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This page pertains to UD version 2.

Person: person

Values: 0 1 2 3 4

Person is typically feature of personal and possessive pronouns / determiners, and of verbs. On verbs it is in fact an agreement feature that marks the person of the verb’s subject (some languages, e.g. Basque, can also mark person of objects). Person marked on verbs makes it unnecessary to always add a personal pronoun as subject and thus subjects are sometimes dropped (pro-drop languages).

0: zero person

Zero person is for impersonal statements, appears in Finnish as well as in Santa Ana Pueblo Keres. (The construction is distinctive in Finnish but it does not use unique morphology that would necessarily require a feature. However, it is morphologically distinct in Keres (Davis 1964:75): The fourth (zero) person is used “when the subject of the action is obscure, as when the speaker is telling of something that he himself did not observe. It is also used when the subject of the action is inferior to the object, as when an animal is the subject and a human being the object.”


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. Some languages (e.g. Taiwanese) distinguish inclusive and exclusive 1st person plural pronouns: the former include the addressee of the utterance (i.e. I + you), the latter exclude them (i.e. I + they).


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.


4: fourth person

The fourth person can be understood as a third person argument morphologically distinguished from another third person argument, e.g. in Navajo.



Person in other languages: [aqz] [arr] [bej] [bg] [bm] [cs] [cy] [en] [es] [eu] [fi] [fr] [ga] [gn] [gub] [hbo] [hu] [hy] [it] [ka] [ky] [myu] [pcm] [pt] [qpm] [quc] [ru] [sl] [tpn] [tr] [tt] [u] [uk] [urb] [urj]