Armenian: Past participle with genitive case


Senior Member
French - France
I haven't found anywhere a satisfying name for a particular use of the past participle in Western Armenian.

First of all, I need to precise there are 2 forms of past participles in that variety (I use the common romanization standard for Armenian, which does not correspond to the Western pronunciation):
*a passive past participle in -ած (-ac), e.g. սիրուած է siruac ê ''he is loved'', from siruil ''to be loved'';
*2 active past participles, one in -ած too (but with active verbs), and the other one in -եր (-er), e.g. սիրած/սիրեր է sirac/sirer ê ''he has loved'', from sirel ''to love'' (there are slight differences between those forms).

There is a peculiar use of -ած with possessives/genitives. Here is a quotation from Riggs, E., A Grammar of the Modern Armenian Language as Spoken in Constantinople and Asia Minor, 1856, page 56, which despite its date of release remains a reference.
The Past Participle of Active verbs, terminating in ած, is constructed with a Genitive of the noun or pronoun designating the agent, and with another noun designating the object of a Past action referred to

He then gives an example which I am going to clarify:
Իմ շինած տունս the house which I built or have built

Im šin-ac tun-s

This is how the sentence is formed: My build-first.past.participle house-first.person.affix.
The genitive of ''I'' paired with 1st person affix is the normal way to express first person possession.

So do you know what that is called? Maybe middle voice participial construction? And does it occur in other languages (maybe Turkish)?

Thank you :)
  • Xerîb

    New Member
    English & français
    The structure that you describe is the normal one in Turkish in relative clauses of this type. The agent is in the genitive:
    benim yaptığım ev
    ben-im yap-tığ-ım ev

    "the house that I built" / "the house that I have built"
    Japanese also optionally exhibits a similar structure in relative clauses of this type
    watashi ga tateta ie
    1st.SING. NOM build-PAST house
    watashi no tateta ie
    1st.SING. GEN build-PAST house
    This is called ga/no conversion in the linguistic literature on Japanese.
    Many other typical SOV languages have the same structure, such as Mongolian and Quechua. Maybe "relative clauses with genitive subjects" is the terminology that will be helpful in discussing and researching this aspect of Armenian more easily.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    French - France
    Thank you very much, it is very helpful! Does it work in Turkish with more complex clauses such as (the examples are from same source, through memory so maybe it's not the exact formulation):

    *with a passive verb,
    Ժամացոյցին գտնուած տեղը the place where the watch was found
    Հոն եղած օրս the day when I was there
    There day-my

    Thank you :)
    Last edited:


    New Member
    English & français
    Yes, the structure of these Armenian phrases resemble the Turkish structures here:

    benim orada olduğum gün
    ben-im orada ol-duğ-um gün there day
    “on the day that I was there”

    (Very common, just google it. For example, the first words of the first sentence here: Roma Yollarında...Colleseum )

    cüzdanın bulunduğu yer
    cüzdan-ın bul-un-duğ-u yer

    wallet-GEN place
    “the place where the wallet was found”

    (First hit for this phrase: Tesadüfün bu kadarı! )

    The genitive subject was more restricted in Classical Armenian, I think--see section 18.2 on this page: Koriwn's The History of the Life and Death of the Holy Teacher Mesrop, Books V and VI