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Comparison of adjectives

Adjectives in Tamil do not have morphological forms for the `comparative' and `superlative' degrees like English and many other European languages (-er, -est, etc.). Adjectives can be compared, however, with the use of չ vida (the infinitive of the verb vidu `leave, let'). The rule for this construction on the model of English ` A is big-ger than B' would be

` B ACC. չ vida, A NOUN + -aa irukku'.

The noun in this construction is adjectivalized and made comparative by the addition of the so-called ADVERBIAL suffix aa (from LT ȴ/Ȳ aaka/aay), which are both reduced to aa in ST. This, in combination with the copula, makes a `temporary-state' adjective. Note that ȴ aaka is the INFINITIVE of aahu `become', and Ȳ aay is the ADV (past participle) of the same.

Note that in the Tamil the order of the two items compared is B: A, while in English the order is A: B.





Harold_F.Schiffman