A possessive affix is a suffix attached to a noun to indicate a possessor instead of using the possessive adjectives. Possessive suffixes indicate the number of possessors (my, your, our, his, their) and the number of objects (singular or plural).

To express possession in Altaian, a suffix is added to the noun. Each person has own possessive suffix (my town, our town, his town, etc.). Which suffix to choose also depends on Vowel harmony and whether the noun ends in a consonant or a vowel. Look at the chart of suffixes.

Possessive suffixes for singular nouns (table)

Person Word ends
in vowel
Example Translation Word ends
in consonant
Example Translation
My aкам My elder brother    -ым
My son
My back
энеҥ Your mother -ыҥ
Your height
Your place
His/her/its -зи
His boat
His dad

His son
His back
Our -быс
Our hen
Our elder sister
Our son
Our tongue
(plural or formal)
Your child
Your tongue
Your son
Your tongue
Their -зи
Their boat
Their shirt

Their son
Their tongue   

As you remember, if a word ends in a paired voiceless consonant we change it into its voiced version when adding an affix beginning with a vowel: бут → будым, кӧс → кӧзим.

The affixes -быс(-ыбыс), -бис (-ибис) meaning our are used only in the formal speech, in the spoken language we use their reduced forms: –с if a word ends in a vowel, and –ыс, -ис after the consonant. Look at the words: эчкиgoat, эчкисour goat, уулboy, уулысour son, јерplace/land, јерисour land.
And instead of affixes -гар (-ыгар), -гер(-игер) meaning your we use their reduced forms -аар,-оор, -еер after the last consonant, and -ар, -ор, -ер if a word ends in a vowel: уулаарyour son, кызаарyour daughter, тоноорyour coat, јереерyour land/place.

So, a noun can be used without a possessive adjective when a possessive suffix is bound to its stem.

Notice! We an say адам келдиmy father came, адаҥ келдиyour father came, but we can not say адазы келдиhis father came without indicating who is he, we need to say his name or title, for example: Айдардыҥ адазыAidar’s fathe or таайымныҥ чамчазыmy uncle’s shirt.
Белим оорыйтmy back hurts
Белиҥ оорыйтyour back hurts
Бели оорыйтhis back hurts ( it is not clear whose back hurts, if we did not say previously his name. So, we put here a person: баланыҥ бели оорыйтthe child’s back hurts).

In Altai language there are some nouns ending in -ыл, -ын, -ин, ӱн like мойынneck, јӱлӱнmedulla, айылhome/house. As you see this noun endings are similar to the accusative affixes -ын, -ин, so please don’t confuse them.

When adding the possessive suffixes these several nouns drop the vowel in the last syllable, have a look: айыл – house, айлыhis house, айлымmy house, айлыҥyour house, etc.
Мойынneck, мойныhis neck, мойнымmy neck, мойныҥyour neck.

Some nouns not only drop the vowel in the last syllable, but also change their last consonant:

эринlips, эрдиhis lips, эрдимmy lips, эрдиҥyour lips;
јӱлӱнmedulla, јӱлдиhis medulla, јӱлдимmy medulla, јӱлдиҥyour medulla;
карынbelly, кардыhis belly, кардымmy belly, кардыҥyour bell;
келинdaughter -in- law, келдиhis daughter -in- law, келдимmy daughter -in- law, келдиҥyour daughter -in- law.
ӧжӱнforearm, this noun has both regular suffixes and irregular ones:
ӧшти/ӧжӱниher forearm, ӧҗим/ӧжӱнимmy forearm, ӧжиҥ/ӧжӱниҥyour forearm.