Adjectives from Novial.

Rereading texts about Novial causes me to again return to the subject of adjectives for Diinlang. Diinlang is going to need to use suffixes and compounding of words to create a versatile and flexible system. Ideally the number of these should be kept small to make them easy to learn.

Many adjectives can be created from the active or passive versions of the Diinlang verb. In Diinlang these have the prefix “is-” or “ge-”.

This Novial source lists ten adjective suffixes, although arguably some of the other general and substantive suffixes may also form adjectives. Adjectives in Novial tend to have an “-i” on the end, although this may be dropped, particularly for words ending in “-n”. There are some non-adjective words that end in “-i” too.

The first Novial adjective suffixes to consider are “-al”, “-iv”, “-asi”, “-osi” and “-ari”. “-al” and “-iv” can be written with an “–i” on the end and this may be pronounced if the speaker prefers. Dropping the “–i” gives the words a more English sound.

“-al” conveys the meaning “pertaining to, to do with, relating to, concerning” and is the general purpose adjectival suffix, as it is in English. Most English adjectives that end in “-al” are “-al(i)” adjectives in Novial, as are also most that end in “-ic”. Lingua Franca Nova and several other IALs also use this ending and its use is proposed for Diinlang.

“-iv(i)” means “doing naturally or capable of doing”. Novial words using this include “instruktiv”, “sugestiv” and “atraktiv” which are “instructive”, “suggestive” and “attractive” in English. “Positive” is another word of this class.

“-asi” means “has a tendency or inclination to” while “-osi” means “having, especially in a great quantity of”. “-asi” is used in “disputasi” (quarrelsome), “laborasi” (hardworking) and “atakasi” (combative). “-osi” is used for “porosi” (porous), “kurajosi” (courageous) anf “danjerosi” (dangerous).

“-ari” means “agreeing with or fit for”. This meaning becomes clear when we consider the words “regulari” (regular), “populari” (popular) and “ordinary” (ordinary).

These are the Novial adjective suffixes that seem most likely to be useful for Diinlang. Jespersen offers the suffix “-isi” but cautions against overuse. It appears to be an augmentative derived from “-issimo” so in Diinlang its use would conflict with “ta”. “-osi” would probably meet most situations where Novial might use “-isi”.

“-indi” and “-endi” I don’t see much immediate use for. The suffix “-an” I will deal with elsewhere.

The final adjective suffix is “-bli”. “Bli” is also a standalone word in Novial used to make passive voice constructions and Jespersen does describe adjectives made with “-bli” as passive. “-bli” appears to be the Novial equivalent of the English suffix “-able” and its variants. Unfortunately “-able” in English is a suffix with a broad range of uses. According to wikitionary it forms adjectives meaning:
1.Able to be done; fit to be done.
movable: able to be moved
amendable: able to be amended
breakable: liable to broken
blamable: fit to be blamed
salable: fit to be sold
2.Relevant to or suitable to, in accordance with.
fashionable: relevant to fashion
seasonable: suitable to season
3.Giving, or inclined to.
pleasurable: giving pleasure
peaceable: inclined to peace
4.Subject to.
reportable: subject to be reported
taxable: subject to be taxed
5.Due to be.
payable: due to pay

 Consider “laughable”, fit to be laughed at and “honourable”, which means having honour. For this reason I think it is best to avoid using a suffix too close to English. In previous drafts I suggested compounding with the word “zhan”, which is the Diinlang verb “to be able”. This does not end in “-i”, although in Diinlang this is not compulsory for adjectives and many are likely to in fact end in “-n” or “-al”. “-avel” or “-ivel” derived from Portuguese may be alternatives.

The Novial suffixes are a good starting point but I think a few more may be useful.

“-yi” exploits the English mechanism of creating adjectives or adjective-like words by adding a “-y”. It forms adjectives that mean “having the quality of” or (with verbs) “inclined to”. It has a lesser magnitude than “-osi”. For example “hairy” means something has hair, but not necessarily in abundance. Combination with the word “kom” (with) is an alternate construction. We can say something is “sugary” or “with sugar”.

A suffix or compound word element that means “-like” will also be needed. This will most likely be whatever word is chosen for “like” in Diinlang.  Lingua Franca Nova suggests “-in” for this application, which may be too simple and generic! The suffix “-oid” used in words such as humanoid and rhomboid is widely understood. This would be spelt “-oyd” in Diinlang and does break the pattern of “-i” endings. “-ish” can have a similar meaning to “-oid” or “like” but with the implication of a lesser degree. While I like the idea of “ish” as a standalone word meaning “approximate” in Diinlang in English it is a word that has several different meanings.

The adjective uses of the English suffix “-ful” can probably be covered by “-osi”, possibly using an augmentative if necessary. To create a noun such as “handful” Novial offers us “-ede”.