Mirad Grammar/Adjectives

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Adjectives[edit]

Adjectives, which are words that modify nouns, can be of the following types and subcategories:
  • descriptive
  • qualitative, like iva (happy), fia (good), oga (small)
  • denominal ( ~ noun-derived), like doma (urban) < dom (city) or teaba (ocular) < teab (eye)
  • deverbal ( ~ verb-derived), (participles) like tejea (living) < tejer (to live) or twa (known) < ter (to know)
  • preposition-derived, like aba (upper) < ab....on top of or zoa (posterior) < zo (behind)
  • determinative
  • deictic ( ~ demonstrative, indefinite), like hia (this), huyena (such), haewa (both)
  • numeric, like awa (one), ea (second), iona (triple)
  • quantitative, like ga (more), glo (few), gra (too much)
  • pronominal ( ~ possessive), like ata (my), hota? (whose), hyeta (anyone's)
Descriptive adjectives are the main focus of this section. Determinative adjectives (determiners) behave differently and are discussed under Determiners. Deverbal adjectives, usually referred to as participles, are treated in the section on Verbs, since they are formed from verbs. Pronominal determiners (i.e. possessive adjectives) are treated under both the section on Determiners and the section on Pronouns.
All descriptive adjectives end in the adjectival marker vowel a.
  • fi- (qualitative root base word) ⇒ fia....good
  • pur (noun meaning vehicle) ⇒ pura....vehicular
  • dalw- (passive stem of the verb speak) ⇒ dalwa....spoken
  • ab (preposition meaning on) ⇒ aba....superior
Such adjectives precede the noun or noun phrase they modify:
  • aga tam....a big house
  • ha fia toyb....the good woman
  • ata boka twed....my sick father
  • fia telsyeb bi vafil.....a good bottle of wine
  • yata dooba doof....our national flag
  • ata tejea tyedi.....my living relatives
doba xeut....state agent can also be expressed as the noun compound dobxeut. Dob means a state.
pata bok....avian illness can be compounded as patbok, literally bird illness.
Note: Compounded nouns often have an idiomatic meaning not exactly equal to their separate parts. More about this in the later section on vocabulary-building.


Comparison of Adjectives by Degree[edit]

As in English, descriptive adjectives can be modified by degree. To do this, a quantitative determiner of degree (ga, ge, etc.) is placed before the adjective, producing positive / negative comparative, equalitative, superlative, and other degree expressions as in the following table. The quantitative determiners themselves that are used in these comparative expressions are discussed in detail in a later section on Quantitative Determiners.
Comparison of Adjectives by Degree
QUANTITATIVE DETERMINER COMPARISON
ga....more ga fia (vyel)....better (than)
ge....as, equally ge fia (vyel)....as good (as)
go....less go fia (vyel)....less good (than)
gla....very gla fia....very good
glay....so glay fia....so good
gle....rather/quite gle fia....rather/quite good
glo....not very glo fia....not very/slightly good
gra....too gra fia....too good
gre....enough gre fia....good enough
gro....not enough gro fia....insufficiently good/not good enough
gwa....most gwa fia (bi, be)....best (of, in)
gwe....average gwe fia....good on average
gwo....least gwo fia (bi, be)....least good (of, in)
The relative conjunction vyel is used to translate English as in an equalitative comparison or than in a non-equalitative comparison. Examples:
  • Ata tam se ga aga vyel etas.....My house is bigger than yours.
  • Hia tam voy se ge aga vyel atas.....This house is not as big as mine.
  • His se ha gwa aga tam bi yata yubem.....This is the biggest house in our neighborhood.
Unlike in English, where comparative forms can be irregular (smaller, more intense, better), there are no exceptions in the comparison of Mirad adjectives and adverbs.

Abstract Quality Nouns Derived from Adjectives[edit]

Nouns referring to abstract qualities can be derived from qualitative and often other adjectives by suffixing the letter n. For example:
Deriving Abstract Nouns from Adjectives
ADJECTIVE ABSTRACT QUALITY
fia....good fian....goodness
yeva....just yevan....justice
uja....final ujan....finality
joga....young jogan....youth
teyda....maternal teydan....motherhood, maternity
dooba....nation dooban....nationality
tojbuwa....lethal tojbuwan....lethality

Reversing the Semantics of Adjectives[edit]

Descriptive adjectives can be negated by prefixing the vowel o. This has the effect of English un- in words like unlike, unhappy, and undetermined or the Greek private prefix a(n)- in words like asymmetric or anomalous.
Prefixing the syllable lyo has an even stronger semantic effect. It denotes the polar opposite of the adjective.
In cases where the o- creates an ambiguous word, lo- is substituted. Note this in the last two words of the following chart:
Reversing the Semantics of Adjectives
NORMAL NEGATED
ega....normal oega....abnormal
twa....known otwa....unknown
geyla....similar ogeyla....dissimilar
iva....happy oiva....unhappy
data....friendly odata....unfriendly
lyodata....inimical, enemy-like
fwa....wanted lofwa....unwanted (ofwa means prohibited < ofer (prohibit)
ofwa....unprohibited oofwa....unprohibited

Adjectival Derivational Endings[edit]

All descriptive adjectives end in at least the suffix a. Many adjectives are derived from other parts of speech, using one of more of the following derivational endings.
Adjectival Derivative Endings
ENDING TRANSITION TYPE MEANING BASE WORD DERIVED ADJECTIVE
-a N->ADJ relating to, of fyaat....god
tob....man
dom....city
fyaata....divine
toba....human
doma....urban
-aya / -ika N->ADJ full of, -ful, -ous mil....water
meb....mountain
tes....meaning
milaya....watery, aquaous
mebika....mountainous
tesaya....meaningful
-oya / -uka N->ADJ empty of, -less, -free teb....head
level....sugar
tes....meaning
teboya....headless
leveluka....sugar-free
tesoya....meaningless
-yena N->ADJ like, -ish, -y fyaat....god
tob....man
dom....city
fyaatyena....godly, godlike
tobyena....manly, virile
domyena....urbane
-ea V->ADJ -ing, -ent, -ant ags-....grow
tej-....live
kyas-....change
agsea....growing, crescent
tejea....living, alive
kyasea....changing, variant
-yea V->ADJ -ive, tending to dal-....talk
tox-....forget
vad-....affirm
dalyea....talkative
toxyea....forgetful
vadyea....affirmative
-wa V->ADJ -ed dal-....talk
tox-....forget
vad-....affirm
dalwa....spoken
toxwa....forgotten
vadwa....affirmed
-oa V->ADJ -about to, apt to toj-....die
kyes-....happen
tajb-....give birth
tojoa....moribund
kyesoa....imminent
tajboa....about to deliver
-ua V->ADJ -able, potentially V tojb-....kill
bukx-....harm
akuj-....succeed
tojbua....lethal
bukxua....dangerous
akujua....potentially successful

Pronominalization of Adjectives[edit]

Adjectives can be pronominalized (converted to a pronoun) by adding s for things and t for persons. These, in turn, can be pluralized by suffixing the plural marker i.
Pronominalization of Adjectives
ADJECTIVE INANIMATE PRONOUN
(THING)
ANIMATE PRONOUN
(PERSON)
fia....good fias....a good thing
fiasi....good things
fiat....a good person
fiati....good persons
aga....big agas....something big
agasi....big ones
agat....a big person
agati....big persons
joga....young, new jogas....something new, novelty
jogasi....new ones
yogat....young person, youth
yogati....youngsters
jaga....old jagas....antique
jagasi....old ones
jagat....elderly person
jagati....oldsters
awa....one
ewa....two
awas....one (of them)
ewasi....two (of them)
awat....one (of them)
ewati....two of them
hia....this hias....this one
hiasi....these (things)
hiat....this one
hiati....these
gla....much, many glas....a lot (of stuff)
glasi....many (things)

glati....many (people)
Examples:
  • Hia tyoyaf se gro aga. At fu ga agas.....This shoe is not big enough. I'd like a bigger one.
  • Yat fu daler bay ha gwa jogati.....We would like to speak with the youngest ones.
  • At fe teaxer ha jogas, voy ha jagas.....I want to look at the new one, not the old one.
  • Ha ujnati so ha ijnati.....The last shall be the first.

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