I am looking at the sidebar on Wikipedia.

Are there languages which have "case" or "gender" or "number" or other "noun features" but instead of (or in addition to) being applied to nouns, they are applied to verbs, adjectives, or other word forms? Likewise, are there languages which have modality, person, or tense or other "verb features", but applied to nouns/adjectives/others instead of or in addition to verbs?

I am curious how broad these properties apply in natural and conlangs, and if you can have things that sit outside the traditional box.

  • I would not be surprised to find pairs of unrelated verbs, one reserved for animate and one for inanimate subjects (or objects), which are translated alike into most other languages. Commented Jun 22, 2023 at 1:52

1 Answer 1


OK, that sidebar reflects the features of the well-known Indogermanic languages (Latin, Greek, Russian, Sanskrit etc.). We see gender on verbs in Semitic languages and to a lesser amount also in some Latin and Romance contructions (e.g., Perfect Passive laudatus sum (m) vs. laudata sum (f) "I was lauded"). Although number is assigned to the nouns in the Wikipedia sidebar even the classical languages conjugate their verbs according to number.

While "traditional" languages only have gendered third person pronouns, many other languages also gender the first and second person pronouns.

You also could argue that the popular prefix ex- applied to nouns (as in ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend) adds some notion of the typically verbal category tense to the noun.

  • 1
    Gender and number are marked on verbs, sure, but they're properties of nouns.
    – Draconis
    Commented May 13, 2023 at 16:05
  • The last paragraph reminds me indirectly of a joke in Kruko kaj Baniko el Bervalo, in which a controversy over a vowel in a verb form is extended to noun roots. Commented Jun 22, 2023 at 1:49

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