Ladino/Grammar

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Parts of Speech

Nouns

  • kolor<n><f><sg> ↔ kolor (color)
  • tokea<n><m><sg> ↔ tokea (blower of the ram's horn)
  • kavané<n><f><sg> ↔ kavané (coffeehouse)

Adjectives

  • manko<adj> ↔ manko (less)
  • ralo<adj> ↔ ralo (rare)
  • dolentío<adj> ↔ dolentío (sickly)
  • doliente<adj><m> ↔ doliente (infirm)
  • dolienta<adj><f> ↔ dolienta (infirm)

Pronouns

Subject pronouns:

  • yo<prn><pers><p1><sg><nom> ↔ yo (I)
  • tu<prn><pers><p2><sg><nom> ↔ tu (you)
  • el<prn><pers><p3><m><sg><nom> ↔ el (he)
  • eya<prn><pers><p3><f><sg><nom> ↔ eya (she)
  • nozotros<prn><pers><p1><m><pl><nom> ↔ nozotros (we (masc))
  • nozotras<prn><pers><p1><f><pl><nom> ↔ nozotras (we (fem))

or

  • mozotros<prn><pers><p1><m><pl><nom> ↔ mozotros (we (masc))
  • mozotras<prn><pers><p1><f><pl><nom> ↔ mozotras (we (fem))

or

  • mozós<prn><pers><p1><m><pl><nom> ↔ mozós (we (masc))
  • mozás<prn><pers><p1><f><pl><nom> ↔ mozás (we (fem))
  • vozotros<prn><pers><p2><m><pl><nom> ↔ vozotros (you pl(masc))
  • vozotras<prn><pers><p2><f><pl><nom> ↔ vozotras (you pl(fem))

or

  • vozós<prn><pers><p2><m><pl><nom> ↔ vozós (you pl(masc))
  • vozás<prn><pers><p2><f><pl><nom> ↔ vozás (you pl(fem))
  • eyos<prn><pers><p3><m><pl><nom> ↔ eyos (they (masc))
  • eyas<prn><pers><p3><f><pl><nom> ↔ eyas (they (fem))

There are also object pronouns, reflexive pronouns, possessive pronouns, and others.

Articles

  • el<det><def><m><sg> ↔ el
  • el<det><def><f><sg> ↔ la
  • el<det><def><m><pl> ↔ los
  • el<det><def><f><pl> ↔ las
  • uno<det><ind><m><sg> ↔ uno
  • uno<det><ind><f><sg> ↔ una
  • uno<det><ind><m><pl> ↔ unos
  • uno<det><ind><f><pl> ↔ unas

Grammar Points

Gender of Articles for Nouns

All Ladino nouns and adjectives have gender - however, their gender may differ based on origin. Words of Hispanic origin tend to have the same -o as the primary masculine marker and -a as the primary feminine marker [1]:

  • ermano<n><m><sg> ↔ ermano (brother)
  • kaza<n><f><sg> ↔ kaza (house)

Nouns ending in the suffix -or tend to be feminine as well:

  • kolor<n><f><sg> ↔ kolor (color)
  • dolor<n><f><sg> ↔ dolor (pain)
  • kalor<n><f><sg> ↔ kalor (heat)

Words from different languages have different rules, though. Usually, if the noun refers to a male or female, the noun will possess that gender as well:

  • tokea<n><m><sg> ↔ tokea (blower of the ram's horn)
  • hasakí<n><f><sg> ↔ hasakí (the sultan's favorite woman)

Inanimate object nouns are usually masculine unless they end in -á/-a, -al, or -é:

  • kavané<n><f><sg> ↔ kavané (coffeehouse)
  • morá<n><f><sg> ↔ morá (fear)
  • yaká<n><f><sg> ↔ yaká (collar)

Indicative Verb Regular Conjugation

Ladino verbs are fusional, with the endings changing based on tense, person, number, and mood, and the stems staying mostly unchanged. There are three categories of verb endings: -ar, -er, and -ir. For Ladino verbs that end in -ar, the ending are the singular first person -o, the singular second person -as, the singular second person -a, the plural first person -amos, the plural second person -ásh, and the plural third person -an[1]. An example is the verb kantar:

«kantar» (sing) is an «a»-vowel verb, with the stem «kant»-:

  • kantar<v><iv><pres><p1><sg> ↔ kanto
  • kantar<v><iv><pres><p2><sg> ↔ kantas
  • kantar<v><iv><pres><p3><sg> ↔ kanta
  • kantar<v><iv><pres><p1><pl> ↔ kantamos
  • kantar<v><iv><pres><p2><pl> ↔ kantásh
  • kantar<v><iv><pres><p3><pl> ↔ kantan

An example for -er endings, komer:

«komer» (eat) is an «e»-vowel verb, with the stem «kom»-:

  • komer<v><tv><pres><p1><sg> ↔ komo
  • komer<v><tv><pres><p2><sg> ↔ komes
  • komer<v><tv><pres><p3><sg> ↔ kome
  • komer<v><tv><pres><p1><pl> ↔ komemos
  • komer<v><tv><pres><p2><pl> ↔ komésh
  • komer<v><tv><pres><p3><pl> ↔ komen

An example for -ir endings, bivir:

«bivir» (live) is an «i»-vowel verb, with the stem «biv»-:

  • bivir<v><iv><pres><p1><sg> ↔ bivo
  • bivir<v><iv><pres><p2><sg> ↔ bives
  • bivir<v><iv><pres><p3><sg> ↔ bive
  • bivir<v><iv><pres><p1><pl> ↔ bivimos
  • bivir<v><iv><pres><p2><pl> ↔ bivish
  • bivir<v><iv><pres><p3><pl> ↔ biven

All of these are in the indicative[2].

Subjunctive Verb Regular Conjugation

Using the same examples as above, but for the subjective:

An example for -ar endings, kantar:

«kantar» (sing) is an «a»-vowel verb, with the stem «kant»-:

  • kantar<v><iv><prs><p1><sg> ↔ kanto
  • kantar<v><iv><prs><p2><sg> ↔ kantes
  • kantar<v><iv><prs><p3><sg> ↔ kante
  • kantar<v><iv><prs><p1><pl> ↔ kantemos
  • kantar<v><iv><prs><p2><pl> ↔ kantésh
  • kantar<v><iv><prs><p3><pl> ↔ kanten

An example for -er endings, komer:

«komer» (eat) is an «e»-vowel verb, with the stem «kom»-:

  • komer<v><tv><prs><p1><sg> ↔ koma
  • komer<v><tv><prs><p2><sg> ↔ komas
  • komer<v><tv><prs><p3><sg> ↔ koma
  • komer<v><tv><prs><p1><pl> ↔ komamos
  • komer<v><tv><prs><p2><pl> ↔ komash
  • komer<v><tv><prs><p3><pl> ↔ koman

An example for -ir endings, bivir:

«bivir» (live) is an «i»-vowel verb, with the stem «biv»-:

  • bivir<v><iv><prs><p1><sg> ↔ biva
  • bivir<v><iv><prs><p2><sg> ↔ bivas
  • bivir<v><iv><prs><p3><sg> ↔ biva
  • bivir<v><iv><prs><p1><pl> ↔ bivamos
  • bivir<v><iv><prs><p2><pl> ↔ bivash
  • bivir<v><iv><prs><p3><pl> ↔ bivan

All of these are in the present subjunctive[2].

Preterite Past Verb Regular Conjugation

Using the same examples as above, but for the preterite:

An example for -ar endings, kantar:

«kantar» (sing) is an «a»-vowel verb, with the stem «kant»-:

  • kantar<v><iv><pret><p1><sg> ↔ kantí
  • kantar<v><iv><pret><p2><sg> ↔ kantates
  • kantar<v><iv><pret><p3><sg> ↔ kantó
  • kantar<v><iv><pret><p1><pl> ↔ kantimos
  • kantar<v><iv><pret><p2><pl> ↔ kantatesh
  • kantar<v><iv><pret><p3><pl> ↔ kantaron

An example for -er endings, komer:

«komer» (eat) is an «e»-vowel verb, with the stem «kom»-:

  • komer<v><tv><pret><p1><sg> ↔ komi
  • komer<v><tv><pret><p2><sg> ↔ komites
  • komer<v><tv><pret><p3><sg> ↔ komio
  • komer<v><tv><pret><p1><pl> ↔ komimos
  • komer<v><tv><pret><p2><pl> ↔ komitesh
  • komer<v><tv><pret><p3><pl> ↔ komieron

An example for -ir endings, bivir:

«bivir» (live) is an «i»-vowel verb, with the stem «biv»-:

  • bivir<v><iv><pret><p1><sg> ↔ bivi
  • bivir<v><iv><pret><p2><sg> ↔ bivites
  • bivir<v><iv><pret><p3><sg> ↔ bivio
  • bivir<v><iv><pret><p1><pl> ↔ bivimos
  • bivir<v><iv><pret><p2><pl> ↔ bivitesh
  • bivir<v><iv><pret><p3><pl> ↔ bivieron

All of these are in the past preterite[2].

Imperfect Past Verb Regular Conjugation

Using the same examples as above, but for the imperfect:

An example for -ar endings, kantar:

«kantar» (sing) is an «a»-vowel verb, with the stem «kant»-:

  • kantar<v><iv><pii><p1><sg> ↔ kantava
  • kantar<v><iv><pii><p2><sg> ↔ kantavas
  • kantar<v><iv><pii><p3><sg> ↔ kantava
  • kantar<v><iv><pii><p1><pl> ↔ kantávamos
  • kantar<v><iv><pii><p2><pl> ↔ kantávash
  • kantar<v><iv><pii><p3><pl> ↔ kantavan

An example for -er endings, komer:

«komer» (eat) is an «e»-vowel verb, with the stem «kom»-:

  • komer<v><tv><pii><p1><sg> ↔ komia
  • komer<v><tv><pii><p2><sg> ↔ komias
  • komer<v><tv><pii><p3><sg> ↔ komia
  • komer<v><tv><pii><p1><pl> ↔ komiamos
  • komer<v><tv><pii><p2><pl> ↔ komiash
  • komer<v><tv><pii><p3><pl> ↔ komian

An example for -ir endings, bivir:

«bivir» (live) is an «i»-vowel verb, with the stem «biv»-:

  • bivir<v><iv><pii><p1><sg> ↔ bivia
  • bivir<v><iv><pii><p2><sg> ↔ bivias
  • bivir<v><iv><pii><p3><sg> ↔ bivia
  • bivir<v><iv><pii><p1><pl> ↔ biviamos
  • bivir<v><iv><pii><p2><pl> ↔ biviash
  • bivir<v><iv><pii><p3><pl> ↔ bivian

All of these are in the past imperfect[2].

Future Verb Regular Conjugation

Using the same examples as above, but for the future:

An example for -ar endings, kantar:

«kantar» (sing) is an «a»-vowel verb, with the stem «kant»-:

  • kantar<v><iv><fut><p1><sg> ↔ kantaré
  • kantar<v><iv><fut><p2><sg> ↔ kantarás
  • kantar<v><iv><fut><p3><sg> ↔ kantará
  • kantar<v><iv><fut><p1><pl> ↔ kantaremos
  • kantar<v><iv><fut><p2><pl> ↔ kantarésh
  • kantar<v><iv><fut><p3><pl> ↔ kantarán

An example for -er endings, komer:

«komer» (eat) is an «e»-vowel verb, with the stem «kom»-:

  • komer<v><tv><fut><p1><sg> ↔ komere
  • komer<v><tv><fut><p2><sg> ↔ komeras
  • komer<v><tv><fut><p3><sg> ↔ komera
  • komer<v><tv><fut><p1><pl> ↔ komeremos
  • komer<v><tv><fut><p2><pl> ↔ komeresh
  • komer<v><tv><fut><p3><pl> ↔ komeran

An example for -ir endings, bivir:

«bivir» (live) is an «i»-vowel verb, with the stem «biv»-:

  • bivir<v><iv><fut><p1><sg> ↔ bivire
  • bivir<v><iv><fut><p2><sg> ↔ biviras
  • bivir<v><iv><fut><p3><sg> ↔ bivira
  • bivir<v><iv><fut><p1><pl> ↔ biviremos
  • bivir<v><iv><fut><p2><pl> ↔ biviresh
  • bivir<v><iv><fut><p3><pl> ↔ biviran

All of these are in the future[2].

Conditional Verb Regular Conjugation

Using the same examples as above, but for the conditional:

An example for -ar endings, kantar:

«kantar» (sing) is an «a»-vowel verb, with the stem «kant»-:

  • kantar<v><iv><cni><p1><sg> ↔ kantaría
  • kantar<v><iv><cni><p2><sg> ↔ kantarías
  • kantar<v><iv><cni><p3><sg> ↔ kantaría
  • kantar<v><iv><cni><p1><pl> ↔ kantaríamos
  • kantar<v><iv><cni><p2><pl> ↔ kantaríash
  • kantar<v><iv><cni><p3><pl> ↔ kantarían

An example for -er endings, komer:

«komer» (eat) is an «e»-vowel verb, with the stem «kom»-:

  • komer<v><tv><cni><p1><sg> ↔ komeria
  • komer<v><tv><cni><p2><sg> ↔ komerias
  • komer<v><tv><cni><p3><sg> ↔ komeria
  • komer<v><tv><cni><p1><pl> ↔ komeriamos
  • komer<v><tv><cni><p2><pl> ↔ komeriash
  • komer<v><tv><cni><p3><pl> ↔ komerian

An example for -ir endings, bivir:

«bivir» (live) is an «i»-vowel verb, with the stem «biv»-:

  • bivir<v><iv><cni><p1><sg> ↔ biviria
  • bivir<v><iv><cni><p2><sg> ↔ bivirias
  • bivir<v><iv><cni><p3><sg> ↔ biviria
  • bivir<v><iv><cni><p1><pl> ↔ biviriamos
  • bivir<v><iv><cni><p2><pl> ↔ biviriash
  • bivir<v><iv><cni><p3><pl> ↔ bivirian

All of these are in the conditional[2].

Regular Plurality

Most plurals are made by adding -es for words ending in a consonant or -s for words ending in a vowel

  • limón<n><m><pl> ↔ limones (lemons)
  • kushak<n><m><pl> ↔ kushakes (belts)
  • chapeo<n><m><pl> ↔ chapeos (hats)
  • letra<n><f><pl> ↔ letras (letters)

If an -es is added to a noun ending in s, the s changes to a voiced z.

  • mes<n><m><pl> ↔ mezes (months)
  • matrapás<n><m><pl> ↔ matrapazes (middle-men)


Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Kahn, Lily, and Aaron D. Rubin. Handbook of Jewish Languages. , 2016. Internet resource.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Marín Ramos, Ferrán. 2014. Gramática básica de djudeo-espanyol. Villaviciosa: Camelot.