Home Glossing Conventions

Afranaph Glossing Conventions – Revised September, 2016

This is a list of the most commonly used glosses in the Afranaph database. The glosses follow the general guidelines of the Leipzig Glossing Rules [http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/resources/glossing-rules.php

Content words are glossed with the best-guess English translation. All conventional glosses should be drawn from the list below, although departures from standard notation have sometimes been judged appropriate by consultants and/or analysts in order to convey relevant language-specific information. Words are separated by spaces on original text, morpheme breakdown and gloss lines. A single morpheme in the morpheme breakdown is bounded on either side by an empty space (at the beginning or end of a word) or by a dash or dashes if it is word internal, and if an indivisible morpheme expresses a combination of glosses, then the glosses corresponding to the single morpheme are separated by a period, as in the example below.

 English: Bill saw girls
  Bill saw girl-s
  Bill see.PST girl-PL

At various points we diverge from the Leipzig glosses either because they are not available for certain kinds of morphemes, they are not specific enough for certain kinds of distinctions, or they are not distinct enough to allow for optimal searches in the database. We expect that we will add to this list or reassign some glosses from time to time, as long as no data is lost or misrepresented as a result.


Gloss Meaning Usage note
1st 1st person  
2nd 2nd person  
3rd 3rd person  
ACC Accusative Amharic
AGR Agreement When a more specific term like OM or SM is not used
AGT Agent or Agentive  
AM Associative marker Urhobo, cf. Urhobo AQR
APPL Applicative  
ASP Aspect  
BEN Benefactive  
CAUS1 Causative affix  
CAUS1 Long causative affix Cf. Hyman (2003), Good (2006)
CAUS2 Short causative affix Cf. Hyman (2003), Good (2006)
CJ Conjoint  
CL Noun class marker Where no noun class number is available
COMP Complementizer  
COND Conditional  
CONJ Conjunction  
CPL Centripetal Indicates the event involves motion toward the subject
cX2 Noun class prefix for class X Where X = some number
DEFAGR Default Agreement  
DET Determiner  
DJ Disjoint  
ERL Affix meaning the event was early See use in Eegimaa
EXCL Exclusive  
F Feminine  
FMR Former/used to See use in Eegimaa
FUT3 Future  
FV Final vowel  
GEN Genitive  
HAB Habitual  
HUM Human Where the human/non-human distinction has exponents
IMPV Imperative  
ICV Inclusive Where the distinction is used for 1st and 2nd plural
INF Infinitive  
IPFV Imperfective  
IRM Inherent reflexive marker (verbal affix) When there is an exponent
IRR Irrealis  
LOC Locative  
M Masculine  
MALF Malefactive  
MID Middle voice Ikalanga, Kirundi
NEG Negation  
NOM Nominative  
OBJ Amharic: Object agreement  
  Lokaa: Objective case  
OM Object marker (verbal affix)  
OPT Optative  
PART Partitive  
PASS Passive  
PFV Perfective  
PL Plural  
POSS Possessive  
PRN Pronominal  
PROG Progressive  
PRS Present  
PST4 Past  
RCM Reciprocal marker Reciprocal verbal affix
RECP5 Reciprocal (not a verbal affix)   
RED Reduplication  
REFL6 Reflexive (not a verbal affix)  
REL Relative  
REP Repetitive  
REV Reversative  
RFM Reflexive marker Reflexive verbal affix
RLS7 Realis  
RS Lexical reciprocal base Amharic
SBJ Subject agreement Amharic
SBJV Subjunctive  
SG Singular  
SM Subject marker Verbal affix, Bantu-specific notation
TM Tense marker When no more specific gloss is possible
TAM Tense aspect marker When no more specific gloss is possible
TNS Tense When no more specific gloss is possible
WHAGR Wh-agreement  


Further notes

1 CAUS: The distinction between CAUS, CAUS1 and CAUS2 is included because there are Bantu phenomena of particular interest in this respect. Searching for CAUS will find all three glosses, but the distinction between CAUS1 and CAUS2 is included because many Bantu languages have two affixes that have been characterized (by some) as causative, although their effects differ in interesting ways (and ways that interact with patterns of anaphora). In languages where both affixes are present, we have classified them according to morphological and (to a lesser degree) semantic effects that distinguish them. For languages that have only one causative affix, CAUS is used exclusively.  

2 cX: This is why we do not just use ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’ for person glosses. If our users want to search for c3 nouns and agreement, there is no confusion with ‘3rd’, but more importantly, if one is searching for 1st, searching for ‘1’ would bring up both noun class and person tokens.

3 FUT: In languages that have temporally distinct future morphemes, FUT is distinguished as FUT1 (temporally closest to PRS), FUT2 (next temporally closest)…FUTn. Many Bantu languages have such systems.

4 PST: In languages that have temporally distinct past morphemes, PST is distinguished as PST1 (temporally closest to PRS), PST2 (next temporally closest)…PSTn. Many Bantu languages have such systems.

5 RECP: This is almost never used in our database because the argument position markers that are interpreted as reciprocals are almost always roots that have other meanings outside of reciprocal contexts. We are particularly interested in the morphological and semantic properties of distinct forms of reciprocal marking. See the fn. on REFL.

6 REFL: Many markers that are interpreted as reflexive are not glossed with REFL because we are particularly interested in the morphological and semantic properties of distinct forms of reflexive marking. We only use REFL when the morpheme in question is not a verb affix and has no other meaning in another use in the language, e.g., when a reflexive argument consists of a pronoun compounded with a root that means ‘body’, the gloss is PRN-BODY, or in some cases, the capitalized morphology of the root in the language (particularly when more than one root can for a reflexive argument)

7 RLS: For example, Jóola Eegima has an exponent for realis, but none for irrealis.