Adjective Types[edit | edit source]
Quenya has 3 types of adjectives depending on their final letter:
- Adjectives in \`C -a:
- `Cj1E alta "big"
- aY65# corna "round"
- j#6aD larca "swift, rapid"
- 7lDaD raica "bent"
- eD7R`C farëa "enough"
- Adjectives in \`V -ë:
- j.FaR leucë "sick"
- 5%v$ ninquë "white"
- aD65$ carnë "red"
- Adjectives in \5 -n; most end in \`B5 -in but some in \`V5 -en:
- t#7T5 marin "ripe"
- zDj%5 qualin "dead"
- qR7R5 peren "patient"
Adjectives are mostly placed in front of the noun to which they belong:
- j#6aD 8~B7R larca sírë "a rapid river"
- `B 5%v$ eD5Ì# i ninquë fanya "the white cloud"
It is emphasized by putting it after its noun:
- t#j°$ 7lDaD mallë raica "a bent (and not straight) road"
With a proper noun adjectives are always put behind the noun:
- `Vj$2%j yY7Y2# Elendil Voronda "Elendil (the) Faithful, Faithful Elendil"
Adjectives can also be used predicatively with the verb ná:
- `B qE6t# 5~C aD65$ i parma ná carnë "the book is red"
In such short sentences 5~C ná or 5#6 nar is often omitted:
- `B qE6t# aD65$ i parma carnë "the book is red"
Plural[edit | edit source]
Adjectives have only one plural form; it is used whenever the noun it belongs to is not singular (so dual, plural and partitive plural make no difference for the adjective):
- aD65% qE6t#6 carni parmar "red books"
- aD65% qE6t#1 carni parmat "a pair of red books"
- aD65% qE6t#j% carni parmali "some red books"
Predicatively used adjectives are in the plural whenever the subject refers to more than one person or thing:
- `B aG7ÎE6 5#6 5%v% i ciryar nar ninqui "the ships are white"
- `B `C7E5 `C6 `B 1~C7T 5#6 `Cj1R i aran ar i tári nar altë "the king and queen are big"
'Formation of the plural':
- Adjectives in \`C -a but not in \`V`C -ëa:
- `Cj1E alta → `Cj1R altë "big"
- aY65# corna → aY65$ cornë "round"
- 7lDaD raica → 7lDaR raicë "bent"
- Adjectives in \`V`C -ëa:
- eD7R`C farëa → eD7T`V farië "enough"
- j.D7R`C laurëa → j.D7T`V laurië "golden"
- Adjectives in \`V -ë:
- j.FaR leucë → j.FaG leuci "sick"
- 5%v$ ninquë → 5%v% ninqui "white"
- Adjectives in \5 -n have two possible forms:
- t#7T5 marin → t#7T5% - t#7T2% marini/marindi "ripe"
- zDj%5 qualin → zDj%5% - zDj%2% qualini/qualindi "dead"
- qR7R5 peren → qR7R5% - qR7R2% pereni/perendi "patient"
- One adjective is irregular:
- tlD1R maitë → tlDiG maisi "handy"
Inflected adjectives[edit | edit source]
In Quenya there are only 2 occurrences in which the adjectives are inflected:
- When the adjective is used as a noun
- When the adjective immediately follows its noun
In all other places an adjective only has 2 forms: singular and plural (see above).
Examples and paradigms can be found on a separate page: Inflected adjectives.
Comparative[edit | edit source]
Quenya uses two different comparatives: relative and absolute.
Relative Comparison[edit | edit source]
When we use an adjective in a relative comparison, it is preceded by j~C lá but its form doesn’t change:
- `N7Yt$ 5~C 9Cj°# j~C t#2^8 Oromë ná halla lá Mandos "Orome is taller than Mandos"
- `C5#6 5~C aDj%t# j~C `BiGj Anar ná calima lá Isil "The sun is brighter than the moon"
Note: j~C lá is also used to negate a verb, so it can appear with both meanings in one sentence:
- j~C aD7Tj´$8 tlDaD j~C t#aGj$7ÎE lá carilyes maica lá macilerya "you don't make it sharper than your sword"
If one is unsure of the meaning of which j~C lá is being used, simply identify the following word to determine the meaning:
- j~C lá followed by a "noun" = Relative Comparison.
- j~C lá followed by a "verb" = Verb Negation.
Absolute Comparison[edit | edit source]
If on the other hand the comparison is used absolutively, we have a special ending \m# –lda:
- `N7Yt$ 5~C 9Cj°#m# Oromë ná hallalda "Orome is longer"
So these comparatives are always adjectives on \`C –a and follow the rules of these adjectives:
- jlDzDm$ qRj$7T laiqualdë peleri "greener fields"
To apply the ending to adjectives on \`V –ë we use their I-stem:
- 5%v$ ninquë "white" → 5%v%m# ninquilda
and adjectives on \`B5 - \`V5 –in/-en get the ending \`Bm# –ilda:
- t$j%5 melin "dear" → t$j%5%m# melinilda
Finally, a few are irregular:
- t~C7E - t#5$ mára/manë "good" → t#m# malda "better"
- yE5Ì# vanya "beautiful, fair" → yEm# valda "more beatiful, fairer"
- `MjaD ulca "bad" → `Mm# ulda "worse"
- elDaD faica "bad" → eRm# felda "worse"
- j%w# limba "many" → j%m# lilda "more"
- `Nj´# olya "much" → `Nm# olda "more"
and the diminutive:
- t#f# manca "few" → t%1E+ mitsa "less"
Superlative[edit | edit source]
The superlative is formed by applying the prefix `C5\ an- to the adjective:
- aDj%t# calima "clear" → `Cf#j%t# ancalima "clearest"
- yT5Ì# vinya "new" → `C5yT5Ì# anvinya "newest"
This prefix cannot be applied to every adjective as otherwise unallowed consonant clusters could appear (see Phonology).
It can be prefixed to adjectives beginning in: a vowel, c-, n-, qu-, t-, v-, w-, y-. some other consonants can get the prefix `C5#\ ana-:
- `Cj1E alta "big" → `C5#j1E analta "biggest"
- 5%2$ nindë "fragile" → `C5:%2$ annindë "most fragile"
- zD4# quanta "full" → `Cv#4# anquanta "fullest"
- nTjnE wilwa "vague" → `C5nTjnE anwilwa "vaguest"
- hÍRjnE yelwa "loathsome" → `C5Ì$jnE anyelwa "most loathsome"
- eU7T5 furin "hidden" → `C5#eU7T5 anafurin "most hidden"
- 9Cj°# halla "long" → `C5#dEj°# anahalla "longest"
When an adjective begins in q\ p- the prefix becomes `Ct\ am-:
- qT1ÎE pitya "small, little" → `Cr%1ÎE ampitya "smallest"
Before l-, m-, r-, s- the n of an- assimilates into the following consonant to make it a double consonant:
- jlDaD lauca "warm" → `Cj°lDaD allauca "warmest"
- 7Ts# ringa "cold" → `C7;Ts# arringa "coldest"
- iDuE sarda "hard" → `C,DuE assarda "hardest"
- t#7T5 marin "ripe" → `C5:#7T5 ammarin "ripest"
But when we look at the historical development of Quenya, a large group of adjectives must have 'historical' irregularities, e.g.
- yE5Ì# vanya "beautiful" → `Cw#5Ì# ambanya "most beautiful"
We will look at these on a separate page: historical superlatives.