Sign up ×
Linguistics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional linguists and others with an interest in linguistic research and theory. It's 100% free, no registration required.

A single verb usually describes an action or state --the common dimension of verb among languages.

But in addition to that it may convey more information e.g. tense, person, gender of subject, emotion of its subject, ... .

In its most general form among all languages which dimensions for a single verb are conceivable?

share|improve this question
All of that information do not belong to the same category: some are morphological features, others are suprasegmental features... Also, I'm not sure what you're asking: are you looking for a list of all these features? – Alenanno Nov 1 '12 at 11:02
@Alenanno Yes, I am looking for a list of all those features plus name of some of languages that have that feature. – PHPst Nov 1 '12 at 11:21
4 as something to start with – Alex B. Nov 1 '12 at 14:28
You could also browse – lapropriu Nov 1 '12 at 16:06
Linguists often talk about TAM: tense, aspect, mood (and sometimes they add E, evidentiality) as being grammatical functions commonly indicated through verb morphosyntax. But there are languages where verbs are marked for none of these and languages where verbs are marked for all sorts of other things. And then there's person/number/gender/etc, which may be more about agreement than conveying information. – Gaston Ümlaut Nov 19 at 4:12

1 Answer 1 is a helpful superset of the possible dimensions and some of their possible values. The dimensions that I would consider applicable to verbs:
- agent person + number + gender
- object (whether there was one, and possibly person + number + gender)
- tense
- aspect
- mood
- voice
- negation

There is overlapping functionality, eg passive voice and reflexity ie object, and impossible combinations, eg aspect is not necessarily distinguished in all tenses.

And of course, what some languages express with verbs, other languages express with nouns or adverbs or even random particles.

You could also look at verb arguments, ie valency.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.