Consonant Changes

Latvian has generally regular changes due to palatalization. It’s most common in the 2nd declension nouns’ plural but it also occurs in some verbs, like slodzīt and mācēt in the mixed conjugation.

If the consonant or consonant pair before the ending matches one on this list, it will usually change. If not, it usually won’t. There are always exceptions, like nākt, whose k changes to c, but they’re not too common.

Whether or not a word is a verb or noun matters in the case of c and dz.

noun   c → č   :   lācis → lāči
verb   c → k   :   mācēt → māku

noun  dz → dž  :   dadzis → dais
verb  dz → g   :   slodzit → slogu

Of course, please remember that the examples show the palatalization and the word itself changing its ending to nominative plural or genitive plural (nouns) or 1st person present singular indicative (verbs).

Otherwise, the changes are the same regardless of word type.

l → ļ   : cālis → cāļi
n → ņ   : dzenis → dzeņi
s → š   : lasis → laši
z → ž   : vēzis → vēži
t → š   : bite → bīšu
d → ž   : briedis → brieži
p → pj  : ziepes → ziepju
b → bj  : gulbis → gulbji
m → mj  : kurmis → kurmji
v → vj  : zivis → zivju
sl → šļ : šķērslis → šķēršļi
zl → žļ : zizlis → zižļi
sn → šņ : alksnis → alkšņi
zn → žņ : zvaigzne → zvaigžņu
ln → ļņ : vilnis → viļņu

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