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

Animacy: animacy

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).

Anim: animate

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:

Inan: inanimate

Nouns that are not animate are inanimate.

RNC (Russian National Corpus) examples of masculine inanimate nouns:

edit Animacy

Aspect: aspect

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.


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.


edit Aspect

Case: case

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: Nom, Gen, Dat, Acc, Loc and Ins (this ordering is fixed in the grammar and the cases are also referred to by numbers 1–7).


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).

Nom: nominative

The base form of the noun, also used as citation form (lemma). This is the word form used for subjects of clauses.

Gen: genitive

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.


Dat: dative

This is the word form often used for indirect objects of verbs.


Acc: accusative

Perhaps the second most widely spread morphological case. This is the word form most frequently used for direct objects of verbs.

Loc: locative

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.


Ins: instrumental

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 “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).


edit Case

Degree: degree of comparison

Degree of comparison is inflectional feature of some adjectives and adverbs.

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.


Cmp: comparative, second degree

The quality of one object is compared to the same quality of another object.


Sup: superlative, third degree

The quality of one object is compared to the same quality of all other objects within a set.


edit Degree

Gender: gender

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.


Fem: feminine gender

Nouns denoting female persons are feminine. Other nouns may be also grammatically feminine, without any relation to sex.


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.


edit Gender

Mood: mood

Mood is a feature that expresses modality and subclassifies finite verb forms.

Ind: indicative

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.


Imp: imperative

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.


Cnd: conditional

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 Mood=Cnd.

The past participle of the content verb is not marked as conditional because it can also be used in past indicative.


edit Mood

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.

_;Ygiven nameАлександр, Игорь, Петр“Александр, Игорь, Петр”
_;SsurnameИванов, Петров, Кожевников“Иванов, Петров, Кожевников”
_;Ggeographical nameМосква, Россия, Азия“Москва, Россия, Азия”
_;Kcompany, organization, institutionАфиша, Просвещение, МТС“Афиша, Просвещение, МТС”
_;RproductМерседес, Тайд“Мерседес, Тайд”
_;mother 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.


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.


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.


Com: company, organization

Pro: product

Oth: other

Names of stadiums, guerilla bases, events etc.

edit NameType

Negative: whether the word can be or is negated

In Russian, negation 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.

It applies to verbs, adjectives, sometimes also adverbs and even nouns. (Most nouns have just Negative=Pos; deverbative nouns can have also Negative=Neg.)

Note that Negative=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”.)

Pos: positive, affirmative


Neg: negative


edit Negative

Number: number

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

Sing: singular number

A singular noun denotes one person, animal or thing.


Plur: plural number

A plural noun denotes several persons, animals or things.


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=Sets).


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”.



Russian National Corpus

The RNC tagset does not distinguish Ptan from Plur and Coll from Sing, therefore this distinction is not being made in the converted data.

edit Number

Person: person

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.


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.


3: third person

The third person refers to one or more persons that are neither speakers nor addressees.


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: 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 No meaning.)


edit Poss

PronType: pronominal type

This feature is not used in Russian treebanks.

edit PronType

Reflex: reflexive

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

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:

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 FEAT column. (Which means that empty value has the No meaning.)


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. 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 Tense=Pres. The participle has Tense=Past, even though it can also be used to form present conditional.


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 Tense=Pres.


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:


edit Tense

Variant: Variant

Sometimes there are multiple word forms for the same lemma and set of features. The 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, Short. 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._


edit Variant

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. The Part value can be used also with adjectives. It distinguishes participles from other verb forms, and participial adjectives from other adjectives.

Fin: finite verb

Rule of thumb: if it has non-empty Mood, it is finite. In Russian this applies to indicative and imperative forms, and to the special conditional forms of the auxiliary verb быть.


Inf: infinitive

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.


Part: participle

Participle is a non-finite verb form that shares properties of verbs and adjectives. Russian has two types of participles:

Participles inflect for Gender and Number but not for Person.


Trans: transgressive

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”.


edit VerbForm

Voice: voice

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 Voice=Act. 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=Pass and Voice=Mid, see below.


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).


Mid: middle voice

Between active and passive, needed for the reflexive verbs (in all forms except active participle).



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)

edit Voice