Attribute Atr, AtrAdv, AdvAtr, AtrAtr, AtrObj, ObjAtr


This section is devoted to Attribute. First, in the part Defining Atr, it will be defined; we find that there are concordant and discordant (agreeing and non-agreeing) attributes, both being formally represented in the same manner on the analytical level.

We use more than one single function Atr for attribute: owing to a certain ambiguity we have had to introduce also the so-called combined functions: they are such "afuns" as AtrAtr, AtrAdv, AdvAtr, AtrObj and ObjAtr - all to be treated in the part Combined functions.

An extensive part Expression of Atr follows, concerning the ways of expression of attributes. An agreeing attribute is expressed by an adjective (Agreeing attribute expressed by an adjective) and less frequently by a noun (Agreeing attribute expressed by a noun). A non-agreeing attribute is usually expressed by a genitive of a noun (Non-agreeing attribute expressed by a genitive noun), but quite frequently also by some other simple case (Non-agreeing attribute expressed by a noun in another prepositionless case), a noun introduced by the conjunction jako (as, like) (Non-agreeing attribute expressed by a noun introduced by the conjunction jako (as, like)) or by a prepositional case (Non-agreeing attribute expressed by a noun in prepositional case). In specific cases, it can be expressed by an adverb, too (Non-agreeing attribute expressed by an adverb), and, with certain nouns, by an infinitive (Non-agreeing attribute expressed by infinitive). Apart from all these possibilities an attribute can be expressed by a subordinate clause (Attribute expressed by a subordinate clause).

At the end of this section, in the part Non-agreeing attribute in a non-projective position in the sentence, some points concern the problem of a non-projective position of the attribute in a sentence.

Defining Atr


Attribute is a sentence member which depends on a noun in any of its sentential functions and which, as a rule, specifies more closely, or "determines" its meaning. In inquiring about attributes we use such interrogative pronouns as which, what or whose connected with the governing noun. Attribute either agrees with its governing member or it is governed by it, or its dependency is not expressed by a special form.

An attribute that agrees, at least in case, with the noun on which it depends, is called agreeing attribute. If this attribute is represented by an adjective (a pronoun or a numeral in this status) it agrees in case, number and gender. In rare cases there occur attributes of feminine gender pertaining to masculine nouns as a means of emotional expression, e.g., kluk ušatá - a long-eared-Fem urchin-Masc.

An attribute that does not decline in accordance with its governing noun and, as a rule, represents a case different from that of this noun, or is expressed by an adverb or an infinitive, is called a non-agreeing attribute.

An attribute can be expressed by a subordinate clause, introduced by a conjunction or by a relative pronoun. An attributive clause, however, cannot be seen in such a "pseudo-expansion" as, e.g., já viděl anděla a ten měl strašný štít (I saw an angel and he had a formidable shield), nor in clauses joined by expressions such as což, přičemž (what, at which), etc. These are interpreted as coordination of head clauses - see Coordination (sentential, of sentence parts) Coord, <afun> _Co (on což especially the part Coordination in sentences with což (which), přičemž (whilst)).

A descriptive (non-restrictive) attribute is separated by commas in the sentence (chovanci, umístění v ústavu, něco sebrali - the inmates, confined in the institute, have pinched something). Such an attribute obtains the function Atr, too (not Atr_Pa), as the case is not a parenthesis, for which it could be taken by mistake.

Afun Atr, however, can also be used in some instances in which the case is not a classical attribute. Thus, it can be obtained by parts of addresses or parts of the text in foreign languages. We can use it in analyzing numerical expressions as well. These problems are dealt with in Addresses and names of persons and institutions, Foreign words in the text, and Expression with numerals, figures in different functions.

Combined functions


In addition to Atr also combined "afuns" have been introduced, which consist of Atr and some other function. They are afuns AtrAtr, AtrAdv, AdvAtr, AtrObj, ObjAtr. These functions are used where the analyzed member (node) can stand in more functions in the framework of the given sentence without having its meaning substantially changed (the sentence is not strictly homonymous as far as the function of the analyzed member is concerned).

Therefore, if the node can constitute an attribute (Atr) of two or more nodes in the same branch of the tree above, we use afun AtrAtr. The node marked in this way will be suspended under the lowest node to be considered (it can fulfil the function of an attribute of that node). In the example given below the function AtrAtr will be assigned to the prepositional case s máslem (with butter). It obviously can form an attribute either to the member krajíc (slice) or to the member chleba (bread), while the meaning of the sentence remains essentially the same. It will, however, be suspended under the node chleba, since this modifies the node krajíc and, therefore, is situated lower in the branch.


krajíc   chleba   s   máslem  
slice   of-bread   with   butter  

The remaining four functions are intended for cases where some member can constitute an attribute (of one node or of more nodes as in the preceding case) and an adverbial (Adv) at the same time or an object (Obj) of a predicate placed above. Such a member then obtains an afun composed of the two basic ones pertaining to it. Which of the two components comes first and which of them second depends on which function it satisfies more often, which of them is more probable. This decision is difficult to describe in general terms, it will depend on the the annotator's attitude. If the annotator feels that a given member is rather an attribute, he will use the functions AtrAdv or AtrObj. Otherwise he will use one of the other two.

Whichever of the functions may be present, the given node will always be situated in the same position in the tree, namely in the position in which it would be placed as an attribute (Atr). It never depends directly from the predicate. In exceptional cases when in addition to the function Adv or Obj the given member would fulfil more functions of Atr (attribute in relation to more nodes), it will be suspended in the same way as in the case of afun AtrAtr, i.e. on the lowest situated one of all these nodes (cf. the example (3) below).

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    přinesla   bednu   ze   sklepa  
    she-brought   case   from   basement  
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    zbyl   mi   čas   na   čtení  
    left   me   time   for   reading  
    I have some time left for reading
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    mimořádnou   splátku   části   dluhu   naší  
    extraordinary   instalment   of-part   of-debt   our  
    pojišťovně   nezaplatíme  
    insurance-company-Dat   we-are-not-going-to-pay  
    we are not going to pay the extraordinary instalment of the part of the debt to our insurance office
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    uzavřeli   mír   s   nepřáteli  
    they-made   peace   with   enemies  

Expression of Atr


Agreeing attribute expressed by an adjective


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    červená   písmena  
    red   letters  
  2. královnin   náhrdelník  
    queen's   necklace  
  3. dívčí   smích  
    girl's   laugh  
  4. Husovo   upálení  
    Hus'   burning-to-death  
  5. vynikající   pivo  
    outstanding   beer  
  6. přečtené   noviny  
    read-over   newspapers  
Agreeing attribute expressed by a noun


As a matter of fact, this is a substitute for adjectival forms of attributes, cf. E. ogre monster, Ajax Amsterdam, Miss neighbour etc.

In a collocation such as my Němci (we the Germans) the pronoun my (we) gets the position of the head and Němci (Germans) has the position of its attribute; agreement is ensured.

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    nebožka   maminka  
    the-dead(Noun)   mother  
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    Ajax   Amsterdam  
    Ajax   Amsterdam  
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    my   Němci  
    we   Germans  
Non-agreeing attribute expressed by a genitive noun


Possessive genitive, g. of property, explicative g., partitive g., g. of comparison, all fall within this category; so does, with deverbative nouns, g. of actor (of subject) and that of goal of action (of object). Problems could be connected with the representation of partitive genitive; this is dealt with in detail in Expression with numerals, figures in different functions

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    chalupa   našeho   souseda  
    cottage   our-Gen   neighbour-Gen  
  2. báseň   Jiřího   Palivce  
    poem   Jiří-Gen   Palivec-Gen  
  3. návštěva   lékaře  
    visit   of-physician  
  4. krasavice   vysoké   postavy  
    beauty   tall-Gen   stature-Gen  
  5. idea   bratrství  
    idea   of-brotherhood  
  6. dar   zpěvu  
    gift   of-singing  
  7. vznik   světa  
    origin   of-world  
  8. práskání   bičů  
    cracking   of-whips  
  9. porušení   tajemství  
    breach   of-secret  
  10. uzavření   kompromisu  
    arriving   of-compromise  
  11. pocit   viny  
    feeling   of-guilt  
  12. hráč   golfu  
    player   of-golf  
  13. výrobna   likérů  
    distillery   of-liqueurs  
Non-agreeing attribute expressed by a noun in another prepositionless case


A non-agreeing attribute can also be expressed by a dative, an instrumental, an accusative or a nominative of naming. The nominative of naming is a specification of a governing word that is of a more general nature.

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    vyučování   jazyku  
    teaching   language-Dat  
  2. výživa   zeleninou  
    nurturing   vegetables-Instr  
  3. rozhled   krajinou  
    view   landscape-Instr  
  4. práskání   bičem  
    cracking   whip-Instr  
  5. lhůta   hodinu  
    time-limit   one-hour-Acc  
  6. trvání   hodinu  
    continuation   one-hour-Acc  
  7. s   názvem   Poupě  
    with   title   Poupě  
  8. křídlo   značky   Petrof  
    grand-piano   of-make   Petrof  
  9. pokoj   26  
    room   26  
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    na   dveřích   visel   nápis   "Neprodejné"  
    on   door   hung   inscription   not-for-sale  
    an inscription "Not for sale" was hanging on the door
Non-agreeing attribute expressed by a noun introduced by the conjunction jako (as, like)


An attribute can be introduced by the conjunction jako (like). This expression of an attribute must not be mistaken for the comparative phrase with jako (e.g. with stejně jako similarly as, jako když as when, jako v+N as in+N), described in Phrases of comparison with conjunctions jako (as), než (than).

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    docílil   toho   formulacemi   jako   kulatý   čtverec  
    he-achieved   it   by-formulations   as   round   square  
    he attained to it by such formulations as round square
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    kuchyň   jako   dlaň  
    kitchen   like   palm  
    a kitchen like the palm of a hand
  3. facka   jako   vrata  
    slap   like   gate  
    a slap like hell
Non-agreeing attribute expressed by a noun in prepositional case


  1. vyprávění   o   vojně  
    narration   about   war  
  2. modlitba   k   bohům  
    prayer   to   Gods  
  3. pochybovač   o   čemkoli  
    a-sceptic   about   anything  
  4. šelma   od   kosti  
    joker   to   marrow  
    a wag/joker to the marrow
  5. nenávist   vůči   společnosti  
    hatred   towards   society  
  6. smrt   z   hladu  
    death   from   hunger  
  7. čtení   pro   děti  
    reading   for   children  
  8. okno   o   šesti   tabulkách  
    window   of   six   panes  
  9. talíř   z   porcelánu  
    plate   of   porcelain  
  10. průkazka   na   měsíc  
    permit   to   moon  
  11. zkouška   v   zimním   semestru  
    exam   in   winter   term  
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    přechod   z   obrany   do   útoku  
    passing   from   defence   to   attack  
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    krajíc   chleba   s   máslem  
    slice   of-bread   with   butter  
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    nikdo   z   nás  
    none   of   us  
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    živější   z   mužů   si   počali   pohvizdovat  
    the-more-lively   of   men   Refl   started   to-whistle  
    the more lively ones of the men started to whistle for themselves
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    poslední   ťuhýk   z   těch,   kteří   přežili  
    last   butcher-bird   of   those   that   survived  
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    od   každých   dva   kusy  
    from   each   two   pieces  
    two pieces from each
Non-agreeing attribute expressed by an adverb


In exceptional cases an adverb can become an Atr, if a deleted adjective can be restored as the head of the adverb. The restored adjective will, for the most part, be derived from a participle (ryl do lidí stojících okolo - he teased the people standing around).

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    ryl   do   lidí   okolo  
    he-teased   to   people   around  
  2. dveře   vlevo   vedou   ven  
    door   on-the-left   lead   outside  
Non-agreeing attribute expressed by infinitive


Its head noun usually expresses will, necessity, capability, possibility, habit etc., and have the infinitive in their valency frame.

  1. snaha   opatřit   si   krev  
    endeavour   to-get   for-himself   blood  
  2. povinnost   zaplatit  
    duty   to-pay  
  3. síla   trpět  
    fortitude   to-suffer  
  4. potěšení   ji   vidět  
    pleasure   her-Acc   to-see  
  5. rozkoš   sedět  
    delight   to-sit  
Attribute expressed by a subordinate clause


Attribute can also be expressed by a subordinate attributive clause. The function Atr then will be given to the predicate of this subordinate clause (see the part Dependency of the predicate).

Apparent subordinate clauses introduced by such words as což, přičemž (which, with which) are not regarded as Atr (see the part Defining Atr).

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    muž,   který   spí  
    man   who   sleeps  
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    vědomí,   že   smrt   nečeká  
    knowledge   that   death   does-not-wait  
  3. byly   tam   špatné   podmínky,   jako   jsou   překážky   a   sníh  
    were   there   bad   conditions   such-as   are   obstacles   and   snow  
  4. plán,   jak   republiku   rozkrást  
    plan   how   republic-Acc   to-pilfer  
    a plan of how to pilfer the property of the Republic
  5. motiv,   proč   ji   zabil  
    motive   why   her   he-killed  

A special case can be seen in absolute relative co and jak (what, how). If it can be recognized which word they stand for, they obtain the function of this word in the similar way as the pronominal conjunctive expressions mentioned above (ex. (1)). Should their representative function be unclear (if they duplicate the function of some other word), they obtain afun AuxO and they get suspended under the predicate of their clause (ex. (2)).

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    ten   dopis,   co   napsal   Tonda  
    the   letter   that   wrote   Tony  
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    sud,   co   ho   Tonda   narazil  
    cask   that   it-Acc   Tony   broached  

Non-agreeing attribute in a non-projective position in the sentence


The agreeing attribute as a rule comes immediately after its noun. However, there are exceptions in which the attribute can be found at some other place in the sentence and, all the same, it does not represent an Adv dependent on the verb.

This happens when the attribute cannot be suspended under the verb in accordance to intuition, but a valency slot of the particular noun requires the attribute (such a valency can be obvious in cases in which the noun is a verbal noun whose original verb has an object valency to be satisfied by the participant in question). The separation of the attribute from its head noun in the word-order is motivated by topic/comment articulation.

The boundaries between Atr and Adv are also discussed in the part The boundaries of Adv and Atr.

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    po   zločinci   vyhlásili   pátrání  
    for   criminal   they-announced   search  
    they publicly announced search for the criminal
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    o   Letnou   je   teď   malý   zájem  
    in   Letná   is   now   little   interest  
  3. komora   přijala   k   zákonu   doprovodné   usnesení  
    house   adopted   to   bill   accompanying   decision  
  4. nejsou   proti   němu   důkazy  
    are-not   against   him   evidences  
  5. na   něho   nemůže   nikdo   podat   žalobu  
    on   him   cannot   nobody   put   accusation  
    nobody can impeach him
  6.   na   to   není   doba  
    already   for   it   is-not   time  
    the times for it do not exist any more
  7. od   dveří   ztratil   klíč  
    from   door   he-lost   key  
    he lost the key to the door
  8. z   chování   dostal   trojku  
    for   conduct   he-obtained   a-three  
    for his conduct he obtained a low mark