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This page pertains to UD version 2.

Polarity: polarity

Values: Neg Pos

Polarity is typically a feature of verbs, adjectives, sometimes also adverbs and nouns in languages that negate using bound morphemes. In languages that negate using a function word, Polarity is used to mark that function word, unless it is a pro-form already marked with PronType=Neg (see below).

Positive polarity (affirmativeness) is rarely, if at all, encoded using overt morphology. The feature value Polarity=Pos is usually used to signal that a lemma has negative forms but this particular form is not negative. Using the feature in such cases is somewhat optional for words that can be negated but rarely are.

For instance, all Czech verbs and adjectives can be negated using the prefix ne-. In theory, all nouns can be negated too, with the meaning “anything except the entities denotable by the original noun”. However, negated nouns are rare and it is not necessary to annotate every positive noun with Polarity=Pos. Language-specific documentation should define under which circumstances the positive polarity is annotated.

In English, verbs are negated using the particle not and adjectives are also negated using prefixes, although the process is less productive than in Czech (wise – unwise, probable – improbable).

Note that Polarity=Neg is not the same thing as PronType=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”.)

The Polarity feature can be also used to distinguish response interjections yes and no.

Pos: positive, affirmative


Neg: negative


Polarity in other languages: [u]