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In linguistics, a word (or a lexeme ) that cannot appear in all grammatical forms of its part of speech is referred to as defective (Pl. Defective ; from Latin : dēfectus = weak, weak) . A defective noun occurs, for example, only in the singular or only in the plural ( Defectiva Numero: Singularetantum or Pluraletantum ), or not in all cases (Kasūs) ( Defectiva Casibus ), and defective verbs, for example, only exist in certain tenses or persons .


  • the people who vacation ( pluralia tantum , no singular forms)
  • the buildings (the singular the building is unusual today, but the building )
  • is lost (only perfect, no present or simple past), but originally the past participle of "verschallen", which means "to fade away"
  • is bloated (only perfect, no present or simple past)
  • in English: I must, I can, etc. do not have any infinite forms
  • in Latin: inquit (he / she says), aiō (I say; with only a few other verbal forms), Deponentien (without active forms)

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Defective  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Builds. In: Jacob Grimm , Wilhelm Grimm (Hrsg.): German dictionary . tape 1 : A - Beer whey - (I). S. Hirzel, Leipzig 1854 ( ).