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This page pertains to UD version 2.

AUX: auxiliary


An auxiliary is a function word that accompanies the lexical verb of a verb phrase and expresses grammatical distinctions not carried by the lexical verb, such as person, number, tense, mood, aspect, voice or evidentiality. It is often a verb (which may have non-auxiliary uses as well) but many languages have nonverbal TAMVE markers and these should also be tagged AUX. The class AUX also include copulas (in the narrow sense of pure linking words for nonverbal predication).

Less commonly, an auxiliary may just cross-reference person and number of a core argument, without also expressing any TAMVE (tense, aspect, mood, voice, evidentiality) feature. This only applies if the auxiliary is spelled as a separate word; if it is written together with the verbal stem, annotate the cross-reference (agreement) features on the verb and do not attempt to cut the agreement morpheme as a separate syntactic word. Even if written separately, the default approach is to treat such words as personal pronouns (PRON). But if there are strong arguments against a pronoun analysis, it is possible to use AUX instead. Issue #782 discusses examples from K’iche’ [quc].

Modal verbs may count as auxiliaries in some languages (English). In other languages their behavior is not too different from the main verbs and they are thus tagged VERB.

Note that not all languages have grammaticalized auxiliaries, and even where they exist the dividing line between full verbs and auxiliaries can be expected to vary between languages. Exactly which words are counted as AUX should be part of the language-specific documentation.



AUX in other languages: [bej] [bg] [bm] [cs] [cy] [da] [el] [en] [es] [et] [fi] [fro] [fr] [ga] [grc] [gub] [hu] [hy] [it] [ja] [ka] [kk] [kpv] [ky] [myv] [no] [pcm] [pt] [qpm] [ru] [sl] [sv] [tr] [tt] [uk] [u] [urj] [yue] [zh]