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Morphology. Inflection. Agreement. I/You always sing/*sings the same song. She always *sing/sings the same song. Agreement paradigms. ég heyr-I ‘I hear’ við heyr-um ‘we hear’ þú heyr-ir ‘you hear’ þið heyr-ið ‘you(pl) hear’ hann heyr-ir ‘he hears’ þeir heyr-a ‘they hear’

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I/You always sing/*sings the same song.

She always *sing/sings the same song.

agreement paradigms
Agreement paradigms

ég heyr-I ‘I hear’ við heyr-um ‘we hear’

þú heyr-ir ‘you hear’ þið heyr-ið ‘you(pl) hear’

hann heyr-ir ‘he hears’ þeir heyr-a ‘they hear’


io cred-o ‘I believe’ noi cred-iamo ‘we believe’

tu cred-i ‘you believe’ voi cred-ete ‘you(pl) believe’

lui cred-e ‘he believes’ loro cred-ono ‘they believe’


jeg hør-er ‘I hear’ vi hør-er ‘we hear’

du hør-er ‘you hear’ I hør-er ‘you(pl) hear’

han hør-er ‘he hears’ de hør-er ‘they hear’


ek werk ‘I work’ ons werk ‘we work’

jy werk ‘you work’ julle werk ‘you(pl) work’

hy werk ‘he works’ hulle werk ‘they work’


object agreement
Object agreement

Pe-fi-n iñche metawe.

see-3singular-1singular I vessel

‘I see the vessel’


subject object agreement
Subject/object agreement

with definite object no definite object

singular plural singular plural

1 szeret-em szeret-jük szeret-ek szeret-ünk

2 szeret-ed szeret-itek szeret-sz szeret-tek

3 szeret-i szeret-ik szeret szeret-nek


adjective noun agreement
Adjective-noun agreement

de koe het paard (Dutch)

de oud-e koe het oud-e paard

een oud-e koe een oud paard

oud-e koeien oud-e paarden

more gender agreement
More gender agreement

Ov-a star-a knjiga je pal-a. book( is fallen-


bræður mín-ir systur mín-ar



indicative subjunctive

sg pl sg pl

1 dig-o dec-imos dig-a dig-amos

2 dic-es dec-ís dig-as dig-áis

3 dic-e dic-en dig-a dig-an


Imperative mood

Clean your room right now!


Present Past

laudō ‘I praise’ laudā́bam ‘I praised’

laudās ‘you praise’ laudā́bās ‘you praised’

laudat ‘s/he praises’ laudā́bat ‘s/he praised’

laudā́mus ‘we praise’ laudābā́mus ‘we praised’

laudā́tis ‘you(pl) praise’ laudābā́tis ‘you(pl) praised’

laudant ‘they praise’ laudā́bant ‘they praised’


Future Perfect

laudā́bō ‘I will praise’ laudā́vī ‘I have praised’

laudā́bis ‘you will praise’ laudāvístī ‘you have praised’

laudā́bit ‘s/he will praise’ laudā́vit ‘s/he has praised’

laudā́bimus ‘we will praise’ laudā́vimus ‘we have praised’

laudā́bitis ‘you(pl) will praise’ laudāvístis ‘you have praised’

laudā́bunt ‘they will praise’ laudāvḗrunt ‘they have praised’

Agreement on a non-finite verb:

Kellemetlen volt Jánosnak az igazságot bevalla-ni-a.

unpleasant was John the truth admit-inf-3sg

‘It was unpleasant for John to admit the truth.’



Der Mann gab der Frau den Hut. (German)

the man gave the woman the hat

Die Frau gab dem Mann den Hut.

the woman gave the man the hat

Die Frau sah den Mann.

the woman saw the man

der Hut [des Mann-es]

the hat the-gen man-gen

‘the man’s hat’


the nominative case for subjects

the genitive case for ‘possessors’ of another noun

the dative case for indirect objects

the accusative case for direct objects

singular plural

nominative femin-afemin-ae

genitive femin-ae femin-arum

dative femin-ae femin-is

accusative femin-am femin-as


a bit more case
A bit more case...

1 Nominative talo house (subject) (Finnish)

2 Genitive talon of a house

3 Accusative talon house (certain direct objects)

4 Partitive taloa house (certain direct objects, certain subjects)

5 Essive talona as a house

6 Translative taloksi to a house (fig.)

7 Inessive talossa in a house

8 Elative talosta out of a house

9 Illative taloon into a house

10 Adessive talolla at a house

11 Ablative talolta from a house

12 Allative talolle to a house (concr.)

13 Abessive talotta without a house

ergative absolutive case systems
Ergative/absolutive case systems

a. Der Mann schlief. (German)

the-nom man slept

b. Der Mann las den Artikel.

the-nom man read the-acc article

a. Arnaq yurartuq. (Yup’ik)

woman-abs dances

b. Angutem tangrraa arnaq.

man-erg seeswoman-abs

‘The man sees the woman’ (NOT: ‘The woman sees the man.’)

What may happen if you don’t apply agreement, mood and case inflection properly:


*break-ed broke

*steal-ed stole

*sting-ed stung

*ring-ed rang


*be-ed *bong/*bung/*bang was

*go-ed *gong/*gung/*gang went


I walk-ed, you walk-ed, she walk-ed, we walk-ed, you walk-ed, they walk-ed

I rang, you rang, she rang, we rang, you rang, they rang

I went, you went, she went, we went, you went, they went


Why do went and goed, or sang and singed,

not co-exist?


A more specific form blocks a less specific form.

warmer, faster, quicker

#more warm, #more fast, #more quick

*beautifuller, *comfortabler, *typicaller

more beautiful, more comfortable, more typical