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Re: adjectives and adverbs

From:Julia "Schnecki" Simon <helicula@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 7, 2005, 11:16

On 6/6/05, caeruleancentaur <caeruleancentaur@...> wrote:
> --- In, "Julia \"Schnecki\" Simon" > <helicula@g...> wrote: > Hello! > > - 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- > adjective?
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 adverbs). :-) So this kind of thing happens in English dialects as well... Interesting; I didn't know that. Regards, Julia -- 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)