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Lexical features
Inflectional features
Nominal Verbal
Gender VerbForm
Animacy Mood
Number Tense
Case Aspect
Definite Voice
Degree Person

Animacy: animacy

This document is a placeholder for the language-specific documentation for Animacy.

edit Animacy

Aspect: aspect

This document is a placeholder for the language-specific documentation for Aspect.

edit Aspect

Case: case

Case is an inflectional feature of nouns and other parts of speech (adjectives, verbs, articles) that mark agreement with nouns.

In Irish four cases are used: common (which covers nominative and accusative case), vocative, genitive and dative. These cases are labelled respectively as NomAcc, Voc, Gen, and Dat.

NomAcc : common case

The common case is the base form of the noun, and is used in the citation form (lemma). This word form is used for subjects and objects of a clause, and predicates of a copula.



Voc : vocative case

The vocative case is used to mark a noun as being the addresse. It is preceded by the particle a. The vocative case triggers lenition in the word.


Gen : genitive case

The genitive case indicates possesion or ownership. It’s use is similar to the use of ’s in English. Other use cases include describing the composition of an object, compound nouns, or objects of a compound preposition.


Dat : dative case

The dative case is used with most simple prepositions in Irish. In standard Irish, the dative form is identical to the common case.


edit Case

Definite: definiteness or state

In Irish, definiteness is indicated through the use of a definite particle singular an or plural na (also used with feminine singular in genitive case, see below), much like the definite article “the” in English. There is no indefinite particle, with nouns considered indefinite unless otherwise indicated.

Def : definite

Determiners an and na are both definite, as mentioned above.

The noun can also indicate definiteness, though treatment depends on case, gender and number.

Nominative case

In the nominative case (see Case) nouns undergo some changes following the definite article an; most feminine nouns are lenited after the definite article, while feminine nouns beginning with ‘s’ will become ‘ts’. Meanwhile, masculine nouns beginning with a vowel get the prefix ‘t-‘.

Following the plural definite article na, both masculine and feminine nouns beginning with a vowel receive the prefix ‘h’.



In the genitive case (see Case) the singular definite article an is only used with masculine nouns. In this case, masculine nouns behave like feminine nouns in the nominative case, most masculine nouns beginning with a consonant are lenited, and those beginning with a ‘s’ change to ‘ts’. However, nouns beginning with a vowel remain the same.

The plural definite article na is used with feminine singular nouns. In this case, feminine singular nouns beginning with a vowel are prefixed by ‘h’, while those beginning with a consonant don’t change. For plural nouns, na causes an eclipses where the nouns begin with a consonant. Plural nouns beginning with a vowel receive the prefix ‘-n’.


Ind : indefinite

There are no indefinite articles in Irish, however some nouns may inflect to show indefinite features.


edit Definite

Degree: degree of comparison

Degree is a feature of adjectives that describe the quality of a noun.

Pos : positive, first degree

States the quality of an object without comparing that quality to those of any other object.


Cmp : comparative, second degree

Sup : superlative, third degree

In Irish, the comparative and the superlative form is the same. In both cases, the adjective is written in the genitive case. Both the comparative and the superlative require a particle prefix. For the comparative degree, this is níos which corresponds to the English “more”. The superlative degree has particle is, which can be loosely translated as “the most”.


edit Degree

Dialect: Dialect

In Irish, three main dialects are found, with certain grammatical and lexical variations between the dialects. Words or grammatical features in the treebank which were judged to belong to a particular dialect were marked with the Dialect feature.

Connaught : Connaught dialect

The Connaught dialect is the variety of Irish spoken mostly in the province of Connaught in the west of Ireland. Only one instance of Connaught dialect is currently present in the treebank.


Munster : Munster dialect

The Munster dialect is the variety of Irish spoken mostly in the province of Munster in the south of Ireland. Most of the instances of dialect variation in the treebank are of Muster variety.


Ulster : Ulster dialect

The Ulster dialect is the variety of Irish spoken mostly in the province of Ulster in the north of Ireland, mostly limited to the county of Donegal.


edit Dialect

Form: Form

One of the characteristics of Irish is its tendency for initial mutation to occur in certain circumstances. This is triggered by the preceding word and affects the spelling of nouns, adjectives and verbs.

Ecl : eclipsis

This feature occurs when the initial consonant or vowel of a word is eclipsed by a prefixing consonant. This is either a voiced consonant for voiceless consonants, or a nasalised consonant for voiced consonants. Vowels are eclipsed by adding n- or -t. Not every consonant can experience eclipsis.

Eclipsis will happen in a number of environments:


Emp : emphatic

The emphatic form is a special form a word takes to mark the emphatic in Irish.


Len : lenition

Lenition is one of the most common means of initial mutation. When lenited, h is added immediately after the initial consonant.

These are some of the environments that trigger lenition:


HPref : h-prefix

In cases where a word causes neither lenition nor eclipsis and ends in a vowel, it will cause a h-prefix to attach the following word if that word begins with a vowel.


VF : Vowel form

Vowel form is an indicator of spelling changes that occur in copular verbs when followed by a word that begins with a vowel or a lenited consonant.


edit Form

Gender: gender

Irish has two gender forms: masculine and feminine.

Masc : masculine gender

In general, words ending in a broad consonant are masculine. Exceptions include words ending in slender -óir, -eoir, and -ín, which are masculine.


Fem : feminine gender

In general, words ending in a slender consonant are feminine. Exceptions include words ending in a broad -óg, or -eog, which are feminine.


edit Gender

Mood: mood

Mood is a feature that expresses modality and subclassifies finite verb forms. It allows for a speaker to express their attitude towards what they are saying.

Ind : indicative mood

The indicative mood can be considered the default form of a verb. A verb in the indicative indicates something that has happened, is happening or will happen.


Cnd : conditional mood

The conditional mood is used to express actions that are hypothetical or contrary to known fact. In Irish, the conditional is expressed in two different verb endings; these endings begin with the suffix -f- or -ó-. In all but the 3rd person singular and the 2nd person plural, the verb endings are synthetic and do not require a subject pronoun. Conditional clauses are often introduced using go or .


Imp : imperative mood

The imperative mood is used to give a command, express advice, or make a request.


Sub : subjunctive mood

In Irish, the subjunctive mood is used to express a wish, or something that is not directly stated to be factual. It is normally formed with the particle go (positive) or nár (negative) followed by the verb in the subjunctive form. Sula ‘before’ is sometimes also used.


edit Mood

Negative: whether the word can be or is negated

There is no word for “yes” or “no” in Irish. Instead, a negative particle is used in combination with the verb to give a negative polarity.

The negative particle * is used before verbs in almost every tense, except the past. It causes lenition where this is possible, otherwise there is no change. In the past tense the particle is written as níor, and doesn’t affect the inflection.

The interrogative negative particle nach is used to pose a negative question.

The verb “to be” (in Irish ) is given the negative form níl in the present tense, as a contraction of ní bhfuil. It can inflect to show (for instance) person.

*In the Ulster dialect, this particle also appears as cha (see Dialect)

Neg : negative


edit Negative

NounType: NounType

In Irish, noun forms fall into certain groups, that can change the spelling of the noun itself or surrounding words in certain contexts.

Strong : strong plurals

The form of a strong plural remains unchanged regardless of grammatical case, i.e. it does not inflect.


Weak : weak plurals

Unlike the strong plural, a weak plural noun changes form depending on case.


Adjectives in Irish can have endings that are slender or not slender (broad). Depending on how the preceding noun ends, the form of the adjective can change.

NotSlender : broad consonants

A final consonant is termed broad if the preceding vowel is broad (a, á, o, ó, u, ú).


Slender : slender consonants

A final consonant is termed slender if the preceding vowel is slender (e, é, i, í).


edit NounType

NumType: numeral type

Irish numeral forms inflect to demonstrate different grammatical roles.

Card : cardinal numbers

Cardinal numbers can be divided into those without nouns (used in counting, giving the time, etc.), and those with nouns. Those used without nouns use a particle a that is absent in those used with nouns.


Counting, etc.:
Numbers qualifying nouns:

Pers : personal numerals

The personal numerals are used for counting people. From numbers 1-12 this system of counting differs from that used with other nouns, after that, the form is the same as the cardinal form, or a combination of the two forms.


Ord : ordinal numbers

Ordinal numbers can be used to show order of items. In Irish, the form uses the definite particle an. (see Definite). The English abbreviation “th” appended to a numeral, is given in Irish as ú.


edit NumType

Number: number

Number is an inflectional feature of nouns and other parts of speech (determiners, adjectives, prepositions, verbs, etc.) that mark agreement with nouns. Words can be either singular or plural. Verb endings frequently inflect depending on number and person, across many moods and tenses.

Sing: singular

A singular noun (or pronoun) denotes one person, animal or thing.


Adjectival agreement
Verbal agreement

Plur: plural

A plural noun (or pronoun) denotes several persons, animals or things.


Adjectival agreement
Verbal agreement

edit Number

PartType: PartType

This document is a placeholder for the language-specific documentation for PartType.

edit PartType

Person: person

Person is a feature of personal and possessive pronouns and verbs. In verbs, this feature marks the subject, in some cases allowing the subject to be dropped entirely. In Irish, some verbs are constructed synthetically, and some are analytically constructed.

1 : first person

The first person refers to the speaker; singular first person includes just one speaker, while plural first person includes many speakers, or groups the speaker with others. In Irish verbs, the first person forms a synthetic verb, where the subject pronoun may be dropped from the verb. Prepositional and possessive pronouns also inflect to denote person and number.


2 : second person

The second person refers to the listener. The singular first person denotes just one listener, while the plural form denotes several listeners. Verbs in Irish do not indicate 2nd person, so subject pronouns are necessary.


3 : third person

The third person refers to one or more persons who are not present, i.e. neither speakers nor listeners.


edit Person

Poss: possessive

Boolean feature of pronouns, determiners or adjectives. It tells whether the word is possessive.

While many tagsets would have “possessive” as one of the various pronoun types, this feature is intentionally separate from PronType, as it is orthogonal to pronominal types. Several of the pronominal types can be optionally possessive, and adjectives can too.

Yes : possessive

Note that there is no No value. If the word is not possessive, the Poss feature will just not be mentioned in the FEAT column. (Which means that empty value has the No meaning.)


edit Poss

PrepForm: PrepForm

Cmpd : compound preposition

In Irish, a simple preposition can be combined with a noun to give a compound preposition. Nouns following compound prepositions are inflected in the genitive case.


edit PrepForm

PronType: pronominal type

Art : articles

Dem : demonstrative

Ind : indefinite

Int : interrogative

Prs : person

Rel : relative

edit PronType

Reflex: reflexive

Yes : it is reflexive

The reflexive feature is a boolean feature of pronouns or determiners. It tells whether the word is reflexive, i.e. it refers to the subject of its clause.

In Irish, the reflexive pronoun is féin


edit Reflex

Tense: tense

Tense is a feature that specifies the time when the action took / takes / will take place, in relation to the current moment or to another action in the utterance.

Past : past tense

The past tense denotes actions that happened before the current moment. In Irish, past tense is indicated in the verb through the addition of lenition and/or a d’- prefix.


Pres : present tense

The present tense denotes actions that are happening right now or that habitually happen.


Fut : future tense

The future tense denotes actions that will happen after the current moment. In Irish, the future is indicated by the addition of a -f-, or -ó- suffix, with endings depending on person.

edit Tense

VerbForm: form of verb or deverbative

In Irish, verb form is a feature of words which have the appearance of a verb, although they function as other parts of speech. This feature appears most commonly as an inifitive construction, which functions as a noun. This feature also appears as a copula, a particle or a verbal noun.

Inf : infinitive

The infinitive verb form functions as a noun. The inifitive is always preceded by a particle or a preposition. Following a particle, the verb form takes lenition.


Introduced by particle
Introduced by preposition

Cop : copula

The copula verb form usually functions as a copula verb, though it can also be used as a mark, to introduce a complement clause, or as the root of the sentence. The copula takes many forms - predominately is, as well as gur, ba, , etc. (see cop)


Part : participle

The participle verb form functions as an adjective. It can be used to modify the head noun, or to introduce an adjectival predicate complement. (see xcomp:pred) The participle is usually inflected by adding the suffix -te (-the) or -ta (-tha) to the lemma.


Adjectival modifier
Introducing complement clause

Vnoun : verbal noun

Verbal nouns are nouns that take the form of a verb. They may be used to introduce a clausal complement, (see xcomp), as a conjunct, or as a root of the sentence. The noun is preceded by the preposition ag which loosely translates to “in the process of” in this situation.


edit VerbForm

Voice: voice

The Irish autonomous voice is similar to the passive construction, in that the agent of the verb is not (necessarily) specified. However, in this constuction, the object remains in accusative case, as opposed to the nominative case used in the passive voice. The subject in this construction remains anonymous, as a dummy subject.

Auto : autonomous voice

The autonomous voice is formed with a different verb ending: -t(e)ar in the present tense, -(e)adh in the past tense, -f(e)ar, in the future tense, and -f(a)í in the conditional.


edit Voice