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This page pertains to UD version 2.

ADJ: adjective


Adjectives are words that typically modify nouns and specify their properties or attributes. Besides, they may function as predicates, cf. սուրբ է անուն նորա / sowrb ē anown noraholy is his name” (Lk. 1:49).

The ADJ tag is applied to adjectives and ordinal numerals, which the traditional grammar classifies as numerals (see NUM). See DET on determiners.

Although participles have adjectival features they are treated as forms of the verb VERB. By contrast, the verbal adjective in -լի/-li (e.g. սիրելի/sireli ‘favorite’ derived from սիրել/sirel ‘to love’) are tagged as adjectives.


Declension of adjectives

In Classical Armenian, adjectives are declined like nouns in case and number. As a general rule, an adjective agrees with the modified noun in case and number when it follows the noun, but remains in the nominative singular when it preceds the noun. In its predicative function, the adjective is typically not inflected irrespective of its position. See a detailed discussion in (Meillet 1962: 39-50).

Degrees of comparison

Classical Armenian does not have dedicated forms of the comparative and superlative degrees of the adjective. The comparative degree can be expressed by the positive form of an adjective along with քան/kʻan ‘than’ plus the etalon of comparison in the definite accusative form. The adjectival suffix -ագոյն/-agoyn can express either the intensive or the comparative meaning. An adjective in -ագոյն can express the comparative alone or as part of the comparative construction with քան.

The superlative degree can be expressed by compounds with ամենա-/amena-, cf. ամենա-բարի/amena-bari ‘the best’ next to բարի/bari ‘good’.



Jensen, Hans. 1959. Altarmenische Grammatik. Heidelberg: Winter.

Klein, Jared. 2017. The syntax of Armenian. In: Jared Klein et al. (eds.), Handbook of comparative and historical Indo-European linguistics. Berlin, Boston: Walter de Gruyter: 1097‒1115.

Meillet, Antoine. 1913. Altarmenisches Elementarbuch. Heidelberg: Winters (Internet Archive)

Meillet, Antoine. 1962. Études de linguistique et de philologie arméniennes. I: Recherches sur la syntaxe comparée de l’arménien. Suivies de la composition en arménien. Lisbonne: Imprensa Nacional de Lisboa.

ADJ in other languages: [bej] [bg] [bm] [ca] [cs] [cy] [da] [el] [en] [es] [et] [eu] [fi] [fro] [fr] [ga] [grc] [hu] [hy] [it] [ja] [ka] [kk] [kpv] [ky] [myv] [no] [pcm] [pt] [qpm] [ru] [sl] [sv] [tr] [tt] [uk] [u] [urj] [vi] [xcl] [yue] [zh]