List of glossing abbreviations

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

Note the following:

  • Abbreviations beginning with N- (a common prefix for non-) may not be listed separately. Abbreviations ending with -Z (a common suffix for -izer) are treated similarly. For example, NPST non-past and TRZ transitivizer are not listed below, as they are composable from N- non- + PST past and TR transitive + -Z -izer.
  • 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.
Gloss Meaning Reference
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)
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 ?
ABE abessive case (AKA caritive case or privative case: 'without') ?
ABL ablative case ('from') [1]
ABS absolutive case [1]
ACC accusative case [1]
ACCOM accompanier ?
ACT active voice, actor role (in role and reference grammar) ?
ADJ adjective [1]
ADE adessive case ('at'; more specific than LOC) ?
ADM admonitive mood (warning) ?
ADV adverb(ial), adverbial case [1]
AFF affirmative ?
AG, AGT agentive case (cf ACT) ?
AGR agreement [1]
ALL allative case ('to') [1]
AL, ALLOC allocutive agreement ?
ALIEN alienable possession ?
AN animate gender (cf R) ?
AND andative ('going towards', cf venitive) ?
ANT anterior tense (used for PRF in some traditions) ?
ANTE antessive case ('before') ?
ANTIC anticausative ?
ANTIP (AP) antipassive voice [1]
AOR aorist (= PFV or PST.PFV) ?
APP apposition ?
APPL (APL) applicative voice [1]
APPR apprehensive mood ?
APRX approximative ?
ART article [1]
ASP aspect ?
ASS associative case (= COM), assumptive mood, assertive mood ?
AT agent trigger (= AV agent voice) ?
ATT attenuative ?
ATTR attributive ?
AUD auditory evidential ?
AUG augmentative ?
AUX auxiliary verb [1]
B benefactive (when it is a core argument) ?
BE 'be' verb (a conflation of EXIST and COP) ?
BEN benefactive case ('for') [1]
C common gender; complementizer ?
CAP (cap)ability, modal case ?
CAUS (CAU) causative [1]
CENT centric case ?
CF counterfactual conditional ?
CIRC circumfix ?
CIT citation form ?
CLF (CL) classifier [1]
CMPD compound ?
CNJ conjunction (= CONJ) ?
CNSQ consequential mood ?
CNTR contrastive ?
COL collective number ?
COM comitative case ('together with') [1]
COMP complementizer (comparative) [1]
COMPL (CPL) completive aspect [1]
CON concrete ?
CONC concessive ?
COND conditional mood [1]
CONJ conjunction (= CNJ) ?
CONN connective particle ?
CONT, CTN continuous aspect; continuative aspect ?
COP copula [1]
COR coreference ?
CRAS crastinal tense ('tomorrow') ?
CRS current relevance marker (as in the perfect) ?
CVB converb [1]
D core dative case ?
DAT dative case [1]
DE different event, change of event (cf DS) ?
DECL (DEC) declarative mood [1]
DEF definite [1]
DEI, DEIX deixis, deictic ?
DEL delayed imperative (a command to do s.t. later) ?
DEL delative case ('off of'), deliberative mood ?
DEM demonstrative [1]
DEO deontic mood ?
DEP dependent (as in DEP.FUT) ?
DER derivation, derivational ?
DES, DESI desiderative mood ?
DEST destinative aspect ?
DET determiner [1]
DETR detransitive ?
DH motion downhill, seaward (cf DR) ?
DIM diminutive ?
DIR direct evidential (= EXP); directional (= LAT); direct case ?
DISJ disjunction ?
DIST distal demonstrative [1]
DISTR distributive case [1]
DITR ditransitive ?
DLM delimited ?
DM discourse marker ?
DO direct object ?
DR motion downriver (cf DH) ?
DS different-subject (change of subject) marker (cf DE) ?
DU dual number [1]
DUB dubitative mood ?
DUR durative aspect (continuous aspect) [1]
DY, DYAD dyadic ?
DYN dynamic aspect ?
E epenthetic morpheme ?
-E (used to form various -essive cases) ?
ELA elative case ('out of') ?
EMP emphatic ?
EPIS epistemic mood or modality ?
ERG ergative case [1]
ESS essive case ?
EV, EVID evidential ?
EVIT evitative case (= aversive case) ?
EXCL (EX) exclusive person [1]
EXCLAM exclamative ?
EX.DUR excessive duration ?
EXESS exessive case ?
EXH exhortative ?
EXIST existential ('there is') ?
EXO exocentric case ?
EXP, EXPER experiential, eyewitness, = direct evidential ?
EXPL expletive (dummy / meaningless form) ?
F (FEM) feminine gender [1]
FACT factive evidential ?
FAM familiar register (as the T–V distinction) ?
FIN finite verb ?
FOC focus [1]
FORM formal register (as the T–V distinction) ?
FP final particle (joshi) ?
FR, FREQ frequentative aspect ?
FMR former, deceased ?
FUT future tense [1]
G gender (G4 = the 4th gender) ?
GEN genitive case [1]
GER gerund ?
GNO gnomic (generic) aspect ?
GT goal trigger (Austronesian; = GV goal voice) ?
HAB habitual aspect ?
HBL humble register ?
HEST hesternal tense ('yesterday') ?
HIST historic(al), as in historical present or past historic tense ?
HOD hodiernal tense ('today') ?
HON honorific ?
HORT hortative ?
HSY hearsay, reported evidential ?
HUM human, anthropic gender (cf. HBL; R) ?
HYP hypothetical mood ?
I inflected ?
ID identical (~ NID) ?
IDENTIF identifiable ?
IDEO ideophone (≈ MIM) ?
IGNOR ignorative ?
ILL illative case ('into') ?
IMM immediate, as in immediate imperative mood, near future tense ?
IMP imperative mood [1]
IMPERF imperfect (= PST.IPFV) ?
IMPR, IMPREC imprecative mood ?
IMPRS impersonal verb ?
INCL (IN) inclusive person [1]
INAL inalienable possession ?
INAN inanimate gender ?
INCH, INCHO, INCEP inchoative aspect, inceptive aspect ?
IND indicative mood [1]
INDF ([CS Ch.ndef]) indefinite [1]
INE inessive case ('in') ?
INF infinitive [1]
INFER, INFR inferential mood ?
INEL inelative case ('from within') ?
INS (INSTR) instrumental case [1]
INT intensifier; interrogative (= Q) ?
INTEN intentional ?
INTR (NTR) intransitive (covers an intransitive case for the S argument) [1]
INV inverse ?
IO indirect object ?
IPFV imperfective aspect (= NPFV) [1]
IRR irrealis mood [1]
IS indirect speech ?
ITER iterative aspect ?
JUS jussive mood ?
-L (used to form various -lative cases) ?
L2 second language (code-switching) ?
LAT lative case (= MVMT, direction) ?
LD locative case + directional ?
LK linking element, interfix ?
LOC locative case (includes essive case) [1]
LOG logophoric ?
M (MASC) masculine gender [1]
MAN manner ?
MID middle voice ?
MIM mimetic (≈ IDEO) ?
MIR (ad)mirative ?
MLT, MLTP multiplicative case ?
MOD mood, modal, modal case ?
MOM single action verb (not iterative) ?
MVT movement ?
N (NEUT) neuter gender [1]
N- non- (e.g. NSG non-singular, NPST non-past, NF non-feminine) [1]
NEG negation, negative [1]
NF non-finite (nonfinite verb, non-finite clause) or non-feminine ?
NH non-human ?
NMLZ (NMZ, NZ, NOMI) nominalizer/nominalization [1]
NOM nominative case [1]
NS non-subject (see oblique case) ?
NTR, INTR intransitive (covers an intransitive case for the S argument) ?
NUM numeral ?
O patient-like argument (object) of canonical transitive verb (= P) [1]
OBJ, OB object; objective case ?
OBL oblique case [1]
OBV obviative ?
OPT optative mood ?
ORD ordinal numeral ?
P patient-like argument of canonical transitive verb (= O) [1]
P pre-, post- (P.HOD prehodiernal) ?
PART participle (= PTCP,PCP); particle (= PTCL); partitive case (= PTV) ?
PASS (PAS) passive voice [1]
PAT patientive (= UND) ?
PA, PAU paucal number ?
PEG pegative case (a special case for the giver) ?
PER perlative case ('per', using) ?
PERF, PRF perfect (= RET) ?
PERS personal ?
PFV perfective aspect [1]
PL plural [1]
PLU, PLUR pluractional ?
PM phrase marker, predicate marker ?
PN, PRO pronoun ?
PO primary object ?
POL polite register ?
POSS (POS) possessive marker [1]
POST postposition, postpositional case ?
POSTE postessive case ('after') ?
POSTEL postelative case ?
POT potential mood ?
PP past / passive participle ?
PPFV past perfective ?
PPP past passive participle ?
PR proper noun ?
PREC precative mood (requests) ?
PRED predicate, predicative [1]
PREP preposition, prepositional case ?
PRESP present participle ?
PRET, PRT preterite (= PFV.PST) ?
PRF (PERF) perfect (= RET) [1]
PRIV privative case ?
PRS (PRES) present tense [1]
PROB probability ?
PROG progressive aspect [1]
PROH prohibitive mood ('don't!') [1]
PROL prolative case (= VIA) ?
PROP propositive mood ?
PROS prosecutive case ('across', 'along') ?
PROSP, PRSP prospective aspect ?
PROT protasis ?
PROX proximal demonstrative; proximate [1]
PST past tense [1]
PT patient trigger ?
PTCL, PTC particle ?
PTCP (PCP) participle [1]
PTV partitive case ('some of') ?
PURP purposive case [1]
Q question word or particle (= INT) [1]
QUOT quotative (quotative case or quotative mood) [1]
R rational gender (thinking beings) ?
REAL realis mood ?
REC recent past tense ?
RECP reciprocal voice [1]
REF, RFR referential ?
REFL reflexive (reflexive pronoun, reflexive voice) [1]
REL relative (relativizer) [1]
REM remote past tense ?
REP reported evidential (= HSY); repetitive (cf ITER) ?
RES resultative; resumptive [1]
RET Retrospective (synonym for 'perfect' in some traditions) ?
ROOT root ?
S single argument of canonical intransitive verb (cf CIT) [1]
sub}}) subject [1]
SBJV (SJV) subjunctive mood [1]
SE same event (cf SS) ?
SEM semelfactive aspect ('once') ?
SENS sensory evidential mood (= VIS+AUD) ?
SEQ sequential ?
SG singular (but 1.SG = 1s, 3MASC.SG = 3ms) [1]
SGV singulative number ?
SIM simultaneous aspect; similative ?
SPEC specifier; speculative mood ?
SS same-subject marker (cf SE) ?
STAT, STV stative aspect, stative verb ?
STEM stem ?
SUB, SU subject ?
SUBR, SUBORD, SBRD, SR subordinator ?
SUBE subessive case ('under') ?
SUBL sublative case ('onto', 'down onto') ?
SUC successive ('then') ?
SUP(L) superlative (SUPL); supine; supplicative ?
SUPE superessive case ('on') ?
-T trigger (used for AT, PT) ?
TAM tense, aspect, or mood ?
TEL telic aspect (cf PFV) ?
TEMP temporal case ?
TERM terminative case ?
TNS tense ?
TOP topic [1]
TR (TRANS) transitive verb, transitive case (rare) [1]
TRANSL translative case (becoming) ?
TRI trial number ?
TRN trans-numeral (neither SG nor PL) ?
TVF truth-value focus ?
U uninflected ?
UH motion uphill, inland (cf UR) ?
UND undergoer role (cf PAT) ?
UR motion upriver (cf UH) ?
USIT usitative, for usual, customary or typical events ?
V, VB verb or verbal ?
VBZ verbalizer ?
VD verb, ditransitive ?
VEN venitive (coming towards; cf andative) ?
VER veridical, veridical mood (a certain conditional) ?
VIA vialis case ?
VIS visible, visual ?
VI verb, intransitive ?
VN verbal noun ?
VOC vocative case [1]
VOL volitive mood ?
VT verb, transitive ?
WH.Q wh- question ?
-Z -(al)izer (e.g. TRZ transitivizer) ?
ZO zoic gender (animals) ?


  • 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 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.