A Constructed Language
This chapter discusses all syntax, morphology, and words related to
There may be up to five things involved in a comparison:
along with the context in which the five things occur (the rest of the clause,
- the subject of comparison,
- the standard of comparison,
- the scale of comparison,
- the directionality of comparison,
- and the degree of comparison
Subject and Standard
- The subject of comparison is what's being compared and the
standard of comparison is what it's being compared to.
- How the standard is expressed depends on the type of comparison.
Scale and Directionality
- The scale of comparison is the attribute being used to
compare the subject of comparison to the standard. It can be any quality
denoted by an adjective to which degree can apply or it can be a quantity.
- The directionality of comparison has to do with whether the
subject of comparison may be said to have a higher, lower, or equal degree
of the attribute.
- Like most languages, Naisek has distinct
words for the positive and negative directionalities of each scale of
comparison, with the positive used when the subject has more of the
attribute than the standard does and the negative when it has less. In
other words, the positive and negative refer to opposite qualities, e.g.
"hot" and "cold".
- In addition, Naisek has words for the
neutral directionality, which are derived from the positive words.
Degree of Comparison
- The degree of comparison has to do with how much difference
there is between the subject of comparison and the standard.
- An exact degree of comparison consists of a quantified unit of
measurement word preceded by the preposition ren
(Deg). These act like other prepositional phrases syntactically.
- There are also words for inexact degrees such as juku
"very" and piku "slightly"; these are placed before the
- The absolute positive isn't really a comparison, it only specifies the
degree of some quality which an entity has, in absolute terms.
- Only the scale, subject, and degree are used; all of these are required.
- Also, only positive words are normally used; negative words may be used,
but they have the same denotation in this construction.
- Either the positive, negative, or neutral directionality is used.
- The standard of comparison isn't specified, but is an implicit norm
determined by the scale and type of subject of comparison; that is, the
positive form indicates that the subject's degree is greater than that of
the norm, while the negative form indicates that the subject's degree is
less than that of the norm and the neutral form indicates that the
subject's degree is (more or less) the same as the norm's.
- An explicit degree of comparison can't appear.
|Hi kloba pinkti.
||- "The house is small."|
|Ha potspa (large)ti.
||- "The cockroach is large."|
|Jafa daxme launalti.
||- "That woman's neither beautiful nor ugly."|
- The comparative construction uses the conjunction tep to
introduce the standard of comparison, which has the form of a defective
clause (where only the contrasting elements are used); this is usually a
phrase with the same case as the subject of comparison.
- Original comparisons use the comparative form (-Cmp) of the
|Johanum kloba kanosti tep Tomasum.
||- "John's house is redder than Tom's."|
- Opposite and neutral comparisons place the particles gos or
fen, respectively, before the simple form of the adjective:
|Johanum kloba gos kanti tep Tomasum.
||- "John's house is less red than Tom's."|
|Johanum kloba fen kanti tep Tomasum.
||- "John's house is as red as Tom's."|
- Neutral comparatives are called equatives.
- Note that an original comparison using a negative adjective has the same
meaning as an opposite comparison using a positive adjective and that an
opposite comparison using a negative adjective has the same meaning as an
original comparison using a positive adjective.
- Note that the logical negation of these (using ga)
is strictly that:
|Johanum kloba ga fen kanti tep Tomasum.
||- "John's house is either more red or less red than Tom's."|
- Note also that the scale of comparison isn't always the head of the
clause and that the subject of comparison isn't always the subject of the
|Johana sta lompin sippossu tep Tomasa.
||- "John runs faster than Tom."|
|Paula sofata jukossi jande tam gofwe tep hali brutseli.
||- "Paul gave more food to his dog than to the orphans."|
- If the degree of comparison appears, it denotes a degree relative to
that of the standard. Degree can't be used in equatives.
- A temporal comparison is when the standard of comparison has the same
referent as the subject of comparison, but at an earlier time.
- A temporal comparison is constructed like an explicit comparison, but
with the standard of comparison omitted.
|Mariyar sta lalbin launossingo.
||- "Mary sings more beautifully (than she used to)."|
Superlative of Selection
- The superlative construction consists of the superlative form
(-Sup) of the adjective placed before a partitive construction.
The superlative word agrees with the noun in gender and with the
quantifier in number and case.
|Banampala tona hatsu kattotsu stor lompok.
||- "The youngest three of the cats are running."|
- The superlative construction may omit the quantifier:
|kanampi kesitsu klobatsu
||- "the reddest (one) of these houses"|
|kanampil kesitsu klobatsu
||- "the reddest (more than one) of these houses"|
- As an absolute superlative is actually an absolute positive where the
degree is the highest (or lowest) possible, it could be expressed as such
with words indicating maximum (or minimum) degree. However, the
construction in common use is simply the superlative form (-Sup)
of the adjective without the partitive construction,
|Mariyar sata lalbok launampingo.
||- "Mary couldn't have been singing more beautifully!"|
Satisfactive, Excessive, and Result Constructions
- Each of these consists of a comparative clause and a result clause (or
sentence). They're basically the same construction, the difference being
that a satisfactive or excessive construction uses the subjunctive mood in
the result part, while a result construction uses some other mood (which
may be a contrafactual conclusion with or without condition).
- The comparative clause and result part are coordinate; neither is
introduced by any conjunction. The two parts can appear in either order,
although putting the comparative clause first is more common.
- In one version of the comparative clause, a positive or negative
adjective (indicating scale and directionality) is used along with the
degree adverb turen "so/to such a degree" (this parallels the
use of curen "how/to what degree"). Turen
usually, but not necessarily, appears at the end of the comparative
|Johan kwerbita turen, glefa.
||- "John was so drunk, he fell."|
|Johan kwerbita turen, glefaxo.
||- "John was drunk enough to fall."|
|Johan kwerbita turen, glefuro.
||- "John was so drunk, he would have fallen."|
- A satisfactive can be turned into an excessive (or vice versa) by using
the opposite adjective in the comparative clause and adding (or removing)
a logical negation in the result part; the difference between the two
may be more a matter of translation than anything else.
|Tomas (sober)ta turen, ga glefaxo.
||- "John was too sober to fall."|
- In another version, the comparative clause contains the adverb
tingo "in such a manner" (which parallels cingo
"in what manner"). Like turen, tingo usually
appears at the end of the clause. As no scale, directionality, or subject
of comparison is used, this isn't exactly a type of comparison; however,
it uses similar syntax!
|Johana sata lalbok tingo hal jemo lalbato.
||- "John was singing in such a way that the people laughed."|
page started: 2007.Jan.04 Thu
last modified: 2009.Jan.21 Wed
content and form originated by qiihoskeh
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