Inclusivity in verbal inflection

An inclusive/exclusive distinction may occur among personal pronouns, possessive pronouns, possessive affixes, or verbal inflection. Languages with this distinction differentiate a non-plural first person (‘we’) that includes the listener from one that excludes the listener. Verbal inflection involves person-marking grammatical morphemes (optional or required) that can only attach to the main or auxiliary verb[1].


NoCjg: Verbal inflection does not exist.

Pl1=Sg1: First-person singular and non-singular forms are identical; number is determined by contextual cues.

Pl1=Pl1: First-person plural does not have an inclusive/exclusive distinction.

Pl1Excl: Only the exclusive first-person plural form is distinguished; first-person singular and plural are otherwise identical.[2]

Pl1Icl: Only the inclusive first-person plural form is distinguished; first-person singular and plural are otherwise identical.[3]

Pl1InclNotExcl: Distinct forms exist for first-person singular, exclusive first-person plural, and inclusive first-person plural.

Note: If the verbal inflection system includes non-binary grammatical numbers, such as dual, trial, or paucal, this should be noted in the commentary, particularly if these numbers differ from the plural in their distinction of inclusivity.


[1] To constitute verbal inflection, these morphemes (including zero morphemes) must attach to the verb. Other syntactic positions, such as the first morpheme in the sentence, are not equivalent.

[2] While this type is theoretically possible, no examples of it are known to exist.

[3] Synthetic marking does not constitute a morphological strategy and should therefore not be considered for this value. Specifically, the first-person singular and exclusive first-person plural may differ only in their plural marker; if this marker is shared by the inclusive first-person plural, the language should be classified as Pl1InclNotExcl.