- What is the historical role of suffix “-ân”?
- Does Persian have animate and inanimate plurals?
In Middle Persian and early New Persian, the plural of nouns was formed by adding the suffix “-ân”. However, it has now given its place to the suffix “-hâ” as the general suffix for pluralizing nouns. Due to its historical role, the suffix “-ân” has introduced special cases. This suffix can be used to designate human beings and create a distinction between being animate or inanimate. Compare the following plural pairs to see how animacy and inanimacy is expressed by using different plural suffixes:
|Singular||Inanimate Plural||Animate Plural|
heads (part of body)
heads (chiefs, leaders)
times gone by
people gone by
closed; package, parcel
Animate Demonstrative Pronouns
The plural sufix “-ân” is added to demonstrative pronouns and creates plural forms that only designate human beings.