I want to know if there are other parts of speech -other than particles- in other languages than English or other Romance/Germanic languages.

  • 1
    Good question, though I wouldn't count particles and inflections as parts of speech. We have perhaps verb, noun, adjective, preposition/postposition, and then what?
    – Greg Lee
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 1:23
  • English also has adverbs, at least :) And I love romantic languages. Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 3:52
  • The 'Part of speech' WP page lists some parts of speech under the section 'functional classification'. Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 5:41
  • @IvanKapitonov's answer is quite romantic, but, more explicitly, the usual name is: romance languages.
    – GAM PUB
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 7:14
  • 2
    Different linguists analyse language in different ways which makes this too broad.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 22:11

4 Answers 4


The most important message is that about one dozen parts of speech seem to be sufficient for part-of-speech (POS) tagging. Additional markers often include things not classically regarded as parts of speech, such as punctuation, symbols (e.g., for Twitter corpora!) and a "residual" container class for everything else.

There is some disagreement about the content of some classes: Traditionally, pronouns include pronomial adverbs and adjectives. A modern school takes the pronomial adjectives out of the pronoun class and names them determiners (and often, the classical articles are put there, too) and classifies the pronomial adverbs (e.g., "how") just as adverbs.

There are several attempts to unify POS over languages, and here are some them:

EAGLES: http://www.ilc.cnr.it/EAGLES96/pub/eagles/corpora/annotate.ps.gz EAGLES Recommendations for the morphosyntactic annotation of corpora, ''Obligatory attributes/values, Major Categories'', §4.2.1 on page 7

OXFORD: http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/docs/URG/codes.html#klettpos Simplified Wordclass Tags

STTS/HW: http://www.sfs.uni-tuebingen.de/resources/stts-1999.pdf Guidelines für das Tagging deutscher Textcorpora mit STTS (Kleines und großes Tagset), ''Hauptwortarten'', Tabelle 2.1 on page 4

TANL: http://medialab.di.unipi.it/wiki/Tanl_POS_Tagset#Coarse-grained_tags Tanl Coarse Grained Tags

UD-17: http://universaldependencies.github.io/docs/u/pos/all.html Universal Dependencies

UP-12: http://www.petrovi.de/data/universal.pdf Universal POS 2nd paragraph in the right hand column of page 2

The summary table below shows the tags drawn from the tag sets quoted above (in their original spelling).

||= EAGLES =||= OXFORD =||= STTS/HW =||= TANL=||= UP-12 =||= UD-17 =||= Notes =||
||  N       ||  SUBST   ||  N        ||  S    ||  NOUN   ||  NOUN   || noun    ||
||          ||          ||           ||       ||         ||  PROPN  || proper noun/named entity ||
||  V       ||  VERB    ||  V        ||  V    ||  VERB   ||  VERB   || verb    ||
||          ||          ||           ||       ||         ||  AUX    || auxiliary verb (includes modal auxiliaries like ''should'' or ''must'') ||
||  AJ      ||  ADJ     ||  ADJ      ||  A    ||  ADJ    ||  ADJ    || adjective ||
||  PD      ||  PRON    ||  P        ||       ||         ||         || pronoun/determiner (as one single class) ||
||  AT      ||  ART     ||  ART      ||  R    ||         ||         || article ||
||          ||          ||           ||  D    ||  DET    ||  DET    || determiner ||
||          ||          ||           ||  T    ||         ||         || predeterminer (e.g., '''tutto''' il giorno)
||          ||          ||           ||  P    ||  PRON   ||  PRON   || pronoun ||
||  AV      ||  ADV     ||  ADV      ||  B    ||  ADV    ||  ADV    || adverb ||
||  AP      ||  PREP    ||  AP       ||  E    ||  ADP    ||  ADP    || adposition (circum-, pre-, postposition) ||
||  C       ||  CONJ    ||  KO       ||  C    ||  CONJ   ||  CONJ   || conjunction ||
||          ||          ||           ||       ||         ||  SCONJ  || subordinating conjunction ||
||  NU      ||          ||  CARD     ||  N    ||  NUM    ||  NUM    || numeral; cardinal numeral (ordinals are tagged as adjectives or adverbs) ||
||  I       ||  INTERJ  ||  ITJ      ||  I    ||         ||  INTJ   || interjection ||
||  U       ||          ||  PTK      ||       ||  PRT    ||  PART   || unique; particle ||
||  R       ||  UNC     ||           ||  X    ||  X      ||  X      || residual; unclassified; other ||
||          ||          ||           ||       ||         ||  SYM    || symbol ($, %, §, ©, +, −, 😝, !http://example.org, [email protected]) ||
||  PU      ||  STOP    ||           ||  F    ||  .      ||  PUNCT  || punctuation ||
||  13      ||  11      ||  11       ||  14   ||  12     ||  17     || total number of tags ||

STTS/HW lacks generic tags for punctuation and other: They could be supplemented as $ (for punctuation) and X (for other)

UP-12 lacks a tag for interjection; interjections are mapped to the class X

UP-12 and UD-17 lack a tag for article, it is absorbed into the determiner class.

TANL lacks the category particle, the Italian negation particle ''non'' is classified as an adverb.

TANL considers article, determiner, predeterminer, and pronoun as first-class citizens in parts-of-speech.

OXFORD classifies cardinal numbers as adjectives.

  • re: OXFORD: Cardinal numbers as adjectives? I can't find the adjective in "2 and 2 make 4." Commented Oct 25, 2022 at 18:51
  • This is how they treat them. The CLAWS5 tag "CRD" is mapped to "ADJ" as seen in the linked documentation. Commented Oct 26, 2022 at 8:27
  • These sets were not developed to do the same things as (for instance) generative or traditional grammars were sposta do. Consequently they don't preserve the same properties as they do
    – jlawler
    Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 18:44

The problem with this question is that parts of speech are just a construct used for the description of language - not necessarily a real thing in a language. You can see that across languages only nouns and verbs are fairly uncontroversially universal with adjectives being another good but still disputed candidate (See Dixon's Basic Linguistic Theory).

So if you were starting with a different language you might be surprised by things like determiners in the languages you list or prepositions. Other languages may have various classifiers that may seem a bit strange. There are other things that represent a distinct category but do not make it as a part of speech like quantifiers. Even in English, you will find lists ranging between 8 and 11 different parts of speech depending on the authors' perspective and need.

You will also find a lot of variations in the internal typology of parts of speech across languages. So Czech pronouns and English pronouns or adjectives will come out looking quite different (e.g. Czech possessive adjectives).


After a quick scan of the paper A Common Parts-of-Speech Tagset Framework for Indian Languages, nothing stood out as particularly distinct from the POS of European languages. However, on running over a chapter from Antony's thesis on Kannada, I noticed two categories I have not seen in most European languages: echo words, and reduplication. Finnish and Hungarian seem to have these two categories of words.

On second thought, English seems to have echo words too (teensy-weensy, itty-bitty, higgledy-piggledy, etc.) but I have not come across POS tag sets that recognize these as a separate category, probably because there are just a handful of such expressions in English. In contrast, in Indian languages, these POS categories are open classes.

  • 3
    I would consider "echo words" as a type of word formation, but not as a word class (part of speech). I don't know what reduplication is in Finnish, but in Latin it is a rare way of forming the perfect stem of irregular verbs as in curr-ere to run, perfect cu-curr-i I have run. That has nothing to do with word class. The word class of cucurri is verb.
    – rogermue
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 19:21
  • Could I add that English has one verb whose past tense is formed by reduplication: Do/did. The second 'd' isn't the weak-verb suffix, but an echo of the first. Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 19:29
  • @rogermue You first sentence applies just fine to English, but not to Indian languages, as explained in my second paragraph. In Indian languages, Echo words modify the semantics in a manner quite different from my English examples. While the word class of the resultant phrase is the same as the root word (be it noun, verb, adjective or adverb), what would you say is the word class of the echo word? Keep in mind that the echo word cannot be used in isolation.
    – prash
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 20:22
  • @DavidGarner Even if "did" is seen historically as a verb form with reduplication, this is not a word class, did is a verb form.
    – rogermue
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 21:29
  • @prash I've read what Wikipedia says about echo words in Tamil. A special word form that can be added after a noun with the meaning "and similar things". I doubt that such words (the form depends on the form of the noun) that only have one meaning form a word class. Its more an idiom-like thing. I doubt that anyone would say that "and the like" is a word class, even if that expression changes its form according the preceding noun.
    – rogermue
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 21:41

English has: noun, pronoun, adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, interjection, particle (yes, no, to), article.

English has several forms of verb that can be considered parts of speech depending on viewpoint: present participle, past participle, gerund.

Russian does not have articles, but has participle and transgressive. Both described as a form of a verb in English Wikipedia (English also has participles), but in Russian linguistics they are considered separate parts of speech.

German language has another form of verb, known as "inflective". This can also be viewed as a separate part of speech depending on viewpoint. In Russian such words are considered interjections.

Some languages (including English and Latin) have clitics, which are sometimes classified as parts of speech, but I prefer to count them as parts or word (morphemes) that come after ending (prefix(es)-root-suffix(es)-ending-clitic). In Russian clitics (-де) are classified as particles.

  • ... and numerals? Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 17:48

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