Characteristics of the Belarusian language in AX Semantics


In Belarusian, you need to know the gender and animacy of a noun to form (together with number and case) the accompanying adjectives, determiners, numerals, and pronouns correctly.

Belarusian has three genders for nouns: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Masculine nouns also differentiate between animate and inanimate. There are two numbers: singular and plural. Additionally, Belarusian has six cases for nouns.

grammatical namevaluesexamples
gender/animacymasculine inanimateстары дом
(old house)
masculine animateстары ле́кар
(old doctor)
feminineстарая дама
(old lady)
neuterстарое слова
(old word)
numbersingularвялікі дом
(big house)
pluralвялікія дамы
(big houses)
genitiveГолас дамы.
(The voice of the lady.)
dativeЁн дорыць даме кветкі.
(He gives flowers to the lady.)
accusativeЁн бачыць даму.
(He sees the lady.)
instrumentalЁн ідзе з дамай.
(He goes with the lady.)
locativeДзіця ляжыць на даме.
(The child lies on the lady.)
adjectives (noun)before nounчырвонае яблык
(red apple)
verb tensespresentён гуля́е
(he plays)
pastён гуляў
(he played)
futureён бу́дзе гуля́ць
(he will play)

The standard order of a noun phrase in Belarusian is the following:

preposition + determiner + numeral + adjective + noun

See for example:

пра    гэтыя  тры    папулярныя кнігі
about  these  three  popular    books
PREP   DET    NUM    ADJ        NOUN
"about these three popular books"



Belarusian nouns inflect for case, gender and number. If a lexicon entry is missing, the NLG platform tries to find the most probable gender based on heuristics. The number x case forms of a noun should be added to the lexicon if they are not regular.

Lexicon entries for nouns may also be necessary for inflecting determiners, adjectives, numerals and pronouns correctly. They are omitted, if a lexicon entry is required, but missing.


The basic lexicon entry for дом (house) contains:

  • gender: masculine
  • animacy: inanimate
  • inflection table for case and number:


In Belarusian, the default position for an adjective is "before noun". In the inflection table, animacy, gender, case, and number can be encoded.


Belarusian verbs inflect for person, number, tense, and gender. The most common verbs are encoded in our software. If a verb inflects the wrong way, you should add it to the lexicon.

Please note that the future tense can be formed in two ways (imperfective and perfective). For imperfective verbs it is formed by taking the future tense of the auxiliary verb быць (to be) and the infinitive verb. Thus, only the auxiliary verb needs to be in a container. For perfective verbs, the present form usually expresses the future tense. See for example the verbsігра́ць/пайграць (to play),

я бу́ду йгра́ць.
(I will play [imperfective])
я пайграю.
(I will play [perfective])

Container settings


The AX NLG platform supports the following determiners for Belarusian: demonstratives (distal & proximal) and possessives.


The AX NLG platform supports the following pronouns for Belarusian: personal, demonstratives (distal & proximal), reflexive and possessive.


Four types of numerals are possible on the AX NLG platform: cardinal, cardinal as digit, ordinal, and ordinal as digit. Take дзень (day) for example:

textдзевяць дзён
(nine days)
дзевяты дзень
(the ninth day)
digit9 дзён
(9 days)
9. дзень
(the 9th day)

For Belarusian, both cardinal and ordinal numerals are written out until 10 on the platform, otherwise (above 10) the output is in digit form. Take cardinal numerals for example:

дзесяць дамоў
(ten houses)
11 дамоў
(11 houses)

In Belarusian, case and number for nouns/adjectives change automatically based on cardinal numerals when it's applicable, for example:

Numeralcase / numberexamples
(also numbers ending in 1, excluding 11)
Nominative/Singular1 прыгожая жанчына
(1 beautiful woman)
21 прыгожая жанчына
(21 beautiful women)
(also numbers ending in 2, 3, 4, excluding 12, 13, 14)
- Female nouns/adjectives take genitive/singular
- Masculine and Neuter nouns/adjectives mostly take nominative/plural
- 2 прыгожыя жанчыны (2 beautiful women)
- 3 прыгожыя мужчыны (3 beautiful men)
>= 5Genitive/Plural7 прыгожых жанчын
(7 beautiful women)

Preposition Switch

On the AX NLG platform the settings for the container Германія (Germany) are: preposition="ў" and case="acc".

ў Германію
(to Germany)

For the below sentence with a different country, Філіпіны (the Philippines), the platform settings are the same as above (preposition="ў" and case="acc"), but the lexical information changes the preposition:

на Філіпіны
(to the Philippines)

Sound shifts

The AX platform applies sound shifts automatically when inflection happens (e.g., by adding a suffix). This involves consonant changes; for example, when the word ends in the consonants г, к, and х , the suffix ы changes to i .

пірог(nom, s) + ы → пірагі (nom, p)

Sound shifts also involve accent changes; for example, о and э only exist when stressed, so if the suffix is unstressed, the letters о and э change to а or я.

крыло (nom, s) + ам → крылам (dat, p)