A different grammatical tradition motivates in English the use of the feature Verb-Form, with values which in Romance languages are typical of the feature Mood. This emerges immediately from the above table, if MULTILEX, NERC and the Leech & Wilson proposal, all designed for a multilingual encoding system, are compared with GENELEX and AlethDic, which are designed for French verbs, i.e. a system belonging to the Romance tradition.
In a certain sense, the matter can be seen as a problem of the distribution of some values under one or another attribute. As already noted in the NERC survey (Monachini & Östling, 1992b, 13), the feature Verb-Form appears strange from a Romance language point of view, and therefore the problem was left open as an area for further analyses and suggestions. The features Verb-Form and Mood in Monachini & Oestling have been arranged in a tree, with Mood hierarchically dependent on one of the possible values of Verb-Form, i.e. finite.
The proposal formulated in what follows for reaching a consensus is to introduce, besides finite, the value non-finite as a new value of a new feature Finiteness, and to create a feature called Verb-form/Mood (Vf-M) with the relevant values which could be seen in subordinate position with respect to the values finite and non-finite. In such a way, the feature Verb-form/Mood can be considered totally in hierarchical subordination with respect to Finiteness. For this reason, each language-specific morphological system has to define explicit and strong constraints on which combinations of attributes and values are meaningful for the system (see e.g. the application to Italian). The situation can be represented as follows:
With this new arrangement, English encoding systems, which do not reach the level of distinction given here for finite Verb-form/Mood, can stop at the encoding of Finiteness with the value finite, while Romance languages will not have problems in being compelled to call some Moods Verb-Forms (contrary to their tradition). Furthermore, the above proposal is completely compatible with the Romance verbal systems, since, in those systems, the values of Moods are implicitly finite and non-finite, in the speaker's intuition.