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Adjectives

Tamil does not have what is considered to be `true' adjectives, i.e., there are very few lexical items that one would enter into a dictionary under the rubric `adjective'; There are lexical items that act like adjectives in other languages, but most are derived from verbs or from nouns (cf. §§ 2.5 and 6.52). The few adjectives are not derivable from something else form a very small list, as follows:

Most adjectives, whether `basic' (as above) or derived from nouns or verbs, have a final a but not all of the above do. Other color terms such as niilam `blue' and ׶ cembu `red' are nouns and must be converted into adjectives by derivational suffixing (see below). Some color names are borrowed (from English, Sanskrit, Hindi, etc.), or the color concept is borrowed, and are formed by addition of kalar `color' to the word: manjal kalar `turmeric color' (yellow); Ԥ kaappi kalar `coffee color' (brown); ׶ pacce `green' is an indigenous color term that covers some greenish-yellow tints that speakers of other languages would classify as yellow.





Harold_F.Schiffman