Saturday, November 28, 2015

Dairwueh: Adjectives and Comparison

Unlike my other conlangs, Dairwueh has comparatives and superlatives. It also has a few other related forms. Some of these morphemes also can be used on verbs to some extent. 

There are two main morphemes that are used for the various comparatives and superlatives, -bav-, and -var. The superlative is formed by compounding the two, but also has a slight vowel change, giving -bəvar.

The comparative construction has the adjective in the comparative form without any congruence on it. The thing that is compared to is in the genitive after the adjective, thus:
laxe-bar tond-at
tall-er tree-gen
'taller than a tree'
The normal superlative is used to specify that a noun is the most X among the relevant alternatives, or as a complement to express that the referent is the most X among relevant comparanda. The absolute superlative expresses that the referent is the most X among all things. 

Morphologically, the superlative and the absolute superlative do not differ significantly; only a few handful of words distinguish them - the words that have suppletive comparatives and superlatives. The absolute superlative uses the same root as the unmarked form, the positive.

aras - loved
enabar - more loved
enabəvar - most loved
arasbəvar - the most loved (in the whole world)
side - good
rembar - better
rebəvar - best
sidbəvar - best (in the whole world)
vorge - strong
marbar - stronger
marbəvar - strongest
vorgbəvar - strongest (in the whole world)

laxer - long, tall
laxebar - longer, tallest
laxebəvar - longest, tallest
laxebəvar - longest, tallest (in the whole world)

The comparative takes congruence, and in most forms the congruence marker is affixed to -bər-, thus showing the same vowel alteration as in the superlative. Another type of superlatives is the "individual apex superlative". This corresponds, roughly, to "at (his/her/its) most X", e.g.
At his best, he can solve any problem by just looking at it for half a minute, at his worst, he'll get stuck on the smallest problem forever.
This has two primary forms, the adverbial form and the complement form. Both are formed using the positive root, the superlative suffix and the prefix no(g)-. The adverbial form does have gender congruence as well:
nosidbavres (masc) | nosidbavrin (fem) | nosidbavrer (masc plur) | nosidbaverta (fem plur) | nosidbavre (neut sg and pl)
nogarsabavres | nogarsabavrin | nogarsabavrer | nogarsabaverta | nogarsabavre
nolaxebavres | nolaxebavrin | ...
The complement version is simply nosidbəvar | nogarsabəvar | nolaxebəvar | ..., regardless of the gender of the noun. The complement would be used to express, simply, that someone is (or was or becomes or became) at their X-st.

There is also an intensive adjective form, which generally takes the positive root, but with the exception of side, where it sometimes takes the comparative root rem-. The intensive adjective takes the suffix -lar, and can take congruence, in which case the a turns into ə like in the comparative suffix.

Further, a verb for becoming increasingly X can be formed by suffixing verbal morphemes to -lər-.

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