Latvian is the official state language of Latvia. The Latvian language is a Baltic language. It is moderately inflected language, with complex nominal and verbal morphology.
Latvian emerged as a distinct language in the 16th century, having evolved from Latgalian? and assimilating Curonian?, Semigallian? and Selonian? on the way. All of these belong to the Baltic language group.
Until the 19th century, the Latvian language was heavily influenced by the German language, because the upper class of local society was formed by Baltic Germans. In 1880s when tsar Alexander III came into power Russification started.
- three simple tenses: present, imperfect [or preterite] and future), and
- three compound perfect tenses: present perfect, past perfect, future perfect.
Latvian verbs are used in five moods: indicative, imperative, conditional, conjunctive (or "relative", used for reported speech) and "debitive" (for expressing obligation).
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- Eckert Rainer et al.. Die baltischen Sprachen. Eine Einführung. Langenscheidt Verlag. 5 edition. Leipzig. 1994.