GB094 - grambank/grambank Wiki

Can the P argument be indexed by a prefix/proclitic on the verb in the simple independent clause?


Is there a phonologically bound P argument index that precedes its verbal host (i.e. attaches to it as a prefix or a proclitic)?


  1. Consider the section in the grammar that deals with verbal morphology, specifically the subsections on (pronominal) agreement or argument cross-referencing.
  2. Code 1 if there is a phonologically bound element that indexes the P argument on the verb or auxiliary. The index needs to precede the verbal host it is bound to.
  3. If there is some variation in the position of the P index conditioned by the verb (e.g. most verbs code the A argument with a suffix, but a couple use a prefix), consider only the patterns which occur with large classes of verbs.
  4. If the verb shows overt indexing only with some arguments (e.g. only with animate arguments or only with first person singular arguments, the situation known as differential argument indexing), this still counts as 1.
  5. If the P argument is indexed but not by a prefix or proclitic, code 0.
  6. If there is no indexing of the P argument, code 0.
  7. If only a small set of verbs (fewer than a dozen) indexes P arguments, code 0.
  8. Ignore all other ways of indexing arguments (e.g. via a stem alternation, stress or tone), they are not covered by any of the Grambank features.


Yuracaré (ISO 639-3: yuz, Glottolog: yura1255)

Code as 1. Subjects and objects are indexed on the verb; subjects are suffixes and objects are prefixes (van Gijn 2006: 144–145).

‘You hit me.’ (van Gijn 2006: 145)

Bukiyip (ISO 639-3: ape, Glottolog: buki1249)

The verb in Bukiyip indexes S, A, and P arguments. The position of the argument person-number-gender indexes varies depending on the verb class (Conrad & Wogiga 1991: 25–33). The following transitive classes are distinguished:

It is impossible to identify one major position of P indexes, as both class 2 and 4 (suffixes), as well as class 3 (prefixes) are large in number, so code as 1 for both GB093 and GB094.

H-a-b-ah                        (oub).
3SG.M.SBJ-REAL-3PL.OBJ(16)-eat  coconuts(16)
‘He ate (coconuts).’ (Conrad & Wogiga 1991: 27)

Korowai (ISO 639-3: khe, Glottolog: koro1312)

Independent verb forms index subject (S and A) person-number, status, mood, and aspect. They are used in independent (final) clauses, subordinate clauses, and chained (medial) clauses. Code as 0 as there is no indexing of the P argument on the verb (see de Vries & van Enk 1997: 87–90, 183).

nu  maun   mi-p
I   water  drink-1SG.INTENT
‘I want to drink water.’ (de Vries & van Enk 1997: 67)

Further reading

Haspelmath, Martin. 2013. Argument indexing: a conceptual framework for the syntactic status of bound person forms. In Dik Bakker & Martin Haspelmath (eds), Languages across boundaries: Studies in memory of Anna Siewierska, 198–226. Berlin: de Gruyter.

Siewierska, Anna. 2013. Alignment of verbal person marking. In Matthew S. Dryer & Martin Haspelmath (eds), The world atlas of language structures online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.


Conrad, Robert J. & Wogiga, Kepas. 1991. An outline of Bukiyip grammar. (Pacific Linguistics: Series C, 113.) Canberra: Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.

de Vries, Lourens & van Enk, Gerrit J. 1997. The Korowai of Irian Jaya: Their language and its cultural context. (Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics, 9.) Oxford: Oxford University Press.

van Gijn, Erik. 2006. A grammar of Yurakaré. Nijmegen: Radboud University. (Doctoral dissertation.)

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Alena Witzlack-Makarevich