The SUSANNE Corpus Tagset

The following is a selection of tags that are used in the SUSANNE Corpus. It is meant as a quick reference during your work with our tutorial. At the bottom of this page there is a link to the source of this list which also provides further information. Also, note that this is merely the ’syntactic‘ tagset. The SUSANNE wordtag set is based on another tagset, commonly called the ‚Lancaster‘ tagset. Oftentimes, the wordtags will not really interest you because simply with your linguistic knowledge you will know what kind of word you are dealing with. If you are still unsure, use the internet search engine of your choice and you will surely find information on it. One tag to note will be the tag YG. They represent ‚ghosts‘ or ‚traces‘. Again, for further information, have a look at the official Documentation for the SUSANNE Corpus.

Rootrank Formtags

O paragraph
Oh heading
Ot title (e.g. of book)
Q quotation
I interpolation
Iq tag question
Iu technical reference


S main clause
Ss embedded quoting clause
Fa adverbial clause
Fn nominal clause
Fr relative clause
Ff fused relative
Fc comparative clause
Tg present participle clause
Tn past participle clause
Ti infinitival clause
Tf for-to clause
Tb bare nonfinite clause
Tq infinitival relative clause
W with clause
A special as clause
Z reduced ("whiz-deleted") relative
L miscellaneous verbless clause


V verb group
N noun phrase
J adjective phrase
R adverb phrase
P prepositional phrase
D determiner phrase
M numeral phrase
G genitive phrase


Vo operator section of verb group, when separated from remainder of V e.g. by subject-auxiliary inversion
Vr remainder of V from which Vo has been separated
Vm V beginning with am
Va V beginning with are
Vs V beginning with was
Vz V beginning with other 3rd-singular verb
Vw V beginning with were
Vj V beginning with be
Vd V beginning with past tense
Vi infinitival V
Vg V beginning with present participle
Vn V beginning with past participle
Vc V beginning with modal
Vk V containing emphatic DO
Ve negative V
Vf perfective V
Vu progressive V
Vp passive V
Vb V ending with BE
Vx V lacking main verb
Vt catenative V
Nq wh- N
Nv wh…ever N
Ne I/me as whole or head
Ny you as whole or head
Ni it as whole or head
Nj adjectival head
Nn proper name
Nu unit of measurement as head
Na marked as subject
No marked as nonsubject
Ns marked as singular
Np marked as plural
Jq wh- J
Jv wh…ever J
Jx measured absolute J
Jr measured comparative J
Jh "heavy" (postmodified) J
Rq wh- R
Rv wh…ever R
Rx measured absolute R
Rr measured comparative R
Rs adverb conducive to asyndeton
Rw quasi-nominal adverb
Po of phrase
Pb by phrase
Pq wh- P
Pv wh…ever P
Dq wh- D
Dv wh…ever D
Ds marked as singular
Dp marked as plural
Ms M headed by one
Gq wh- G
Gv wh…ever G


Functiontags are appended to formtags, similarly to the previously mentioned subcategories. They are however seperated from them with a ‚:‘.

Complement Functiontags

s logical subject
o logical direct object
i indirect object
u prepositional object
e predicate complement of subject
j predicate complement of object
a agent of passive
S surface (and not logical) subject
O surface (and not logical) direct object
G "guest" having no grammatical role within its tagma

Adjunct Functiontags

p place
q direction
t time
h manner or degree
m modality
c contingency
r respect
w comitative
k benefactive
b absolute

Other Functiontags

n participle of phrasal verb
x relative clause having higher clause as antecedent
z complement of catenative

Some tags or even small categories of tags have been omitted. We ourselves did not need them and felt that this list is overwhelming enough as it is. If you have found tags that are not on this list or need further info, consult Geoffrey Sampson, The SUSANNE Corpus: Documentation, which is also the source for the information on this page.

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