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Overview of the Avestan language

Relation to other languages

Avestan is a member of the Indo-European family of languages, and as such is related to English and most other European languages.


See information in Encoding and pronunciation of Avesta graphemes.


Avesta NOUNS can be masculine, feminine, or neuter gender. Gender doesn't necessarily correspond to sex.


Avesta NOUNS can be singular, dual, or plural in number.


Avesta NOUNS are declined in one of eight cases:
NNOMINATIVEfor the subject of the verb
AACCUSATIVEfor the direct object of the verb
IINSTRUMENTAL ('with')Indicates the word is the instrument of the action, usually expressed by 'with' in English.
DDATIVE ('to, for')for the indirect object
AblABLATIVE ('from')for the agent or instrument by which something is done ("by"), or to indicate separation or source ("from"), or for an accompanying object or characteristic or circumstance ("with"), or to express comparison ("than"), or to indicate position in space or time ("in"):
GGENITIVE ('of')to indicate that something is a possession or a part of something else, or to describe a characteristic quality or value:
LLOCATIVE ('at')expressed position or circumstance. Expressed in English by 'at, in, on, among, into, onto'.
VVOCATIVE ('Oh')for direct address:

Noun declensions

"normal" endings stems in a: (m.n.)
Sg. Du. Pl. Sg. Du. Pl.
N -s -ô (-as), â -ô (yasn-ô) -a (vîr-a) -a (-yasna)
A -em -ô (-as, -ns), -â -em (ahurem) -a (vîa) -ã (haomã)
I -byâ -bîsh -a (ahura) -aêibya (vîraêibya) -âish (yasn-âish)
D -byâ -byô (-byas) -âi (ahurâi) -aêibya (vîraêibya) -aêibyô (-yasn--aêibyô)
Abl -at -byâ -aêibyô -ât (yasn-ât) -aêibya (vîraêibya)-aêibyô (-yasn--aêibyô)
G -ô (-as) -ãm -ahe (ahurahe) -ayå (vîr-ayå) -anãm (yasn-anãm)
L -i -ô, -yô -su, -hu, -shva -e (yesn-e) -ayô (zastayô) -aêshu (vîraêshu), -aêshva
V - -ô (-as), â -a (ahura) -a (vîr-a) -a (-yasna), -ånghô


primary active endings
Sg. Du. Pl.
1 -mi -vahi -mahi
2 -hi -tha
3 -ti -tô, -thô -ngti

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