Feature GB184: Can an adnominal property word agree with the noun in number?



Adnominal property words semantically roughly correspond to adjectives in languages that have a separate adjective class. The property word can agree in number with the head noun even if the head noun is not overtly marked for number.


  1. Code 1 if at least some adnominal property words overtly agree with the number of the head noun they modify.
  2. Code 0 if the author states that there is no agreement, or if there is no evidence of this in the data.


Yeri (ISO 639-3: yev, Glottolog: yapu1240)

Coded 1 (Wilson 2017: 129–132). Adjectives show plural agreement with their head noun, even if the head noun does not have a plural marker.

neigal  sɨpekɨ-i   yot-u-i       ∅-o           tapo.
cuscus  little-PL  DEM-MDIST-PL  3pl-stay.REAL tree.hole
‘Those small cuscuses live in the hole of the tree.’ 

Barambu (ISO 639-3: brm, Glottolog: bara1361)

Coded 1. The plural prefix is occasionally attached to adjectives. Plurality may also be shown through reduplication.

ä-gú̹ɽú̹-gu̹ɽu̹      a-ŋguà
PL-short-REDUP   PL-tree
‘short trees’ (Tucker & Bryan 1966: 146)

Kenga (ISO 639-3: kyq, Glottolog: keng1240)

Coded 1. In Kenga, the plural clitic can attach to the end of the noun phrase, so also to the adjective (Vandame 1968: 18–21).

Further reading

Corbett, Greville G. 2000. Number. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Tucker, Archibald N. & Margaret A. Bryan. 1966. Linguistic analyses: The Non-Bantu languages of North-Eastern Africa. (Handbook of African Languages.) London: Oxford University Press.

Vandame, Charles. 1968. Grammaire Kenga. (Études Linguistiques, 2.) Paris: Afrique et Language.

Wilson, Jennifer. 2017. A grammar of Yeri: A Torricelli language of Papua New Guinea. Buffalo: State University of New York. (Doctoral dissertation.)

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0 absent 1199
1 present 724
? Not known 279



Name Glottocode Family Macroarea Contributor Value Source Comment