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Adjectives in Laefêvëši
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A short summary of adjective types in Laefêvëši and the adjectival declension.
This public article was written by Ashucky, and last updated on 11 Sep 2017, 19:06.

[comments] Menu
1. Types of adjectives
2. Qualitative or relational?
3. Declension
4. Adjectival comparison

Adjectives in  Laefêvëšiare, as nouns, inflected. Their inflection is similar to the nominal declension as well (specifically, to Class II nouns). Adjectives fully agree with the noun they modify in number and case, and partially in class as well. The majority of the most common adjectives also have (pro)clitic forms - short forms which are prefixed to the noun and do not undergo any further inflection (the prefixed adjective, the noun is inflected normally). The system of gradation (degrees of comparison) is elaborate with more degrees than just two (comparative and superlative). Adjectives also have something called the adjectival conjugation, but this is a disputed feature.

[top]Types of adjectives

There are three main types of adjectives, each having its own recognisable suffix, and each type has a different meaning; the majority of the adjectives is qualitative adjectives, the second type is relational adjectives, and the third type is possessive adjectives.

Qualitative adjectives express:
  • colour: eiisi ‘white’
  • form or shape: saeisi ‘round’
  • measure: ʒatisi ‘long’
  • material: kaltisi ‘wooden’
  • weather condition: arkaisi ‘cloudy’
  • condition or state: haisi ‘old’
  • the speaker's judgement of quality: vaisi ‘beautiful’


Relational adjectives express:
  • type, sort, or class: laefêvëšili (siehnar) ‘Laefevian (dictionary)’
  • numerical sequence: asili ‘first’, hleŋili ‘next’


Possessive adjectives express:
  • belonging or possession: viellairi ‘mother's’, soiri ‘my’


A special subtype of possessive adjectives are the so-called generic possessives, which denote that the noun is characteristic of or relates to a class, i.e. possession is general and not special or specific. These possessive adjectives decline like relational adjectives and do not differ from them in form in any way. An example would be niorri nar ‘a children’s book’

[top]Qualitative or relational?

Most adjectives are, by default, qualitative, but can become relational if required by context. An exception to this are ordinal numerals (i.e. numeral sequence) and similar related concepts, as well as adjectives derived from place names, country names, and similar - these adjectives do not have qualitative counterparts.

However, there are certain rules that require the use of the relational adjective rather than the qualitative.

Obligatory use of the relational adjective occurs:
  1. If the adjectives forms a whole semantic unit with the noun it qualifies. i.e. it modifies the noun's meaning as a technical expression:
    fjênili ar ‘a fruit juice’

    Such terms are often written as a single word (a compound), however.

  2. After possessive adjectives, possessive and demonstrative pronouns, and the pronoun xôl ‘all’:
    vøniri koili nar ‘brother’s new book’
    soiri skâili sym ‘my green cap’
    pól ʒatili lêz ‘this long scarf’

    This does not apply, of course, if the prefixed (or suffixed) adjectives/pronouns are used instead:
    vøniri kóinnar ‘brother’s new book’
    ʒátlêzól ‘this long scarf’

  3. If the adjective is used substantivally (i.e. as a noun):
    ončetili ‘the attacked [person]’


[top]Declension

Adjectives are declined similarly, so their declension can be summarised in a single table, shown below. The table also includes common colloquial forms for reference.


CaseQualitativeRelationalPossessive
SingularDualPluralSingularDualPluralSingularDualPlural
Nominative-isi (-is, -s)-ise (-es)-isa (-as)-ili (-il)-ile (-el)-ila (-al)-iri (-ir)-ire (-er)-ira (-ar)
Genitive-ista (-ast)-isna-isva-elta (-alt)-elna-elva-urta (-art)-urna-urva
Dative-isti (-ist)-isni-isvi-elti (-ilt)-elni-elvi-urti (-irt)-urni-urvi
Accusative-iste (-est)-isne-isve-elte (-elt)-elne-elve-urte (-ert)-urne-urve
Locative-istu (-ust)-isnu-isvu-eltu (-ult)-elnu-elvu-urtu (-urt)-urnu-urvu
Instrumental-isto (-ost)-isno-isvo-elto (-olt)-elno-elvo-urto (-ort)-urno-urvo
Oblique-is- (-s-), -i--el- (-l-), -e--ur- (-r-), -u-

The six cases above do not agree with the noun they modify in class, only in number and case. That's where the oblique stem forms come to play, because they are used when the adjective has to agree with the noun in class as well. The forms with a consonant are used with Class I nouns and the vocalic forms are used with Class II nouns.

Some examples:
- warisi rik ‘the big house’ (nominative)
- warista rikau ‘of the big house’ (genitive)
- warisulu rikulu ‘in the big house’ (inessive)
- warisi wērē ‘the big valley’
- warista wērēda ‘of the big valley’
- warilu wērēlu ‘in the big valley’

And the same examples in their colloquial forms:
- wars rik ‘the big house’
- warast rikau ‘of the big house’
- warsul rikul ‘in the big house’
- wars wērē ‘the big valley’
- warast wērēda ‘of the big valley’
- warilu wērēlu ‘in the big valley’

[top]Adjectival comparison

Laefêvëši has the basic system of comparison with the comparative and superlative degrees, but there are a few extra suffixes that an adjective can take to express other types of comparison. These extra degrees are also called intensifiers or degrees of intensification.

The comparative and other degrees are formed from qualitative adjectives by replacing the adjectival -isi suffix. Typically, relational and possessive adjectives cannot take comparative (and related) suffixes, but it's not impossible, especially in the colloquial language. If such cases, the -ili and -iri suffixes are generally not removed and the extra suffixes are simply added onto those.

The simple comparative and superlative degrees come in two variants, a positive one (i.e. "more" and "most") and a negative one (i.e. "less" and "least").

There is another degree that usually goes together with the comparative and the superlative, and that's the elative degree (may also be referred to as the absolute superlative). It is equivalent to the English intensifier "too" and it expresses either a high degree of the quality or an excessive degree of the quality. This degree can be either a prefix or a suffix, which are interchangeable in the modern language, but the prefix is less common than the suffix (although only the prefix is used with adverbs).

DegreeSGSingular (number)
one countable entity
DUDual (number)
'two'
PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
Oblique
Basic-isi-ise-isa-is-
PositiveComparative-iski-iske-iska-isk-
Superlative-ihki-ihke-ihka-ihk-
NegativeComparative-ikni-ikne-ikna-ikn-
Superlative-ihvi-ihve-ihva-ihv-
Elative-tli-itle-itla-itl-
lie- (or lei- before e-)

The oblique forms are used for subcases and additional cases, which typically always take Class I case suffixes, but can take Class II suffixes in dual and plural if they modify a Class II noun (this is common in the spoken language).

The other degrees of intensification are all formed the same way, and there are several of them:
  • moderative degree, meaning "quite [big]" or "pretty [big]"
  • eminentive degree, meaning "very [big]"
  • prominentive degree, meaning "really [big]"
  • extremitive degree, meaning "so [big]"
  • nihilitive degree, meaning "not [big]" (it always requires a negated verb as well)


DegreeSGSingular (number)
one countable entity
DUDual (number)
'two'
PLPlural (number)
more than one/few
Oblique
Moderative-ihhi-ihhe-ihha-ihh-
Eminentive-iggi-igge-igga-igg-
Prominentive-ippi-ippe-ippa-ipp-
Extremitive-ikki-ikke-ikka-ikk-
Nihilitive-itti-itte-itta-itt-
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