Proto-Turkic/Equative, instrumental and imperatives

Welcome to our eleventh Proto-Turkic lesson! In this lesson, we will learn three new cases.





As the name suggests, this suffix indicates equality. This equality suffix can come to the end of nouns, adjectives just like other cases, but not to verbs. It usually transforms the word it comes from into an adjective or adverb and is therefore considered a derivational suffix.

*uŕïn (“long”) → *uŕïnča (“equal to long; longly”)

*kạtïg (“hard”) → *kạtïgča (“equal to hard; hardly”)

*sebgen (“who love”) → *sebgenče (“like who love”)

*sogïk (“cold”) → *sogïkča (“equal to cold; coldly”)

*bār (“there is”) → *bārča (“all; every”) (künniŋ bārčasï means all (of) day (it covers 24 hours); bārča kün means every day (it covers days of week, month or year). However, today it can be used with the same meaning without this suffix.)

Languages are also supplied with this suffix in Shaz Turkic.

*türük (“Turk”) → *türükče (“Turkic (language)”) (Shaz?)

*türük (“Turk”) → *türük tili (“Turkic (language)”) (Proto-Turkic)

*nēnče, *kanča


The numbers are asked with these question pronouns, but this suffix is not used when answering.

A: How many children does he have? - A: Anïŋ nēnče/kanča bālasï bār? (literally Are his children equal to what?) / Anta nēnče/kanča bāla bār? (literally Are children there belongs to him equal to what?)

B: He has two children. - B: Anïŋ ẹk(k)i bālasï bār./Anta ẹk(k)i bāla bār.

Unlike in English, there is no need for any plural suffix since plurality is indicated by numbers. (e.g; three houses, üč eb )

Numbers never take this suffix for equality.

Modern Usages
Kyrgyz - Кыргызча Western Yugur - Yoɣïr lar Chuvash - Чӑвашла
Original Ар бир изилдөө сайын канча маалымат талкуулоо керектигин кантип аныктоого болот? Sende neçe mula var er? Эсӗ миҫе ҫулта?
Transcription Ar bir izildöö sayın kança maalımat talkuuloo kerektigin kantip anıktoogo bolot? (the text is already written in latin script) Esӗ miçe çulta?
English Translation What factors determine how much material to cover during a Bible study? How many children do you have? How old are you?





This instrumental case is provided with *-Xn. Unfortunately, it is not used today except for stereotyped words. It comes after the noun just like other cases. In this context, it differs from the *-Xn suffixes that we mentioned in the lesson 7.

*il(i)k (“before, earlier”) → *il(i)kin (“at first, at before, firstly”)

*ok (“arrow”) → *okun (“with arrow”)

*yāŕ (“summer, spring”) → *yāŕïn (“at summer, at spring”)

*kïĺ (“winter”) → *kïĺïn (“at winter”)



The word *bi(r)le, which means with, can also provide this case. In addition, its usage area is unlimited.

*sẹ (“you”) → *sẹ bi(r)le (“with you”)

*kǖŕ (“autumn”) → *kǖŕ bi(r)le (“with autumn, at autumn”)

*anam (“my mom”) → *anam bi(r)le (“with my mom”)

*kāŕ (“goose”) → *kāŕ bi(r)le (“with goose”)



The imperative mood changes in Lir and Shaz groups.

Imperative (Shaz)


The configuration below is based on the language used in the Orkhon inscriptions. For example, the second person plural imperative differs in some Shaz languages.

The first person imperative is also the optative mood. Because a person cannot give orders to oneself, and in such a case, since there is no imperative, the optative mood is used.

Person (English) Suffix
First person singular *-(A)yIn
Second person singular *-∅, *-gIl
Third person singular & plural *-zU(n)
First person plural *-(A)lIm
Second person plural *-(X)ŋ

Note: Turkish optative -(y)AyIm and Proto-Shaz optative *-(A)yIn are not cognates. Turkish optative comes from *-gA ben>-(y)AyIn>-(y)AyIm. And every optatives except first person plural in Turkish provided by *-gA optative suffix. (E.g; varayım, varasın, vara, varalım(/varak), varasınız, vara). But second and third person imperatives in Turkish come from Proto-Shaz imperatives that we mentioned in this lesson.

Imperative (Lir)


The following configuration has been prepared by considering Chuvash and Volga Bulgar language. Because resources are limited for the Lir branch.

Person (English) Suffix
First person singular *-(A)m
Second person singular *-∅
Third person singular *-tUr
First person plural *-(A)ŕ
Second person plural *-(I)ŕ
Third person plural *-ttUr
Next lesson: Converbs and sentence formation