Turkish affixes in Albanian


Affix function number of borrowed affixes


Information and examples are mostly from Boretzky (1975a: 265–270), some additional examples form Xhuvani and Çabej (1962). Information on the etymologies of stems comes from Orel (1998). According to Boretzky (1975a: 265), there are many Turkish suffixes in Albanian, but only 3‑4 are used to derive more than a few Albanian stems. Boretzky (1975a: 265–270) nevertheless lists five borrowed suffixes and gives examples of combinations with native stems for each. Some of them may be restricted to spoken varieties.


4 nominalizers

‑xhi/‑çi ‘profession derivation’, e.g. derraxhi ‘swineherd’ (from derre ‘pig’), djathëxhi ‘cheese maker’ (from djathë ‘cheese’), lëkuraxhi ‘skinner’ (from lëkurë ‘skin’). Boretzky (1975a: 265–270) found about 40 derivations with this suffix, but expects there are many more. Brian Joseph (personal communication, July 2011) confirms that this suffix is productively used.

‑llëk ‘abstract noun nominalizer (from adverbs, and others)’, e.g. zjarrlëk ‘burning heat’ (from zjarr ‘fire’). According to Brian Joseph (personal communication July 2011) this suffix is not very productively used.

‑li/‑lli ‘designation of residents’, e.g. vendali ‘inhabitant’ (from vend ‘place’), Elbasanlli ‘inhabitant of Elbasan’, Tiranalli ‘inhabitant of Tirana’

‑qarnouns denoting a quality or a person having a quality that is denoted by the noun or verb from which it is derived’, e.g. nihmaçar ‘helper’ (from ndihmë ‘help’), mundqar ‘someone who earns his daily bread with effort’ (from mund ‘effort’)


1 adjectivizer

‑çeethnic or regional terms, and other derivations’, e.g. Shqipëtarçe ‘Albanian (adj.)’ (from Shqipëtar ‘Albanian (person)’), vendçe ‘locally’ (from vend ‘place’), derrçe ‘pig‑like’ (from derr ‘pig’). Brian Joseph (personal communication, July 2011) confirms that this suffix is productively used.


1 plural marker

‑lar ~ ‑llar ~ lerë ‘male human plural’, e.g. mbretlerë ‘emperor’ (from mbret, originally from Latin), priʃtlerë ‘priests’ (from priʃt, originally from Latin), giyshllar ‘grandfathers’ (from giyish, from Proto Albanian) (examples from Gardani (2008: 72), who cites Fiedler (1977). This form is used on a few words, probably most of them of Turkish origin, according to Brian Joseph (personal communication, July 2011).