Derivation of suffixes and prefixes

Derivation of suffixes and prefixes

A. Suffixes With the use of some suffixes, one may create: nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs, numerals.

Nouns The suffixes ‐no (for masculine noun) and ‐ni (for feminine nouns)

a. from verbs: from the verb rakh-ava/arakhav ”to find, guard, take care+ suffix ‐no >arakhno “care taker, bodyguard, finder“; from the verb starava/astarav ”to catch“ + suffix ‐no >starno/ astarno; with feminine suffixe ‐ni > starni/astarni “trap, something that catches“;

from the verb sikhavav “to point to” + suffix ‐no > sikhavno; with feminine suffix -ni > sikhavni “guide, teacher“.

b) from nouns: The ‐ni suffix is used to get feminine nouns. For instance: from the masculine noun grast “horse“ + ‐ni >grastni “mare“ ,  from the masculine noun manuš “man“ + ‐ni > manušni “woman“,  from the masculine noun rom “Rom“ + ‐ni >romni “Roma woman“,

from the masculine noun krajis/kralis/kralin “king“ + ‐ni > krajisani/kralicani  “queen“ etc

The suffix –ibe/ipe(n) forms the abstract nouns. With the help of the suffix ‐ipe(n) from nouns, adjectives and verbs:  a) from nouns: from the masculine noun amal ”friend” + suffix ‐ipe(n) > amalibe(n)/amalipe(n) ”friendship”;  from the masculine noun phral ”brother” +suffix ‐ipe(n) > phralibe(n)/phralipe(n) ”brotherhood”.

b) from adjectives:

from the adjective dil/o(i,e,e) ”crazy, mad, stupid”+suffix ‐ipe(n) >dilibe(n)/dilipe(n) ”madness, stupidity” ; from the adjective šukar ”beautiful”+suffix ‐ipe(n) > šukaribe(n)/šukaripe(n) ”beauty”

c) from verbs: from the verb kamava ”to want, to wish, to love” + suf. ‐ipen > kamiben/kamipen ”wish, love”.

The Suffix ‐lin.

a) from nouns: from the noun ambrol ”pear”+ suffix ‐lin > feminin noun ambrolin ”pear tree”

from noun phabaj ”apple” +suffix ‐lin > feminin noun phabajlin ”apple tree”

The nouns can also be formed from some adjectives.


Adjectives can be formed by adding to the word the following suffixes:

The Suffix –un/o (‐i,‐e,‐)/‐utn/o (i,e,). The adjectives formed by means of this suffix come from:

a) nouns: from the noun kašt ”wood” + suffux ‐utn/o(i,e,) > adjective kaštun/o(i,e,e) ”wooden, made out of wood” ; from the noun čher ”house” + suffix ‐utn/o(i,e,e) > adjective čherun/o(i,e,e), čherutn/o(i,e,e) ”domestic, pertaining to the household”

a. adjectives:  from adjective čač/o(i,e,) ”right, just, true” + suffix ‐un/o(‐i,‐e,)/ ‐utn/o(i,e,) > adjective čačun/o(i,e,),/  čačutn/o (i,e,) ”truthful, just”

c) adverbs: from the adverb akana ”now” + suffix ‐utn/o (i,e,e) > adjective akanun/o(‐i,‐e) / akanutn/o(i,e,) ”contemporary, from now

from the adverb upre/opre ”up”+ suffix-un/o (,‐i,‐e) /‐utn/o(,i,e,e) > adjektive uprun/o (i,e) / oprutn/o (i,e,) ”superior”.

d) prepositions: from the preposition anglal ”before, in front of” + suffix‐un/o (‐i,‐e)/utn/o (i,e) > adjective anglun/o(i,e) anglutn/o(i,e) ”anterior, preceeding” ; from the preposition palal ”after, behind” + suffix ‐un/o(i,e) /‐utn/o(i,e) > adjective palun/o(‐i,‐e)/palutn/o(i,e) ”posterior, following”etc

The Suffix ‐(v)al/o (i,e). Adjectives of this type are formed:

a. from nouns: from the masculine noun čhor ”beard” + suffix ‐(v)al/o(i,e) > adjective čhorval/o (i,e) ”person who has a beard” ; from the masculine noun rat ”blood” + suffix ‐(v)al/o(i,e> adjective ratval/o(i,e) ”bloody”; The Suffix ‐ikan/o (i,e). Adjectives can be formed from:  a) nouns:  from the masculine noun murš ”man” + suffix ‐ikan/o(i,e) > adjective muršikan/o (i,e) ”manly” ; from the feminin noun džuvli ”woman” + suffix ‐ikan/o(i,e) > adjective džuvlikan/o(i,e) ”womanly”; from the masculine noun phral ”brother” + suffix ‐ikan/o(i,e) > adjective phralikan/o(i,e) ”brotherly” ; b) adjectives: from adjective dilo ”crazy, mad, stupid” + suffix‐ikan/o (i,e) > adjective dilikan/o(i,e) ”crazy, foolish”

The Suffixes ‐esk/o (i, e) / eng/o (i, e) / ak/o (i, e) / ang/o (i, e) are forms for the Genitive of the nouns. from the masculine noun dad ”father” +suffix ‐esk/o (i, e) > adjective dadesk/o(i,e) ” the father’s” (Gen.)  from masculine noun dada ”father’s”+ suffix eng/o (i, e) > adjective dadeng/o (i,e) ”the father’s” (Gen);

from the feminin noun daj ”mother”+suffix ‐ak/o (i, e) > adjective dajak/o(i,e) ”the mother`s” (Gen);  The Participial Suffixes ‐d/o (i, e)

from the verb lačharava ”to fix, to repair” > lačhard/o (i, e) ”fixed, repaired”


The Suffix ‐es.

from the adjective roman/o (i,e) ”rom” + suffix ‐es > romanes ”in a roma way”

from the adjective čač/o(i,e) ”right, just” + suffix ‐es > čačes ”truthfully”

The Suffix ‐al.

from the masculine noun maškar ”middle” + suffix ‐al > adj. maškaral ”from the middle”

from the adverb avri ”outside” + suf. ‐al > adverbs avrjal ”from the outside”


The Suffix ‐ar/ jar‐ is one of the most productive romani suffixes and added to nouns, adjectives, numerals, adverbs,verbs, it can form verbs.

a) from nouns:

from the feminin noun mel ”dirt” +suffix ‐jar‐ > verb meljarela ” to get something dirty”

from the feminin noun loš ”joy”+suffix ‐ar‐ > verb lošarela ”to make somebody happy”

b) from adjectives:

from the adjective bar/o(i,e) ”big”+suffix ‐jar‐ > verb barjarela ”to grow, to cultivate, to develop”

from the adjective dil/o(i,e) ”crazy, stupid” + suffix ‐jar‐ > verb diljarela ”to drive somebody crazy”

from the adjective šukar ”beautiful”+ suffix ‐jar‐ > verb sukarjarela ”to beautify, to make beautiful”

c) from adverbs:

from the adverbs dur ”far” + suffix -jar> verb durjarela ”to run from, to put some distance between”

d) from verbs:

from the verb sikhjol/sikhljola ”to study”+ suffix ‐jar‐ > verb sikhjarela/sikhljarela ” to teach”

B. Prefixes

The Prefix bi‐ can form:

a) nouns:

prefix bi‐ + feminin noun baxt ”good luck, chance” > feminin noun bibaxt ”bad luck”

a. adjectives :

prefix bi‐ +adjective londo ”salty” > adjective bilondo ”with no salt”

a. verbs:

prefix bi‐ + verb starela ”to catch, to grab, to remember” > verb bistarela ”to drop, to forget”

prefix bi‐ + verb činela ”to buy”> verb bikinela ”to not sell, to not buy”

The grammatical cases and Romani verbs

An important part of Romani language are the cases. The case system in Romani can be presented in two ways: with postpositions (čher-es-tar > house-from) or with prepositions (andar o čher > from the house). There are differences in the case endings for masculine and feminine nouns, plural and singular, as well as for animate and inanimate nouns. However, very little is known and there is no research and publications about the verbs in relation to the Romani case system. Here I will present examples about some verbs from Romani language and how they go along with different cases in Romani:

te dža (to go)


1) O rom džal kaštenge

the man go-3sg wood-for

‘The man goes for wood’

2) O rom džal apo drom

the man go(walk)-3sg on road

‘The man walks on the road’

3) O rom džal po grast

the man go-3sg after horse

‘The man follows the horse’


O gad džal leske šukar

the shirt go-3sg him nice

‘The shirt suits him well’


Me džav tusa ando foro

I go-1sg you-with in-the town

‘I am coming with you to the town’


1) I romni džal ando čher

the woman go-3sg into house

‘The woman goes into the house’

2) Me džav paš tute

I go-1sg to you

‘I am coming to you’

te cavel (to come)


O manuš avel apo drom

the man come-3sg on-the road

‘The man comes on the road’


O xabe avela leske ṧukar

the food come-3sg him-to nice

‘He likes the food’


1) O čhavo avel andar o čher

the boy come-3sg from the house

‘The boy comes from the house’

2) O čhavo avel čherestar

the boy come-3sg house-from

‘The boy comes from the house’


Avav tusa

come-1sg you-with

‘I am coming with you’


Me avav paš tute

I come-1sg to you

‘I am coming to you’

te tradela/bičavela (to send)


I romni bičhavel e čhaves ko kurko

the woman send-3sg the child to market

‘The woman sends the child to the market’


Trade/bičhave  mange jekh lil

send-PT-3pl me-to one book

‘They sent me a book’


Bičhade les andar o gav

send-PT-3pl him from the village

‘They sent him from the village’

INSTR (jov)Tradas/bičhadas  lensa love  

send-PT-3sg them-with money

‘He sent money with them’


(jon)bičhade mande e čhave

send-PT-3pl me-to the child(boy)

‘They sent me the child(boy)’

te avela palpale (to come back)


Me avav palpale apo drom

I come back from road

‘I come back from my trip’


Me avav palpale tumendar

I come back you-pl-from

‘I come back from your place’


Me avav palpale lasa

I come back her-with

‘I come back with her’


Me avav palpale paš tute

I come back toyou

‘I come back to you’

bijanel(to give a birth)


I krajisani/kralicani bijandili e krajiseske/kraliseske jekhestar

the queen gave birth the king-DAT one-to

sonakune/sumnakune rakles

golden boy

‘The queen gave a birth to a golden boy for for the king’


I daj bijandili jekhe čhaves

the mother gave birth one-to boy

‘The mother gave birth to a boy’


I phari/khabni bijandili ando lengo čher

the pregnant woman gave birth intheir house

‘The pregnant woman gave a birth in their house’

merel (to die )


jov merela pal lake

he die-3sg her-for

‘He dies for her’


Tu meres apo drom

you die-2sg on-the road

‘You die on the road’


jon mule lensa ando foro

they die-3plPT them-with in-the city

‘They died together with them in the city’


1) joj muli xoljatar

she died anger-from

‘She died of anger’

2) joj muli andar i xoli

she died from the anger

‘She died of anger’


joj muli and-o gav

she die-3sgPT in-the village

‘She died in the village’