List of glossing abbreviations

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This page lists common abbreviations for grammatical terms that are used in linguistic interlinear glossing.

Introductory remarks[edit]


This list serves a double purpose:

  • It documents current conventions in interlinear glossing in linguistic literature (recorded in the "variants" column, if different from the conventional Wikipedia gloss).
  • It is a point of orientation for interlinear linguistic glossing in Wikipedia (this is the meaning of "conventional gloss"). Note that not all glosses listed here have a conventional variant. This may be lacking for cases where no clear preference from the linguistic literature can be established.

Conventional glosses[edit]

  • In future revisions of this list, a single conventional gloss should be provided for every meaning, backed up by a linguistic reference work. For the moment, this list assumes that Leipzig Glossing Rules[1] are the most widely known de-facto standard and thus taken as a basis for conventional glosses.
  • This list provides a conventional gloss as established in the Leipzig Glossing rules (or another standard inventory of glossing abbreviations if the Leipzig Glossing Rules do not apply). Glosses from other (explicitly stated) sources are given as a conventional gloss if the Leipzig Glossing Rules do not provide a gloss for a particular category, unless multiple variants have been suggested (then, all are listed as variants, without a conventional gloss). Non-sourced glosses (without an explicit reference) are listed as variants, only.
  • For interlinear glossing in Wikipedia, see templates {{interlinear}} and {{Gcl}}. Note that the list of conventional glosses is informative only, but with increasing maturity, it should serve as a basis for future adjustments to Module:Interlinear/data.

Notational conventions[edit]

  • Abbreviations beginning with N- (common prefix for non-) may not be listed separately. For example, NPST non-past is not listed, as it is composable from N- non- + PST past. This convention is grounded in the Leipzig Glossing Rules.[1]
  • Abbreviations ending with -Z (a common suffix for -izer) are treated similarly. For example, TRZ transitivizer is not listed, as it is composable from TR transitive + -Z -izer.[clarification needed]
  • Abbreviations are generally written in all caps or—apart from the terms A, S, O and P—in small caps, to distinguish them from lexical words.

Glossing abbreviations and meanings[edit]

Conventional Gloss Variants / Unsourced Meaning Reference
- separator for segmentable morphemes, e.g., Lezgian amuq’-da-č (stay-FUT-NEG) "will not stay" [1]
= Clitic boundaries are marked by an equals sign, both in the object language and in the gloss, e.g., West Greenlandic palasi=lu niuirtur=lu (priest=and shopkeeper=and) "both the priest and the shopkeeper" [1]
. when a single, non-segmentable morph is rendered by several glosses, these are separated by periods, e.g., French chevaux (horse.PL) "horses" [1]
direction of transitivity or possession in polypersonal agreement
(2›3 may mean 2 acts on 3; 1sg›sg may mean a 1sg possessor and a singular possessum)
[citation needed]
0 zero (null), covert form
(such as gender in a language where the word does not show it)
1 first person [1]
2 second person [1]
3 third person [1]
A agent-like argument of canonical transitive verb [1]
AB abstract [citation needed]
ABE ABESS abessive case (AKA caritive case or privative case: 'without')

Lehmann (2004) recommends using privative (PRV) or aversive (AVERS), instead[3]

ABL ablative case ('from') [1]
ABS absolutive case [1]
ABSL absolute (free, non-incorporated form of noun) [3]
ABSTR abstract (of nominal) [3]
ACC accusative case [1]
ACCOM accompanier [citation needed]
ACT active voice [2][3]
ACR ACT actor role (in role and reference grammar) [3]
ADD additive case [3]
ADJ adjective [1]
ADESS ADE adessive case ('at'; more specific than LOC) [2][3]
ADEL adelative [4][3]
ADM admonitive mood (warning) [3]
ADV adverb(ial) [1]
ADV adverbial case [citation needed]
AF actor focus [4]
AFF AFFMT affirmative [2]
AFF affective case [citation needed]
AG AGT agentive case (cf ACT) [2][3]
AGR agreement [1]
ALL allative case ('to') [1]
ALLOC AL allocutive agreement [3]
AL ALIEN alienable possession [3]
AND andative ('going towards', cf venitive) [3]
ANIM animate gender (cf R) [2]
ANT anterior tense (used for PRF in some traditions) [2]
ANTE antessive case ('before') [citation needed]
ANTIC,ACAUS anticausative [4][3]
ANTIP AP,APASS antipassive voice [1]
AOR aorist (= PFV or PST.PFV) [2]
APP apposition [citation needed]
APPL APL applicative voice [1]
APPR apprehensive mood, apprehensional ('lest') [3]
APRX approximative [citation needed]
ART article [1]
ASP aspect, aspectual [2]
ASSOC ASS associative case (= COM) [3]
ASSUM ASS assumptive mood, assumed [3]
ASRT ASS assertive mood [3]
AT agent trigger (= AV agent voice) [citation needed]
ATTEN ATT attenuative [3]
ATTR attributive [4]
AUD auditory evidential [3]
AUG augmentative [4][3]
AUX auxiliary verb [1]
B benefactive (when it is a core argument) [citation needed]
BE 'be' verb (a conflation of EXIST and COP) [citation needed]
BEN benefactive case ('for') [1]
C common gender [2]
C Clause [2]
CAP (cap)ability, modal case [citation needed]
CARD cardinal numeral [3]
CAUS CAU causative [1]
CENT centric case [citation needed]
CF counterfactual conditional [4]
CF circumstantial focus [4]
CIRC circumstantial [3]
CIRC circumfix [citation needed]
CIT citation form [citation needed]
CL CLF, CLASS classifier [1] [2]
CMPD compound [citation needed]
CNSQ consequential mood [citation needed]
CONTR, CNTR contrastive [4]
COLL COL collective number [3]
COM COMIT comitative case ('together with') [1]
COMP c complementizer (note that the gloss variant C is ambiguous) [1], cf. [2]
CMPR COMP comparative [3]
COMPL CPL completive aspect [1]
CON concrete [citation needed]
CONC concessive [3]
COND conditional mood [1]
CONJ CNJ conjunction [2]
CONJ conjunctive (interpropositional relation) [3]
CONN connective particle [4][3]
CONT CONT, CNT, CTN continuous aspect, continuative aspect [2][4][3]
COP copula [1]
COR coreference [citation needed]
CRAS crastinal tense ('tomorrow') [3]
CRS current relevance marker (as in the perfect) [citation needed]
CVB converb

Lehmann (2004) recommends using 'gerund' (GER), instead[3]

D core dative case [citation needed]
DAT dative case [1]
DE different event, change of event (cf DS) [citation needed]
DECL DEC declarative mood [1]
DEF definite [1]
DEI, DEIX deixis, deictic [citation needed]
DEL delayed imperative (a command to do s.t. later) [citation needed]
DEL delative case ('off of') [3]
DEL deliberative mood [citation needed]
DEM demonstrative [1]
DEO deontic mood [citation needed]
DEP dependent (as in DEP.FUT) [citation needed]
DER derivation, derivational [citation needed]
DES DESI, DESID desiderative mood [2][3]
DEST destinative aspect [2]
DET determiner [1]
DETR detransitive [citation needed]
DETR detransitivizer [3]
DH motion downhill, seaward (cf DR) [citation needed]
DIM diminutive [2]
DIREV DIR direct evidential (= EXP) [2][3]
DIR DIR directional (= LAT) [2][3]
DIR direct case [2]
DISCNT discontinuative aspect [4]
DISJ disjunction [citation needed]
DIST distal demonstrative [1]
DISTR distributive case [1]
DITR ditransitive [citation needed]
DLM delimited [citation needed]
DM discourse marker [2]
DO direct object [2]
DR motion downriver (cf DH) [citation needed]
DS different-subject (change of subject) marker (cf DE) [4]
DU dual number [1]
DUB dubitative mood [3]
DUR durative aspect (continuous aspect) [1]
DY, DYAD dyadic [citation needed]
DYN dynamic aspect [3]
E epenthetic morpheme [citation needed]
-E (used to form various -essive cases) [citation needed]
ELAT EL, ELA elative case ('out of') [2][3]
EMPH EMP emphatic, emphasizer [2][3]
ENCL enclitic [2]
EPENTH epenthetical [4]
EPIS epistemic mood or modality [citation needed]
ERG ergative case [1]
ESS essive case [2]
EVID EV evidential [3]
EVIT evitative case (= aversive case) [citation needed]
EXCL EX exclusive person [1]
EXCLAM, EXCL exclamative [citation needed]
EX.DUR excessive duration [citation needed]
EXESS exessive case [citation needed]
EXH exhortative [citation needed]
EXIST existential ('there is') [2]
EXO exocentric case [citation needed]
EXP, EXPER Experiencer [2]
EXP EXPER experiential, eyewitness = direct evidential [2][3]
EXPL expletive (dummy / meaningless form) [citation needed]
F FEM feminine gender [1]
FACT FTV factive evidential [2]
FAM familiar, as for familiar register (as the T–V distinction); and familiar pronominal [4][3]
FIN finite verb [2]
FOC focus [1]
FORM formal, as for formal register (as the T–V distinction), formal mood [3]
FP final particle (joshi) [citation needed]
FREQ FR frequentative aspect [3]
FRACT fraction, fractional (numeral) [1]
FMR former, deceased [citation needed]
FUT future tense [1]
G gender (G4 = the 4th gender) [citation needed]
GEN genitive case [1]
GER gerund [2]
GNO gnomic (generic) aspect [citation needed]
GT goal trigger (Austronesian; = GV goal voice) [citation needed]
H Head [2]
H hearer/reader [2]
H high variety/code, in adiglossic situation [2]
H high (pitch/tone) [2]
HABIT HAB habitual aspect [2][3]
HML HBL humble register [3]
HEST hesternal tense ('yesterday') [3]
HIST historic(al), as in historical present or past historic tense [citation needed]
HOD hodiernal tense ('today') in HODFUT (hodernial future) and HODPST (hodernial past) [3]
HON honorific [2]
HORT hortative [3]
HSY hearsay, reported evidential [citation needed]
HUM human, anthropic gender (cf. HBL; R) [2]
HYP HYPOTH hypothetical mood [2][3]
I inflected [citation needed]
ICP,INCMP, INCMPL incompletive aspect [4][3]
ID identical (~ NID) [citation needed]
IDENTIF identifiable [citation needed]
IDEO ideophone (≈ MIM) [citation needed]
IGNOR ignorative [citation needed]
ILL illative case ('into') [2]
IMM IM immediate, as in immediate imperative mood, near future tense [3]
IMP imperative mood [1]
IMPERF imperfect (= PST.IPFV) [2]
IMPR, IMPREC imprecative mood [citation needed]
IMPRS, IMPS, IMPR impersonal verb [4][3]
INCL IN inclusive person [1]
INAL inalienable possession [citation needed]
INAN inanimate gender [2]
INCH INCHO, INCEP inchoative aspect, inceptive aspect [3]
IND INDIC indicative mood [1]
INDF NDEF,INDEF indefinite [1]
INESS INE inessive case ('in') [3]
INF infinitive [1]
INFL Inflection [2]
INFR INFER inferential mood [3]
INEL inelative case ('from within') [citation needed]
INS INSTR instrumental case [1]
INTS INT intensifier, intensive [4][3]
INT INTER interrogative (= Q) [4][3]
INTEN intentional [citation needed]
INTERJ Interjection [2]
INTR NTR intransitive (covers an intransitive case for the S argument) [1]
INV inverse [4][3]
IO indirect object [citation needed]
IPFV imperfective aspect (= NPFV) [1]
IRR irrealis mood [1]
IS indirect speech [2]
ITER iterative aspect [2]
JUSS JUS jussive mood [3]
-L (used to form various -lative cases) [citation needed]
L low (pitch/tone) [2]
L low variety/code, in adiglossic situation [2]
L2 second language (code-switching) [2]
LAT lative case (= MVMT, direction) [3]
LD locative case + directional [citation needed]
LENGTH vowel or consonant emphasis lengthening [citation needed]
LNK LK linking element, interfix [4][3]
LOC locative case (includes essive case) [1]
LOG logophoric [3]
M MASC masculine gender [1]
MAN manner [3]
MID middle voice [4][3]
MIM mimetic (≈ IDEO) [citation needed]
MIR (ad)mirative [citation needed]
MLT, MLTP multiplicative case [citation needed]
MOD mood, modal, modal case [2]
MOD modifier [2]
MOM momentane [4]
MONO monofocal person [4]
MVT movement [citation needed]
N NEUT neuter gender [1]
N- non-(e.g. NSG non-singular, NPST non-past, NF non-feminine) [1][3]
NARR NAR narrative tense [4][3]
NEG negation, negative [1]
NFIN NF non-finite (nonfinite verb, non-finite clause) [3]
NF non-feminine [3]
NHUM NH non-human [3]
NMLZ NMZ, NZ, NOMI, NR nominalizer/nominalization [1]
NOM nominative case [1]
NS non-subject (see oblique case) [citation needed]
NTR, INTR intransitive (covers an intransitive case for the S argument) [citation needed]
NUM numeral, number [2]
O patient-like argument (object) of canonical transitive verb (= P) [1]
OBJ OB object; objective case [2][3]
OBL oblique case [1]
OBV obviative [4][3]
OPT optative mood [2]
ORD ordinal numeral [3]
P patient-like argument of canonical transitive verb (= O) [1]
P pre-, post-(P.HOD prehodiernal) [citation needed]
PTCP PART,PCP participle, participle marker

(avoid PART, cf. particle)

[1], cf. [2][3]
PRTV PART,PTV partitive case [2][3]
PASS PAS passive voice [1]
PAT patientive (= UND) [2]
PAU PA paucal number [3]
PEG pegative case (a special case for the giver) [citation needed]
PERL PER perlative case ('per', using) [3]
PRF PERF, PF perfect (= RET) [2][3]
PERM permission [4]
PERS personal [2]
PFV perfective aspect [1]
PL plural [1]
PLUP PLU, PLUPERF pluperfect [2][3]
PLU, PLUR pluractional [citation needed]
PM phrase marker [citation needed]
PM predicate marker [citation needed]
PN, PRO pronoun [2]
PO primary object [3]
POL polite register [2]
POSB possible [4]
POSS POS possessive marker [1]
POST, POSTP postposition, postpositional case [4]
POSTE postessive case ('after') [citation needed]
POSTEL postelative case [citation needed]
POT POTEN potential mood [2][3]
PP past participle [citation needed]
PP passive participle [citation needed]
PPFV past perfective [citation needed]
PPP past passive participle [citation needed]
PR proper noun [citation needed]
PREC precative mood (requests) [3]
PRED predicate, predicative [1]
PREP preposition, prepositional case [2]
PRESP present participle [citation needed]
PRET, PRT preterite (= PFV.PST) [citation needed]
PREV preverb [4]
PRF PERF,PF perfect (= RET) [1]
PRIV PRV privative case [3]
PROB probability [citation needed]
PROG progressive aspect [1]
PROH, PROHIB prohibitive mood ('don't!') [1][2]
PROLAT PROL prolative case (= VIA) [3]
PROP propositive mood [citation needed]
PROP, PROPR proprietive case [4][3]
PROS prosecutive case ('across', 'along') [citation needed]
PROSP PRSP prospective aspect [3]
PROT protasis [citation needed]
PROX proximal demonstrative; proximate [1]
PRS PRES present tense [1]
PST past tense [1]
PT patient trigger [citation needed]
PTCL, PTC, PTL,PART particle [4][2]
PUNCT punctual aspect [4][3]
PTV partitive case ('some of') [citation needed]
PURP purposive case [1]
Q question word or particle (= INT) [1]
QU Question/wh-marking [1]
QUANT quantifier [2]
QUOT quotative (quotative case or quotative mood) [1]
R rational gender (thinking beings) [citation needed]
RLS REAL realis mood [3]
RECPST REC recent past tense [3]
RECP REC reciprocal voice [1]
RED reduplication [4]
REF, RFR referential [citation needed]
REFL reflexive (reflexive pronoun, reflexive voice) [1]
REL relative (relativizer) [1]
REM,REMPST remote past tense [4][3]
RPRT REP reported evidential (= HSY); reportative [3], cf. [2]
REP repetitive aspect (cf ITER) [3][2]
RES resultative [1]
RES resumptive pronoun [citation needed]
RESP respect [4]
RET Retrospective (synonym for 'perfect' in some traditions) [citation needed]
ROOT root [citation needed]
S single argument of canonical intransitive verb (cf CIT) [1]
SBJ SUB, SUBJ subject (note that SUB and SUBJ are also used for subjunctive mood and should thus be avoided) [1][2]
SBJV SJV, SUB, SUBJ subjunctive mood (note that SUB and SUBJ are also used for subject and should thus be avoided) [1][2]
SE same event (cf SS) [citation needed]
SMLF SEM semelfactive aspect ('once') [3]
SENS sensory evidential mood (= VIS+AUD) [3]
SEQ sequential [4][3]
SG SING singular (but 1.SG = 1s, 3MASC.SG = 3ms) [1]
SGT SGV singulative number, singulative nominal [3]
SIM simultaneous aspect [4][3]
SIM similative [citation needed]
SPEC specifier [2]
SPEC specific [3]
SPEC speculative mood [2]
SS same-subject marker (cf SE) [4][3]
STAT STV stative aspect, stative verb [3]
STEM stem [citation needed]
SUB, SUBR, SUBORD, SBRD, SR subordinator [2][4][3]
SUBESS SUBE subessive case ('under') [3]
SUBL sublative case ('onto', 'down onto') [citation needed]
SUC successive ('then') [citation needed]
SUPL SUP superlative [2]
SUP supine [2]
SUP, SUPL supplicative [2]
SUPESS SUPE, SUPERESS superessive case ('on') [3], cf. [2]
-T trigger (used for AT, PT) [citation needed]
TAM tense, aspect, or mood [citation needed]
TEL telic aspect (cf PFV) [citation needed]
TEMP temporal case [2]
TERM terminative case [2]
TF theme focus [4]
TNS tense [2]
TOP topic [1]
TR TRANS transitive verb, transitive case (rare) [1]
TRNSL TRANSL, TRANSLV translative case (becoming) [3], cf. [2]
TRL TRI trial number [3]
TRN trans-numeral (neither SG nor PL) [citation needed]
TVF truth-value focus [citation needed]
U uninflected [citation needed]
UH motion uphill, inland (cf UR) [citation needed]
UGR UND undergoer role (cf PAT) [3]
UNSPEC unspecified (argument of relational base) [3]
UR motion upriver (cf UH) [citation needed]
USIT usitative, for usual, customary or typical events [citation needed]
VB V verb or verbal [2], cf. VBZ "verbalizer"[3]
VD verb, ditransitive [citation needed]
VEN venitive (coming towards; cf andative) [3]
VER veridical, veridical mood (a certain conditional) [citation needed]
VIA vialis case [citation needed]
VIS visible, visual [citation needed]
VI verb, intransitive [citation needed]
VN verbal noun [citation needed]
VOC vocative case [1]
VOL volitive mood [citation needed]
VT verb, transitive [citation needed]
WH.Q wh- question [citation needed]
-Z -(al)izer (e.g. TRZ transitivizer, VBZ verbalizer[3]) [citation needed]
ZO zoic gender (animals) [5]


  • Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition.
  • Leipzig Glossing Rules
  • Payne, Thomas E. 1997. Describing Morphosyntax.
  • Bybee, Perkins, Pagliuca. 1994. The Evolution of Grammar.
  • Blake, Barry J. (2001) [1994]. Case (Second ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 195–206.
  • Aikhenvald, Alexandra. 2004. Evidentiality.
  • Helasvuo, Marja-Liisa. Argument splits in Finnish grammar and discourse.
  • Bernd Heine, Tania Kuteva. 2006. The changing languages of Europe.
  • Paul Kroeber. 1999. The Salish language family: reconstructing syntax.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm Comrie, B., Haspelmath, M., & Bickel, B. (2008). The Leipzig Glossing Rules: Conventions for interlinear morpheme-by-morpheme glosses. Department of Linguistics of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology & the Department of Linguistics of the University of Leipzig. Retrieved January, 28, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch The encyclopedia of language & linguistics (2nd ed.). Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-08-044854-1.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh Christian Lehmann (2004), Interlinear morphemic glossing, In: Booij, Geert & Lehmann, Christian & Mugdan, Joachim & Skopeteas, Stavros (eds.), Morphologie. Ein internationales Handbuch zur Flexion und Wortbildung. 2. Halbband. Berlin: W. de Gruyter (Handbücher der Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft, 17.2), p. 1834-1857, taken from authors draft
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an The Oxford handbook of linguistic typology. Song, Jae Jung, 1958-. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2011. pp. xvii–xxii. ISBN 978-0-19-928125-1. OCLC 646393860.CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ Abbott, Clifford (1984). "Two feminine genders in Oneida". Anthropological Linguistics. 26 (No. 2 (Summer, 1984)): 125–137. JSTOR 30027499.