Similarly to Gender, animacy is a lexical feature of nouns and inflectional feature of other parts of speech that mark agreement with nouns. It is independent of gender, therefore it is encoded separately in some tagsets (e.g. all the Multext-East tagsets).
Human beings, animals, fictional characters, names of professions etc. are all animate. Even nouns that are normally inanimate can be inflected as animate if they are personified. For instance, consider a children’s story about cars where cars live and talk as people; then the cars may become and be inflected as animates.
PDT examples of masculine animate nouns:
- человек “man”, министр “minister”, президент “president”, председатель “chairman”, режиссёр “director”
Nouns that are not animate are inanimate.
RNC (Russian National Corpus) examples of masculine inanimate nouns:
- род “year”, закон “law”, состояние “state”, падеж “case”, миллион “million”
Aspect is a feature that specifies duration of the action in time, whether the action has been completed etc.
In Russian, aspect is considered a lexical feature of verbs. While many imperfective verbs have morphologically related perfective counterparts, it is not a regular system and the two verbs are represented by different lemmas.
Imp: imperfect aspect
The action took / takes / will take some time span and there is no information whether and when it was / will be completed.
- печь “to bake” (Imp); пёк хлеб “he baked / was baking a bread”
Perf: perfect aspect
The action has been / will have been completed. Since there is emphasis on one point on the time scale (the point of completion), this aspect does not work well with the present tense. Russian morphology can create present forms of perfective verbs but these actually have a future meaning.
- испечь “to bake” (Perf); испёк хлеб “he baked / has baked a bread”
Case is an inflectional feature of nouns and other parts of speech (adjectives, numerals) that mark agreement with nouns. It is also valency feature of prepositions (saying that the preposition requires its argument to be in that case).
Case helps to specify the role of the noun phrase in the sentence. For example, the nominative and accusative cases often distinguish subject and object of the verb, while in fixed-word-order languages these functions would be distinguished merely by the positions of the nouns in the sentence.
Czech morphology distinguishes seven cases:
(this ordering is fixed in the grammar and the cases are also referred to by numbers 1–7).
- singular nominative мама “mother”, genitive мамы , dative маме, accusative маму, locative маме, instrumental мамой
- plural nominative мамы, genitive мам, dative мамам, accusative мам, locative мамах, instrumental мамами
The descriptions of the individual case values below include semantic hints about the prototypical meaning of the case. Bear in mind that quite often a case will be used for a meaning that is totally unrelated to the meaning mentioned here. Valency of verbs, adpositions and other words will determine that the noun phrase must be in a particular grammatical case to fill a particular valency slot (semantic role).
The base form of the noun, also used as citation form (lemma). This is the word form used for subjects of clauses.
Prototypical meaning of genitive is that the noun phrase somehow belongs to its governor; it would often be translated by the English preposition of.
Note that despite considerable semantic overlap, the genitive case is not the same as the feature of possessivity (Poss). Possessivity is a lexical feature, i.e. it applies to lemma and its whole paradigm. Genitive is a feature of just a subset of word forms of the lemma. Semantics of possessivity is much more clearly defined while the genitive (as many other cases) may be required in situations that have nothing to do with possessing. For example, без папиной дочери “without the father’s daughter” is a prepositional phrase containing the preposition без “without”, the possessive adjective папиной “father’s” and the noun дочери “daughter”. The possessive adjective is derived from the noun папа but it is really an adjective (with separate lemma and paradigm), not just a form of the noun. In addition, both the adjective and the noun are in their genitive forms (the nominative would be папина дочь). There is nothing possessive about this particular occurrence of the genitive. It is there because the preposition без always requires its argument to be in genitive.
- Москва - столица Российской Федерации. “Moscow is the capital of the Russian Federation.”
This is the word form often used for indirect objects of verbs.
- Я дал подарок своему брату. “I gave my brother a present.” (своему брату “my brother” is dative and подарок “present” is accusative.)
Perhaps the second most widely spread morphological case. This is the word form most frequently used for direct objects of verbs.
The locative case often expresses location in space or time, which gave it its name. As elsewhere, non-locational meanings also exist and they are not rare. On the other hand, some location roles may be expressed using other cases (e.g. because those cases are required by a preposition).
This is the only Russian case that is used exclusively in combination with prepositions.
- В июле я был в Швеции. “In July I was in Sweden.”
- Разговаривали мы там о морфологии. “We talked there about morphology.” (Non-locational non-temporal example)
The role from which the name of the instrumental case is derived is that the noun is used as instrument to do something (as in писать ручкой “to write using a pen”). Many other meanings are possible, for example the instrumental is required by the preposition s “with” and thus it includes the meaning expressed in other languages by the comitative case.
In Russian the instrumental is also used for the agent-object in passive constructions (cf. the English preposition by).
- Этот закон был одобрен правительством. “This bill has been approved by the government.” (Passive example)
Degree: degree of comparison
Pos: positive, first degree
This is the base form that merely states a quality of something, without comparing it to qualities of others. Note that although this degree is traditionally called “positive”, negative properties can be compared, too.
- умный человек “clever man”
Cmp: comparative, second degree
The quality of one object is compared to the same quality of another object.
- этот человек умнее меня “the man is cleverer than me”
Sup: superlative, third degree
The quality of one object is compared to the same quality of all other objects within a set.
- это наиумнейший человек в нашей команде “this is the cleverest man in our team”
Gender is a lexical feature of nouns and inflectional feature of other parts of speech (adjectives, verbs) that mark agreement with nouns. There are three values of gender: masculine, feminine, and neuter.
See also the related feature of Animacy.
Masc: masculine gender
Nouns denoting male persons are masculine. Other nouns may be also grammatically masculine, without any relation to sex.
- мужчина “man”
- замок “castle”
- грузовик “truck”
- председатель “chairman”
- судья “judge”
Fem: feminine gender
Nouns denoting female persons are feminine. Other nouns may be also grammatically feminine, without any relation to sex.
- женщина “woman”
- роза “rose”
- песня “song”
- кость “bone”
Neut: neuter gender
This third gender is for nouns that are neither masculine nor feminine (grammatically). Nouns whose nominative suffix is -о or -е (including a large group of deverbative nouns denoting actions) are usually neuter.
- место “place”
- море “sea”
- мясо “meat”
- здание “building”
Mood is a feature that expresses modality and subclassifies finite verb forms.
The indicative can be considered the default mood. A verb in indicative merely states that something happens, has happened or will happen, without adding any attitude of the speaker.
- Ты учишься в университете. “You study at the university.”
The speaker uses imperative to order or ask the addressee to do the action of the verb.
Czech verbs (except for modal verbs) have imperative forms of the second person singular, first person plural and second person plural.
- Учись в университете! “Study at the university!”
The conditional mood is used to express actions that would have taken place under some circumstances but they actually did not / do not happen.
Russian has present conditional and past conditional, both formed periphrastically using
the past participle of the content verb, and a special form of the auxiliary verb
бы. The special form is historically aorist tense, but the tense does not exist
in modern Russian, so the auxiliary form is better described by
The past participle of the content verb is not marked as conditional because it can also be used in past indicative.
- Если бы я был умным, учился бы в университете. “If I were smart I would study at the university.”
NameType: type of named entity
Classification of named entities (token-based, no nesting of entities etc.)
The feature applies mainly to the ru-pos/PROPN tag;
in multi-word foreign names, adjectives may also have this feature
(they preserve the
ADJ tag but at the same time they would not exist in Russian
otherwise than in the named entity).
The following table lists the name types together with the most frequent examples.
|_;Y||given name||Александр, Игорь, Петр||“Александр, Игорь, Петр”|
|_;S||surname||Иванов, Петров, Кожевников||“Иванов, Петров, Кожевников”|
|_;G||geographical name||Москва, Россия, Азия||“Москва, Россия, Азия”|
|_;K||company, organization, institution||Афиша, Просвещение, МТС||“Афиша, Просвещение, МТС”|
|_;R||product||Мерседес, Тайд||“Мерседес, Тайд”|
|_;m||other proper name: names of mines, stadiums, guerilla bases etc.||Лужники, Крокус Сити Холл||“Лужники, Крокус Сити Холл”|
Geo: geographical name
Names of cities, countries, rivers, mountains etc.
- Москва “Moscow”, Россия _ “Russia”
Prs: name of person
This value is used if it is not known whether it is a given or a family name, but it is known that it is a personal name.
Giv: given name of person
Given name (not family name). This is usually the first name in European and American names. In Chinese names, the last two syllables (of three) are usually the given name.
- Александр, Дмитрий
Sur: surname / family name of person
Family name (surname). This is usually the last name in European and American names. In Chinese names, the first syllable (of three) is usually the surname.
- Иванов, Сидоров
Com: company, organization
Names of stadiums, guerilla bases, events etc.
Sing: singular number
A singular noun denotes one person, animal or thing.
- старый мужчина пришёл “an old man came”
- молодая женщина пришла “a young woman came”
- маленький цыплёнок пришёл “a small chicken came”
Plur: plural number
A plural noun denotes several persons, animals or things.
- старые мужчины пришли “old men came”
- молодые женщины пришли “young women came”
- маленькие цыплята пришли “small chickens came”
Ptan: plurale tantum
Some nouns appear only in the plural form even though they denote one
thing (semantic singular); some tagsets mark this distinction.
Grammatically they behave like plurals, so
Plur is obviously the
back-off value here; however, the
non-existence of singular form sometimes means that the gender is
unknown. In Russian, special type of numerals is used when counting
nouns that are plurale tantum (NumType
- ножницы, штаны “scissors, pants”
Coll: collective / mass / singulare tantum
Collective or mass or singulare tantum is a special case of singular. It applies to words that use grammatical singular to describe sets of objects, i.e. semantic plural. Although in theory they might be able to form plural, in practice it would be rarely semantically plausible. Sometimes, the plural form exists and means “several sorts of” or “several packages of”.
- человечество “mankind”
Russian National Corpus
The RNC tagset does not distinguish
therefore this distinction is not being made in the converted data.
Person is a feature of personal and possessive pronouns, and of verbs. On verbs it is in fact an agreement feature that marks the person of the verb’s subject. Person marked on verbs makes it unnecessary to always add a personal pronoun as subject and thus subjects are sometimes dropped (Russian is a pro-drop language).
1: first person
In singular, the first person refers just to the speaker / author. In plural, it must include the speaker and one or more additional persons.
- делаю “I do”
- делаем “we do”
2: second person
In singular, the second person refers to the addressee of the utterance / text. In plural, it may mean several addressees and optionally some third persons too.
- делаешь “you.
- делаете “you.
3: third person
The third person refers to one or more persons that are neither speakers nor addressees.
- делает “he/she/it does”
- делают “they do”
Polarity in Russian is a feature of verbs, adjectives, adverbs and nouns used to express negation. Negation in Russian is done both by using the bound morpheme не- and an independent negating particle (equivalent to English “not”). Words that can take the morpheme/particle of negation have the feature of negativeness.
Polaritye=Neg is not the same thing as
=Neg. For pronouns and other pronominal parts of speech
there is no such binary opposition as for verbs and adjectives. (There
is no such thing as “affirmative pronoun”.)
Pos: positive, affirmative
- он пришёл “he came”
- разумный “wise”
- хорошо “nicely”
- приятие “acceptance”
- он не пришёл “he did not come”
- неразумный “unwise”
- нехорошо “nastily”
- неприятие “non-acceptance, rejection”
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: it is 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
- possessive personal pronouns/determiners: мой, твой, его, её, наш, ваш, их “my, your, his, her, our, your, their”
- possessive reflexive pronoun/determiner: свой “one’s own”
- possessive relative pronoun/determiner: чей “whose”
- possessive adjectives: папин “father’s”, мамин “mother’s”
PronType: pronominal type
This feature is not used in Russian treebanks.
In Russian, reflexive pronouns do not have various functions:
Reflexive object of a verb means that the object is the same entity as the subject: Ян купил себе машину = “Jan bought himself a car” vs. Ян купил ему машину = “Jan bought him [someone else] a car”
Reflexive possessives indicate that the subject of the clause is the possessor:
- Ян продал свою машину. “Jan sold his [own] car.”
- Ян продал его машину. “Jan sold his [someone else’s] car.”
Yes: it is reflexive
Note that there is no
No value. If the word is not reflexive, the
Reflex feature will just not be mentioned in the
column. (Which means that empty value has the
- reflexive personal pronouns: себя, себе, себя, собой, себе (occurs in various cases but not in nominative; does not distinguish Number)
- reflexive possessive pronoun: свой
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. Past tense in Czech consists of the past participle (also called active participle or l-participle), which is accompanied by a present auxiliary verb in the first and second persons, and stands alone in the third person.
The auxiliary (if any) is in its present form, so it will have
The participle has
Tense=Past, even though it can also be used to form present conditional.
- Я ушёл домой. “I have gone home.”
- Ты ушёл домой. “You have gone home.”
- Он ушёл домой. “He has gone home.”
Pres: present tense
The present tense denotes actions that are happening right now or that usually happen.
Note that morphologically present forms of perfective verbs have actually a future meaning
but they will still be marked
- Прихожу домой. “I come / am coming home.” (Přicházet is an imperfective verb.)
- Приду домой. “I will come home.” (Přijít is a perfective verb.)
- Иду домой. “I go / am going home.” (Jít is an imperfective verb.)
Fut: future tense
The future tense denotes actions that will happen after the current moment. Future tense in Russian is formed in one of three ways, depending of the verb:
- Present forms of perfective verbs have future meaning. These forms are tagged
- The verb быть “to be” has a set of distinct future forms. They combine a future stem буд with present suffixes.
A small set of verbs (mostly motion verbs) have also future forms. These are formed as the present form (present stem and suffix)
with the prefix по-.
Although these forms are morphologically very close to the present forms, they are tagged
Tense=Futbecause the same lemma has also present forms and the feature must distinguish the two.
- The remaining imperfective verbs have periphrastic future forms, consiting of the future form of the auxiliary быть,
and the infinitive of the content verb. Only the auxiliary will have
Tense=Fut, while there will be no tense information at the infinitive.
- Пойду домой. “I will go home.” (Jít is an imperfective verb, phonological rule transformed the prefix po- to pů-.)
- Буду идти домой. “I will be coming home.” (Идти is an imperfective verb and it forms future periphrastically.)
Sometimes there are multiple word forms for the same lemma and set of features.
Variant feature helps distinguish alternate forms.
In Russian adjectives may have a short form.
This feature only marks the non-standard short forms, hence there is only one value,
For the long standard forms the
Variant feature remains unspecified.
Short: short form of adjectives
The short form is called nominal form of adjective (краткая форма прилагательных), as opposed to the long form, which is pronominal because it originated as a combination of a nominal form and a personal pronoun._
- красив “beautiful”, возможен “able”, нужен “necessary”, известен “known”, доволен “satisfied”, уверен “sure”, равен “equal”, готов “finished”, связан “connected”, виновен “guilty”
- Long equivalents: красивый, возможный, нужный, известный, довольный, уверенный, равный, готовый, связанный, виновный
VerbForm: form of verb or deverbative
Even though the name of the feature seems to suggest that it is used
exclusively with verbs, it is not the case.
Part value can be used also with adjectives.
It distinguishes participles from other verb forms,
and participial adjectives from other adjectives.
Fin: finite verb
- несу, несёшь, несёт, несём, несёте, несут “I carry, you carry, he/she/it carries, we carry, you carry, they carry”
- неси, несите “carry” (imperative in different persons and numbers)
- буду, будешь, будет, будем, будете, будут “I will be, you will be, he/she/it will be, we will be, you will be, they will be”
- будь, будьте “be” (imperative in different persons and numbers)
Infinitive is the citation form of verbs. It is also used with the auxiliary быть to form periphrastic future tense, and it appears as the argument of modal and other verbs.
- нести “to carry”
- быть “to be”
Participle is a non-finite verb form that shares properties of verbs and adjectives. Russian has two types of participles:
- The active past participle is used to form the active voice.
- The passive participle is used to form the passive voice.
- пишущий, пишущая, пишущее, пишущие “writing”
- писаный, писаная, писаное, писаные “carried”
The transgressive, also called adverbial participle, is a non-finite verb form that shares properties of verbs and adverbs.
Imperfective verbs form present transgressive, meaning “while doing”.
Perfective verbs form past transgressive, meaning “having done”.
принеся “having brought”
- они смотреля на меня держа ружья; “they stared at me while gripping their guns”
- приготовив обед, она позвала семью к столу; “having prepared the dinner, she called her family to the table”
Voice is a feature of verbs that helps map the traditional syntactic functions, such as subject and object, to semantic roles, such as agent and pacient.
Act: active voice
Prototypically, the subject of the verb is the doer of the action (agent), the object is affected by the action (patient).
All active participles (in present and past form) are tagged
By default, the finite forms, ininitives and gerunds of non-reflexive verbs are also labeled
Voice=Act, except for the cases when they are labeled
Voice=Mid, see below.
- мы атаковали врага. “We attacked the enemy”
Pass: passive voice
The subject of the verb is affected by the action (patient). The doer (agent) is either a non-obligatory oblique phrase of the verb or not overtly expressed;.
The passive participles (in present and past form) are tagged
Voice=Pass. The finite non-reflexive forms are labeled
Voice=Pass in the passive construction; in this case, the form is marked with -sja (but the lemma is tagged as non-reflexive).
- Мы были атакованы врагом. “We were attacked by the enemy”
- Разработки лекарства ведутся несколькими международными компаниями. “Drug development is conducted by several international companies”
Mid: middle voice
Between active and passive, needed for the reflexive verbs (in all forms except active participle).
- Я занялся музыкой. “I took up.Refl music”
Anna Siewierska. 2013. Passive Constructions. In: Dryer, Matthew S. & Haspelmath, Martin (eds.) The World Atlas of Language Structures Online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. (http://wals.info/chapter/107)