Tag Discussion

This document discusses some unclear cases in the tagging.


Mari has 4 plural suffixes.

  1. пӧрт-влак = Plural +Pl
  2. пӧрт-шамыч = Plural +Pl
  3. Трондмыт = Trond and his friends / family etc. +AssocPl
  4. яллаште, яллашке, ялла гыч, ... +LocusPl
    1. ял = village, -ла is a plural used in combination with local cases. -влак/-шамыч could be used here as well, but -ла is sort of preferred

Difference between (1) and (2) is dialectal. (3) is associative plural. (4) is referring to several locations.

The plurals 1-3 trigger Pl3 agreement in verbs, the fourth one does not.

Derivational genitive

We have no tag of the derivational genitive

  • мемнан-влак = наши.
  • мый мемнаным ужам = I see ours
  • Шке шонымашым шуктыман, а еҥыным огыл. - You have to carry out your own wishes, not those of others. еҥ-ын-ым: other.person-GEN-ACC
мемнаным = мый+Pron+Pers+Pl+Gen+Der/Poss+N+Sg+Acc

мемнаным = мый+Pron+Pers+Pl+Der/Poss+N+Sg+Acc

    "мый" Pron* Pers Pl Der/Ellipsis N Sg Acc

    "мый" Pron* Pers Pl Der/MWN N Sg Acc

пурышо лӱддымӧ разведчик шуко годым шкенжын-шамычше дене кылым телефон але


Productive in Western, sporadic in Eastern, forbidden by normative grammars.


ава to авай = vocative with -и for a class of nouns (Jeremy should deliver a list)

  1. авай = авай N Sg Nom (not optimal because no info on vocativity)
  2. авай = ава N Sg Voc (bad because of case stacking)
  3. авай =
    1. ава+N+Der/Voc+N+Sg+Nom (morphology)
    2. "ава" N* Der/Voc N Sg Nom (input to syntax, which will be @Vocative

It seems (3) is the best.

ӱдыр to ӱдырем = for all (other) words - do not mark

  1. a. Keep the morphology as Px, add @Vocative in the syntax
  2. b. Have an analysis Der/Voc parallel to Px and then disambiguate

It seems (1) for удыр and (3) for авай is best.

Possessive suffixes

  • PxSg1, PxSg2 ok
  • What about PxSg3, which is also used as what some call a clitic
    • a. two tags: PxSg3 and +Cl
    • b. one tag PxSg3 and two syntaxtic tags


  1. tag it for one word
  2. not tag it

==> Tag it


  • +Card
  • +Ord

Skip Card? Skip Ord?


Throw out +Cond

+Imprt: We want all attested forms, also Sg1?

+Inf may have +Dat

Infinite forms

We want to have all +Prc as fused tags

  • +ActPrc
  • +PassPrc
  • +FutPrc
  • +NegPrc

Then +Act and +Pass do not exist.

+Foc/я is missing, add it. (e.g. тол-я Oh come, please or something like this)

The description of gerunds is not yet optimal. Mari has the following gerunds, with all but the gerund in -н being attached directly to the verbal stem - with stem simplifications/alternations, if necessary. The gerunds of ышташ (-ем) to do:

  • Affirmative instructive gerund: ыштен
  • Negative gerund: ыштыде
  • Gerund of prior action: ыштымек(е)
  • Gerund of future action: ыштымеш(ке)
  • Gerund of simultaneous action: ыштышыла

Some open questions:

  • How do we want to gloss them? My suggestion would be - and in parentheses how they are glossed now:
    • +AffGer (+Ger+Gen)
    • +NegGer (+Ger+Abe)
    • +PriGer (+Ger+Prf)
    • +FutGer (+Ger+Imprf)
    • +SimGer (+Ger)
  • The software does not yet produce/recognize the short forms of PriGer and FutGer. These always exist - every verb has got them. The only overt difference between the short and long forms is that the long forms can take possessive suffixes (see below). (Furthermore, NegGer has a long form -дегеч (here then ыштыдегеч), not included in prescriptive materials, but worth including.)
  • PriGer, FutGer, and SimGer can take possessive suffixes (the first two cannot). For PriGer and FutGer, they're attached to the long forms by regular means. Strange stuff makkens with SimGer: the possessive suffix occurs between the two elements (-шы & -ла) of the gerund. Furthermore, possessive suffixes are NOT used in 1PL and 2PL. So the forms we want are - again of ышташ (-ем) 'to do':
    • 1Sg толшемла
    • 2Sg толшетла
    • 3Sg толшыжла
    • 1Pl -
    • 2Pl -
    • 3Pl толшыштла

Derivational morthology

+Der/ .. a lot of tags just not implemented yet.

Here's what's missing from 100% productive morphology - everything else we can leave to the lexicon, I'd say.

Verb > noun

All of these suffixes are attached to the verbal suffixes, all the usual simplifications/alternations occur (as did with participles)

  • -маш: nominalizer. тол- to come> толмаш coming
  • -дымаш: negative nominalizer. тол- to come> толдымаш not coming

Noun > adjective

  • -ан (-ян, -н): possessive adjective, having X: вӱд water> вӱдан watery
  • -(ы)сЕ (E = vowel-harmonic е/о/ӧ): relational adjective, spatially/temporally related to X: вӱд water> вӱдысӧ aquatic
    • can follow the plural suffix -ла discussed above: пӧрт house> пӧртла houses> пӧртласе of/in the houses
  • -дымЕ: privative adjective, -less: вӱд water> вӱддымӧ waterless
    • etymologically = NegPrc.
  • -лык: purposive adjective, for X: корно road> корнылык for the road
    • also adjective > noun to form abstract nouns: пашадыме unemployed> пашадымылык unemployment

Noun/adjective > verb

  • -аҥ (-яҥ, -ҥ): translative verbs (conj 1), to become X-y: вӱд 'water' > вӱдаҥаш (conj 1) to become watery
  • -ем (эм, -м): translative verbs, (conj 1), to become X: сай good> саемаш (conj 1) to improve (intr.)
    • only in combination with these two suffixes productive deverbal verbal suffix (conj 2) -д, which is a transitivizer: вӱдаҥаш (conj 1) to become watery> вӱдаҥдаш (conj 1) to make watery, саемаш (conj 1) to improve (intr.)> саемдаш (conj 2) to improve (tr.)

Verb > verb

  • -алт (-ялт): reflexive/intransitive/passive/impersonal (conj 1): ышташ (conj 2) to do> ышталташ (conj 1) to be done
    • There is also a sporadically used variant -ылт, but I think we can leave that one to the lexicon ...???
  • -(ы)кт: causative (conj 2): ышташ (conj 2) 'to do' > ыштыкташ (conj 1) to make someone do
    • Maybe we can have three slots for these derivational suffixes, so that we can have stem-DER-DER-DER-(inflectional morphology), to allow for all combinations: ышталтыкташ to make something be done, ыштыкталташ to be made to do, ... (one does find combinations of these suffixes, but anything beyond three of them at a time is probably just silly.)