Feature GB186: Can an article agree with the noun in number?



An article is a marker that accompanies the noun and expresses notions such as (non-)specificity and (in)definiteness. When an article is marked for number, this counts as agreement even if the head noun is not overtly marked for number. This includes both definite and indefinite articles.


  1. Code 1 if there is a marker that is used with articles that varies according to the number of the head noun, or if articles have a different form depending on the number of the head noun.
  2. Code 0 if articles do not agree with the noun in number.
  3. Code ? if there appears to be agreement but it is unclear whether it is agreement for number.


Mele-Fila (ISO 639-3: mxe, Glottolog: mele1250)

Coded 1. Articles in Mele-Fila mark distinctions of number, definiteness and affection. Articles prefix to the noun and agree for singular, dual/paucal and plural number. Mele-Fila is coded 1.

a. te-fare
‘the house’ (Clark 2002: 684)

b. rii-tama
‘the two little children’ (Clark 2002: 684)

(Abbreviations: AFC affective)

Eastern Armenian (ISO 639-3: hye, Glottolog: nucl1235)

Coded 0. When the noun is plural, it is marked with a plural case marker suffix which is followed by the definite article suffix. For this to be coded 1, there would need to be agreement on the definite article even if number is not marked on the noun. In this case, both number and the definite article are marked on the noun.

Gyułaci-ner-ě      gnac-’in    dašt.
farmer-PL.NOM-DEF  go-AOR.3PL  field.NOM
‘The farmers went to the field.’ (Dum-Tragut 2009: 108)

Further reading

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


Clark, Ross. 2002. Ifira-Mele. In John Lynch, Malcolm Ross & Terry Crowley (eds), The Oceanic languages, 681–693. Richmond: Curzon.

Dum-Tragut, Jasmine. 2009. Armenian: Modern Eastern Armenian. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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Customize map markers:
0 absent
1 present
? Not known



Name Glottocode Family Macroarea Contributor Value Source Comment