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This page pertains to UD version 2.

Number: number

Values: Coll Count Dual Grpa Grpl Inv Pauc Plur Ptan Sing Tri

Number is usually an inflectional feature of nouns and, depending on language, other parts of speech (pronouns, adjectives, determiners, numerals, verbs) that mark agreement with nouns.

In languages where noun phrases are pluralized using a specific function word (pluralizer), this function word is tagged DET and Number=Plur is its lexical feature.

Sing: singular number

A singular noun denotes one person, animal or thing.


Plur: plural number

A plural noun denotes several persons, animals or things.


Dual: dual number

A dual noun denotes two persons, animals or things.


Tri: trial number

A trial pronoun denotes three persons, animals or things. It occurs in pronouns of several Austronesian languages, such as Biak.


Pauc: paucal number

A paucal noun denotes “a few” persons, animals or things.


Grpa: greater paucal number

A greater paucal noun denotes “more than several but not many” persons, animals or things. It occurs in Sursurunga, an Austronesian language.


Grpl: greater plural number

A greater plural noun denotes “many, all possible” persons, animals or things. Precise semantics varies across languages.


Inv: inverse number

Inverse number means non-default for that particular noun. (Some nouns are by default assumed to be singular, some dual or plural.) Occurs e.g. in Kiowa.


Count: count plural

A special plural form of nouns (and other parts of speech, such as adjectives) if they occur after numerals.

In Bulgarian and Macedonian, this form is known variously as “counting form”, “count plural” or “quantitative plural” (Sussex and Cubberley 2006, p. 324). (The form originates in the Proto-Slavic dual but it should not be marked Number=Dual because 1. the dual vanished from Bulgarian and 2. the form is no longer semantically tied to the number two.)

Other languages (e.g., Russian) have forms that are not necessarily related to dual, yet they are used exclusively with numerals.


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, if the language also marks gender, the non-existence of singular form sometimes means that the gender is unknown. In Czech, 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”.



Number in other languages: [ab] [arr] [bej] [bg] [bm] [cs] [cy] [el] [en] [es] [ess] [eu] [fi] [fr] [ga] [gn] [gub] [hbo] [hu] [hy] [it] [ka] [ky] [myv] [orv] [pcm] [pt] [qpm] [ru] [sl] [sv] [tpn] [tr] [tt] [u] [uk] [urb] [urj]