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Agreement or concord is a form of cross-reference between different parts of a sentence or phrase. Agreement happens when a word changes form depending on the other words it relates to. In the UNLarium framework, agreement is defined through S-rules. Agreement is not informed in UNL.


Agreement is defined through S-rules in the following format:



  • <SYNTACTIC ROLE> is the syntactic role (VA, VC, VS, VH, etc) of the constituent in relation to the head; and
  • <AGREEMENT> is the agreement to be assigned, and may assume the following values:
    • ANUM = assigns number (if the constituent assigns number value to the head)
    • AGEN = assigns gender (if the constituent assigns gender value to the head)
    • APER = assigns person (if the constituent assigns person value to the head)
    • ACAS = assigns case (if the constituent assigns case value to the head)
    • ATNS = assigns tense (if the constituent assigns tense value to the head)
    • RNUM = receives number (if the constituent receives number value from the head)
    • RGEN = receives gender (if the constituent receives gender value from the head)
    • RPER = receives person (if the constituent receives person value from the head)
    • RCAS = receives case (if the constituent receives case value from the head)
    • RTNS = receives tense (if the constituent receives tense value from the the head)


number agreement: the verb agrees with its specifier in number (i.e., the specifier of the verb assigns number to the verb)
gender agreement: the adjunct agrees with the noun in gender (i.e., the adjunct receives gender from the noun)


Conditional agreement
Conditional agreement may be stated by defining the left side of the s-rule and coindexing it to the right side:
  • NA(+RGEN); (unconditional agreement: the adjunct always receives the gender from the noun);
  • NA(ADJ):=NA(+RGEN); (conditional agreement: the adjunct receives the gender from the noun if adjective);
  • NA(^PP):=NA(+RGEN); (conditional agreement: the adjunct receives the gender from the noun if not a prepositional phrase);
  • NA(GEN):=NA(+RGEN); (conditional agreement: the adjunct receives the gender from the noun if the noun has the feature gender (GEN);
Complex agreement
A single agreement rule may contain several agreement operations:
  • VS(+ANUM,+APER,+AGEN); (the specifier of the verb assigns number, person and gender to it)
  • NS(+RNUM,+RPER,+RGEN)NA(+RNUM,+RPER,+RGEN); (the specifier and the adjunct of the noun receives number, person and gender from it)
Use of "+"
As rules are conservative (i.e., features are preserved unless explicitly deleted), the use of "+" is actually optional:
  • VS(+RNUM); is the same as VS(RNUM);
Feature removal
Agreement features may be deleted through "-"
  • NA(-RGEN); (delete "receive gender" from all noun adjuncts)
  • NA(PP):=NA(-RGEN); (delete "receive gender" from all noun adjuncts that have the feature PP)
The symbol ^ is used for negation and to control infinite recursion
  • NA(^RGEN):=NA(+RGEN); (the adjunct receives the gender from the noun if it does not have the feature "receive gender")