Adjectives

Adjectives, of course, are words (like “red” and “hot” and “sexy”) that describe nouns. Talossan adjectives differ in their use from English adjectives in four notable (but not scary) ways:

    • Adjectives May Be Used As Nouns. In Talossan, you can omit a noun being described if the context of the sentence allows it to be clear what the noun is. In English, typically a noun cannot completely disappear, but can be replaced with the word “one”. For example, in the sentence “he is the thin one”, it is clear that the reader knows what noun the word “one” stands for (“a man”, “a boy”, “a dog”, etc.). In Talossan, you can simply say o isch el stiglh (= he is the thin). Don’t go overboard with this — it is certainly not wrong (or in any sense uncommon) to provide the noun: o isch el garziun stiglh (= he is the thin boy).

     

    • Adjectives Typically Follow The Noun. As you’ve seen in numerous examples, including the last one given just above, an adjective in Talossan will usually follow the noun it is describing. This is different from English, in which the adjective precedes the noun. For example, la casa roxh, which literally translates to “the house red”, is how Talossan would express what English would say as “the red house”.
      If multiple adjectives are used to describe the same noun, this same rule is still followed, and the word es (= and) is used to separate them. That is, where English would say “the red and green house”, Talossan would say la casa roxh es virt (literally, “the house red and green”).

      It is common for new users of Talossan to ignore or forget this rule, and to position adjectives before the noun, as is done in English. You should be sure to get into the habit of using nouns before describing them. (And, in case you’d forgotten, this is also a good time to remind you that another related habit you should get into is to accompany your nouns with articles.)

      That said, there are times when adjectives do appear before a noun, instead of after it. (You had to know there’d be exceptions, didn’t you?) Luckily, the three exceptions are fairly common-sense.

        • The first exception is when the adjective is to be especially stressed, as being even more important in a sentence than the noun it is describing. For example, la roxh casa (= the red house) is not improper, but to use this phrasing will imply to the hearer or reader that the redness of the house is somehow shocking or surprising (to you). This is also why you see ¡Felicia Nadaliça! (= Happy Birthday!), rather than ¡Nadaliça Felicia!; the (wish for the) happiness of the event is more important than the event itself.

       

        • The second exception is that when the adjective is describing how many of something there are, this adjective always goes before the noun. That is, you would say doua valeinas (= two whales), not valeinas douas (= literally, whales twos).

       

      • The final exception is when the adjective is one that indicates possession. For example, you would say vaes casas (= my houses), and not casas vaes.

 

  • Adjectives Pluralise. We have also seen examples of this, and this is a definite difference from English, in which adjectives do not take plural forms. For example, in English you would say both “the red house” and “the red houses”, but in Talossan, you would say la casa roxh and las casas roxhen.The plural form of an adjective is formed using the exact same rules that we went over concerning pluralising of nouns. (This is why roxh took the suffix -en, above.)
  • Some (but not all) Adjectives Have Feminine Forms. As we discussed, in Talossan, nouns are either masculine or feminine, a concept foreign to English. We have said that the gender of a noun affects what form of article (for example, el or la) is used with the noun. It also affects what form of (certain) adjectives should be used.
    The vast majority of Talossan adjectives are like English in this respect — they do not modify for gender. The adjective roxh (= red) is one such adjective. A masculine noun like tesch (= roof) and a feminine noun like casa (= house) would both use roxh.

    However, in five cases, an adjective will take a feminine form when used to describe a feminine noun. These cases are:

      • If an adjective ends with either -eu or -éu, then it has a feminine form that is created by changing that ending. The -eu ending changes to -a and the -éu ending changes to -éa. For example, el tesch braneu (= the brown roof) but la casa brana (= the brown house), and el tesch c’haléu (= the damp roof) but la casa c’haléa (= the damp house).
        Notice that if the adjective ends with -ceu or -cheu (but not -scheu), the feminine form is modified to preserve the pronunciation of the consonant in that ending. The -ceu ending becomes -cia and the -cheu ending becomes -ca. For example, el garziun feliceu (= the happy boy) but la criança felicia (= the happy girl), and el tesch ambracafirancheu (= the reddish-brown roof) but la casa ambracafiranca (= the reddish-brown house).
      • If the adjective ends with -at, it has a feminine form -ada. Most (but not all) such adjectives are past participles (but whether it is a past participle or not, all such adjectives do see their endings change to -ada when referring to, or standing for feminine nouns). The past participle is relatively easy to keep track of. That form is equivalent to the -ed verb-ending in English. That is, “baked” is the past participle form of the English verb “to bake”. (Note that English has quite a few irregular past participle forms, such as “eaten”, “taken”, etc.) In Talossan, the equivalent verb-ending is -at, with the feminine form -ada; you can usually recognize an adjective as being a past-participle form by this ending. For example, el tesch cursat (= the cursed roof) but la casa cursada (= the cursed house).
        Note that there is actually another, completely equivalent, form of the Talossan past participle (other than -at). This ending is -escu, and it has no feminine form. So if an adjective has the word-ending -escu, it does not have a different feminine form for use with feminine nouns. For example, el tesch apnescu (= the open roof) and la casa apnescu (= the open house).
      • Adjectives that end with -esc (which you might liken to the English “-ish” ending) take the -easca feminine ending. For example, el tesch amesc (= the lovely roof) but la casa ameasca (= the lovely house).

     

      • The adjectival ending -ös (which equates to the English “-ous” ending as in “curious” and “obvious”) becomes -ösa in the feminine. This is actually because this ending was originally -öseu, but the -eu has dropped off over time (though it can still be seen in some words, such as nerligiöseu = unreligious). Notice that this historic loss of the -eu ending has caused stress to shift left by one syllable in words having the -ös ending, though is is not uncommon to hear the -ös ending stressed (as if written -ôs), as it is in other Romance language cognates, like Spanish “-oso”.

     

    • The adjectival ending -ic becomes -ica in the feminine. Again, this is actually because the masculine ending has lost an original -eu ending (still seen in some words such as arápticeu = delerious).

     

    Feminine adjectival forms also will pluralise when used with plural nouns. So las casas ameascas.

Adjectives With Irregular Feminine Forms

As we discussed, most adjectives do not have distinct feminine forms. We also went over the rules for those adjectives having specific endings that do have feminine forms. There are a small set of others that have feminine forms that are irregular. There aren’t that many irregular feminine forms to remember, and quite a few of them are commonly used, so here they all are:

  • acest (= this or that) becomes aceasta
  • acû (= acute, sharp) becomes acüta
  • bel (= beautiful) becomes bela
  • bléu (= blue) becomes blua
  • Européu (= European) becomes Européia (note that this is a historical remnant; all adjectives ending in -éu used to become feminine in this way)
  • negreu (= black) has the feminine form neagra
  • nigüt (= zany) has the feminine form nigüta
  • noveu (= new) has the feminine form noua
  • (= nude) has the feminine form nüda
  • proxim (= near) has the feminine form proxima
  • prüm (= first) has the feminine form prüma
  • timit (= shy, timid) has the feminine form timida
  • vell (= old) has the feminine form vea
  • viens (= one, single) has the feminine form viensa

Adjectives Having Irregular Plural Forms

We discussed how Talossan adjectives take a plural form when used to describe plural nouns. However, there are some adjectives that simply do not do so, and there are some others that have irregular plural forms.

Adjectives of number (such as doua = two, tres = three, vuit = eight, etc.) do not take a plural form. That is, you would say simca casas (= five houses), not simcas casas. Notice, however, that you would pluralise these words when they are used to refer to groups, such as chints dals casas (= hundreds of houses).

Most possessive adjectives are sometimes seen used in their singular form even when referring to a plural noun. For example: both va casa (= my house) and va casas (= my houses) are proper — the adjective va (= my) did not take a plural form, though it could have — vaes casas is also (more) proper.

The following adjectives also never take a plural form: aucün (= none, not any), çaobén (= how many, how much), cacsa (= such, quite, such a…), embù (= ‘both’), ingen (= any), qetevri (= whatever), and qissen (= ‘whose’).

There are nine other adjectives that have irregular plural forms. These are:

  • acest and its feminine form aceasta (= this or that) share the plural form acestilor (= these or those)
  • fiir (= proud, loyal) has the plural form fiis
  • noastra (= our) has the plural form noschtri
  • po (= few) has the plural form pocs
  • political (= political) has the irregular plural form politici, but the regular plural form politicais is also proper,
  • proxim (= near) has the plural form proxins
  • quist (= the former) has the plural form quisten
  • voastra has the plural form voschtri.

Finally, in a weird little corner of Talossan, there are five adjectives that have a plural form that is irregular only in that the stress moves one syllable left. These are Belxhíc (= Belgian), evanxhelíc (= evangelical), matxentíc (= magical), öcümeníc (= ecumenical), and püblíc (= public). The stressmark is dropped from these words when they are pluralised, essentially moving the stress one syllable earlier in the word. That is, püblíc is stressed on the final syllable, but the plural form püblici is stressed on its first syllable.

Some Common or Notable Adjectives

The adjectives cacsa means “such a”. For example, c’e cacsa þonta (= it is such a shame). This adjective does not have a plural form, so os sint cacsa ardits (= they are such brave [men]).

The word tal also means “such a”. You would use this word less sarcastically than you would use cacsa, though. For example, tal perziun riuschlarha (= such a person will succeed). For cases like this, though, the phrase com’acest (= like this) is more common. For example, perziuns com’acestilor riuschlarhent (= persons like that will succeed).

The word altreu is used for “other”. It has a feminine form altra. For example ¿dovestà l’altreu cióvec? (= where is the other man?) and ¿dove sint las altras frulor? (= where are the other women?)

The adjective cadascu means “each” or “every”. It is often written (and spoken) in the shortened form ca’scu. For example, cadascu dels cioveci (= each [one] of the men) and ca’scu dels parleirs (= each [one] of the speakers).

We have seen the word toct (= all) before. What is worth noting about it here is that in a phrase such as “all of us”, you should remember to put the adjective after the pronoun, and form the phrase as “us all”. That is, noi toct (= us all) is proper Talossan, while toct noi (which would literally be “all us”) is improper.

The adjective quançeu means “how many” or “how much”. For example, quança lapta (= how much milk), and quançeux fis (= how many threads).

To say “as much as” or “so much as”, you would use the phrases tondavon qe, sa mült qe, and sa mûchet come. For example, téu sa mûchet dal apa come txamais (= I have as much water as ever) and a tent sa mült capacità qe tu (= she has as much talent as you). Notice that here is a case when a noun need not be accompanied by an article.

The adjectives mült and muiteu (with its feminine form muita) are applied to singular nouns having the meaning akin to English “much, a lot of, or much of”. For example, muita lapta tent estescu listrada (= much has been spilled). Notice that you should not modify either of these adjectives with the word tro (= too), as you would in English. That is, tro mült (literally “too much”) is improper Talossan, in much the same way that “very lots” would be improper in English. To say “too much” or “too many”, just use the single word tro. For example, c’e tro frü (= it is too early) and o reçaifeva tro criedit (= he received too much credit).

The adjective po (= few) has the irregular plural form pocs, and (just as in English) to refer to “a few” of something, you would use ‘n po (= a few). For example, pocs garziuns lirent (= few boys read) and ‘n po dels garziuns lirent (= a few of the boys read).

The words (= more) and míus (= less) are used with da (= of) in comparative phrases just as in English, except that the order of the phrasing puts the noun first. That is, apa da phü (= more water), agognh da mhíus (= less agony), and þáriqeux da mhíus (= fewer beans). Notice that both of these words ( and míus) are among those for which consonant mutation is usually made explicit in spelling.

To indicate a negative in a descriptive phrase, use the word non (= not) to negate the verb, just like in English. For example, o non isch ardit (= he is not brave). There is also the negating adjective aucün, which has a meaning similar to “none” or “not any”. When you use this word (which does not vary for number or gender), you typically would not also use non in the phrase. For example, téu aucün (= I have none) and aucün equas coriarhent (= no [not any] fillies will race).

There are other negating adjectives too, such as nicacal (= no kind of). For example, ama nicacais vineux (= he likes no kinds of wine).

Finally, there are some adjectives (often formed by a prefix akin to English “un-” or “non-“) that have negative meaning, and which you would use in affirmative statements. This is just like in English. For example, a isch unsinçar (= she is insincere).