Re: adjectives and adverbs
|From:||Julia "Schnecki" Simon <helicula@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, June 7, 2005, 11:16|
On 6/6/05, caeruleancentaur <caeruleancentaur@...> wrote:
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Julia \"Schnecki\" Simon"
> <helicula@g...> wrote:
> - as an ad-adjective: _hirveän iso_ "terribly big", not inflecting
> (even when the adjective it modifies is inflected, as in _hirveän
> isossa salissa_ "in a terribly big hall")
> I have a question, please. I know nothing about Finnish, but why is
> it necessary to have a special name (ad-adjective) for this
> category? The word in the example seems to me to be nothing more
> than an adjective with an adverbial ending in exactly the same way
> as "terribly." Can -än be added to any adjective to form an ad-
The suffix is <-n>, not <-än> (my example stem just happens to end in
<ä>, so the final syllable is <-än>).
I'm not sure if this <-n> can be added to any adjective stem -- well,
I'm reasonably sure it can (with a few exceptions), but I don't know
if you'd end up with something that makes sense as an adjective
modifier, semantically, or only with something that's well-formed
according to the rules of Finnish grammar but doesn't mean anything. ;-)
And yes, I think this "ad-adjective" is a separate category... after
all, it's a distinct form (clearly different from the "normal"
adjective as well as the <-sti> adverb both morphologically and
syntactically), so it should deserve its own name.
Anyway, there are two different suffixes (<-sti> and <-n>) that can
be used to, well, transform adjectives into something else that
modifies a non-noun in a similar way as an adjective modifies a noun.
With one of these suffixes (<-sti>) you get a "classical" adverb that
modifies a verb (or an entire sentence, if you want to look at it that
way); with the other (<-n>) you get a word that modifies an adjective.
Since the one that modifies a verb is called "adverb", I (and some
other linguists) call the other one "ad-adjective".
I mentioned above that there are a few exceptions to this "<-n> to
modify adjectives, <-sti> to modify verbs" rule... Off the top of my
head, I can think of two examples: _hyvä_ "good" and _paha_ "bad".
Both take <-in> to form adverbs, and the former also takes <-in> to
form the ad-adjective. (I've never heard any form of _paha_ used to
modify an adjective, so I don't know whether one would use _pahan_
there or some other form.) However, _paha_ also has a <-sti> adverb,
_pahasti_. So what we have with these two is,
adjective: hyvä (_hyvät uutiset_ "good news")
paha (_paha henki_ "an evil spirit")
adverb: hyvin (_voin hyvin_ "I'm (feeling) well")
pahoin (_voin pahoin_ "I'm not well" (lit. "I'm (feeling) badly"))
pahasti (_kaaduin pahasti_ "I fell [and hurt myself] badly")
ad-adjective: hyvin (_hyvin kallis_ "very expensive")
(The forms are _hyvin_ and not *hyväin, and _pahoin_ and not *pahain,
because certain strange things happen in Finnish when /A/ resp. /&/
meets /i/. I can't list the exact rules because I'm not too sure about
them myself; it seems to be one of those things that you just have to
learn, like gender or strong verbs in other languages. In any case,
the /A/ or /&/ disappears completely from some stems, as in _hyvin_,
and becomes /O/ resp. /&./ in other stems, as in _pahoin_.)
AFAIK _pahoin_ is used in certain fixed expressions (_voida pahoin_
"to be unwell, to be ill", _pelätä pahoin (että)_ "to fear very much
(that)") and compounds (_pahoinpitely_ "abuse, assault" (lit.
"badly-treatment"); _pahoinvointi_ "nausea, sickness"). Everywhere
else, the normal adverb _pahasti_ is used.
As for _hyvä_, there is a "regular adverb" form _hyvästi_, but it's
not used as an adverb meaning "good" or "well"; it means "farewell".
> In reading this thread I am reminded of a dialectal use of the
> adjective as an adverb, not unlike German. "That's a right smart
> move you made." "This is a terrible bad storm."
Some linguists are even reluctant to use the term "adverb" for this
particular, er, adjective-thingy (:-) in German, since it has the same
form as any old adjective (unlike, say, English or French or Latin
So this kind of thing happens in English dialects as well...
Interesting; I didn't know that.
Julia Simon (Schnecki) -- Sprachen-Freak vom Dienst
_@" schnecki AT iki DOT fi / helicula AT gmail DOT com "@_
si hortum in bybliotheca habes, deerit nihil
(M. Tullius Cicero)