GB519 - grambank/grambank Wiki

Original URL:

Can mood be marked by a non-inflecting word (‘auxiliary particle')?


This feature covers all grammatical moods (the relationship between the referred event/state/action and reality and/or speakers' attitude toward what they are saying) and aims to capture phonologically free elements that do not inflect (i.e. do not change form depending on person, number and other categories of the core arguments). These markers are often described as ‘particles' in the literature, but are also analyzed under other labels. We are interested in grammatical marking, i.e. dedicated, productive and obligatory marking.

While negation or interrogation can be considered as grammatical moods, they are not included in this feature.


  1. Look up the section on mood marking in the grammatical description.
  2. Consider all marking of mood, e.g. not only conditional.
  3. If you do not find any non-inflecting phonologically free mood markers, code as 0.
  4. If there is a non-inflecting phonologically free marker that clearly marks mood, code the language as 1.
  5. If it is not clear whether the marker marks mood, code the language as ?.


Hawai'ian (ISO 639-3: haw, Glottolog: hawa1245)

Hawai'ian marks imperative/intentive mood with e/ø, ō and i. When used with the second person it denotes imperative mood (see example a), but when used with the first or third persons the meaning denotes a vague desire, need, purpose, necessity or probability (see example b, Elbert & Pukui 1979: 61). The glossing in the examples is done by the patron.

a. E hele 'oe
   IMP/INT go 2sg
   ‘You must go!’ (Elbert & Pukui 1979: 61)

b. Malia ō hele au
   Perhaps IMP/INT go 1sg
   ‘Maybe I'll go’ (Elbert & Pukui 1979: 61)

Hawai'ian is coded 1.

Further reading

Bybee, Joan, Revere Perkins & Pagliuca, William. 1994. The evolution of grammar. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Dahl, Östen. 1985. Tense and aspect systems. Oxford: Blackwell.

Narrog, Heiko. 2012. Modality, subjectivity, and semantic change: A cross-linguistic perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Palmer, Frank R. 2001. Mood and modality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Elbert, Samuel H. & Mary Kawena Pukui. 1979. Hawaiian grammar. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Related Features


Hedvig Skirgård