 
masculine  is  dlis (plank)  akmens (stone),

asmens (blade),

zibens (lightning),

dens (water),

mness (moon),

rudens (autumn),

suns (dog),

sls (salt) 

masculine,

feminine 

us  medus (honey)

pelus (chaff) 

 
feminine,

masculine,

 

meita (daughter),

puika (boy),

ppa (chatbox2) 

 
feminine,

masculine 

dle (leach),

bende (executioner) 

 
feminine  zivs (fish)  audis (people) 

In addition there is a special group of reflexive nouns which are derived from reflexive verbs. Most of them ends with -ans but there are few which ends with -tjs, -tjies, -jies, -jies, -umies.

Case Generation

The case generation in Latvian is realised by adding ending (determined by declension of noun) to the stem of noun. 2nd, 5th and 6th declensions includes rules when the consonant preceding the case ending is to be palatalised.

Case endings.

Declen-

sion 

Number  Nom.  Gen.  Dat.  Acc.  Loc.  Voc. 
sing.  -s,   -a  -am  -u  -   -s 
plur.  -i  -u  -iem  -us  -os  -i 
sing.  -is  -a  -im  -I  -i 
plur.  -i  -u  -iem  -us  -os  -i 
sing.  -us  -us  -um  -u  -us 
plur.  -i  -u  -iem  -us  -os  -i 
sing.  -a  -as  -ai  -iu  -   -a 
plur.  -as  -u  -m  -as  -s  -as 
sing.  -e  -es  -ei  -I  -e 
plur.  -es  -u  -m  -es  -s  -es 
sing.  -s  -s  -ij  -i  -s 
plur.  -is   -u  -m  -is  -s   -is 
refl.  sing.  -s  -s  -   -os 
refl.  plur.  -s  -os  -s 
refl.  sing.  -ies  -s  -os 
refl.  plur.  -ies  -os  -os 
3, fem.  plur.  -us  -u  -m  -us  -s 

In some cases endings differs from ending of Table:

- the masculine nouns of 4th declension has ending -am in singular dative;

- the masculine nouns of 5th declension has ending -em in singular dative;

- the first declension nouns which ends with -tjs, -js, -js, -nieks has no ending in singular vocative;

- diminutives has no ending in singular vocative;

- reflexive nouns which ends with -umies are not used in genitive.

Palatalization.

The consonants preceding case ending is to be palatalised for nouns of second declension in singular genitive and all plural word forms as well as for nouns of 5th or 6th declension in plural genitive.

Consonant(s) before ending  Palatalised to  Declension 
bj  2, 5 
  2, 5 
  2, 5 
  2, 5, 6 
mj  2, 5 
  2, 5, 6 
pj  2, 5 
  2, 5, 6 
  2, 5, 6 
vj  2, 5, 6 
  2, 5, 6 
sn    2, 5, 6 
zn    2, 5 
sl   
zl   
ln   
ll    2, 5 
nn   
kst  5, 6 

The consonant is not palatalised for

- proper names of second declension which ends with -ckis, -skis;

- proper noun with two syllables which ends with -tis, -dis;

- some exceptions.

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