Attributive Adjectives (-i; dayole)

Adjectives always qualify a noun or pronoun — Taneraic adjectives never stand as nouns (e.g., “the bold and the beautiful”). They possess predicative and attributive forms.

(a) Formation:

(1) A single-word attributive (i.e., a word added to a noun to denote an attribute) is formed from a radical with the addition of the desinence –i, to give its adjectival equivalent:


celin, beauty > celini, beautiful

lesqova, happiness > lesqovi, happy

syebeq, symbol > syebeqi, symbolic

(2) A compound attributive (i.e., an adjective made from a compound noun) is formed with the adjunct dayole, with or without further affixation:

niamo tolisya, meekness > dayole niamo tolisya, meek

sirnoya oube, stillbirth > dayole sirnoya oube, stillborn

tusqer darpeu, gymnastics > dayole tusqer darpeu, gymnastic

(3) An attributive adjective describing what something is made of (English often uses another noun in this sense: e.g., silver box) is formed from a radical with the addition of the desinences –i or –ati:

(a) –i is used when the adjective describes a “solid” condition, or something in its purest or simplest form, without having been worked on:

qiyoubi palout, a [solid] silver ring (i.e., made completely of silver)

acyesi daga, an iron box

saibii emeqar, a marble cliff

(b) –ati is used when the adjective describes a composite condition (it is often equivalent to the English -ed or -en in such contexts), a product having been worked on, or a metaphorical quality:

qiyoubati palout, a silver[-plated] ring (i.e., not made completely of silver)

acyesati daga, an iron box

saibiati zaba, a marble table

(4) Adjectives are used in such cases, for Taneraic compounds form new, metaphoric constructions (see A.4 Compound Nouns). Compare:

acyesi mamega, an iron bar > mamega acyes, a golf club or iron

(5) Adjectives sometimes denote possession by relationship:

(a) –i is used for primary relationships (i.e., those closest to an individual):

gomayi qussa, a mother’s love (i.e., motherly or maternal love)

zuabi qauran, fraternal greetings

esnuli qemanat, a friendly or amicable arrangement

(b) –isi is used for secondary relationships (i.e., those outside family and friends — see A.6 Noun Classes, Classifiers & Agents — or denoting a person’s possession of the quality expressed in the radical):

qussisi tolisyaqa, loving kindness (i.e., a loving person’s kindness)

celinisi jaza, a beauty pageant (i.e., a pageant for beautiful people)

(c) –uni is used for adjectival forms of adherents, members of an identifiable group (officially or not) or offspring of the idea expressed in the radical):

tovuni saqir jebida, a child’s toy or children’s toys

moumuni sarogara, gay rights (i.e., gays’ rights)

(d) –yarisi is used for the occupational — but not professional — relationship (see A.6 Noun Classes, Classifiers & Agents) expressed in the radical:

saseciarisi peuqa, competitive or competitors’ spirit

(e) dar-. . .-i is used for the professional relationship expressed in the radical (see A.6 Noun Classes, Classifiers & Agents) expressed in the radical:

darnini otalat, a policemen’s duty

darlessouboni renxasqa, the manufacturing industry (i.e., manufacturers’ industry)

(b) Position:

(1) Attributive and classifying –i adjectives normally precede a noun or proper noun (they may follow), but they must follow a case-inflected noun in reverse order (i.e., demonstrative adjectives last): compare:

nuri celini aresat, a beautiful painting

aresata celini nuri, of a beautiful painting

(2) Adjectives formed with dayole always follow a noun or proper noun:

tovun dayole niamo tolisya, a meek child

tovuna dayole niamo tolisya, of a meek child

(3) Adjectives which normally precede a noun may change their position when bearing special stress:

Ansibanustadi nuri tou casari nu das moudi jame casari.

It will take a young person with new ideas.

(4) If there are two adjectives before a noun (not including possessive or demonstrative adjectives), they are linked by e:

avi sabri e bihari depa, my big blue chair

The e ligative is not used where the former adjective behaves as an adverb by giving more information on the adjective following:

nuri zeni bihari runcyes, a pretty blue dress (i.e., the blue makes it pretty)

nuri zeni asdibi hamo, a nice cold drink (i.e., the cold makes it nice)

Derived adjectives acting as adverbs still precede:

acyelini mancasari depa, an ugly old chair

(5) Derived adjectives stand closer to the noun; adjectives of color stand closest to the noun:

avi sabri, yeti e bihari depa, my big blue, wooden chair

[lit., my big, wooden and blue chair]

Generally, the greater the affixation of the adjective, the closer it stands to the noun:

avi sabri, yeti, aslessovi e bihari depa, my big blue, wooden, handmade chair

[lit., my big, wooden, handmade and blue chair]

Style would dictate breaking long strands of adjectives into separate phrases (this can be seen more clearly in the predicate):

avi sabri, yeti e bihari depa (yole) raiga noubu,

my big blue, wooden chair made by hand

Predicative Adjectives (-i; -da; das -da; mayole)

(1) The predicate form of -i adjectives is made by restoring them to their radical form, and adding the intransitive ending –da (predicated adjectives could be regarded as stative verbs): compare:

nuni celini tovun, that beautiful child

nuni tovun celinda, that child is beautiful

avi nasui buja, my rich uncle

avi buja nasuda, my uncle is rich

(2) An adjective behaving as an adverb after an intransitive verb does not change:

yobayada nasui, he looks rich

In Taneraic, the agent form –is is often used after the intransitive verb, linked by e:

yobayada e nasuis, he looks like a rich person

(3) The predicate form of dayole adjectives is made by placing das before the compound as adding –da:

nuni tovun dayole niamo tolisya, the meek child

nuni tovun das niamo tolisyada, the child is meek

(4) A compound adjective behaving as an adverb after an intransitive verb is formed with mayole:

yobayada mayole niamo tolisya, he looks meek


Possessive Adjectives

avi, (a) my; (b) our.

ayoi, (a) his her; its; (b) their (possessive adjective).

ayoti, his/her/its own; (b) their own

Demonstrative Adjectives

(Also see Articles, in NOUNS)

nuni, that/those

nunieni, this/these

nuri, some/any (equivalent to “any”, incl. partitive):

 Ni bulesubdi nuri heniaris?

Have you a pen?/Do you have a pen on you?

Nun avi jicyadi nuri besis.

It has given me an appetite.


nuri rah riqova, whichever

U lesubdi nuri depa, rah riqova.

Take a seat.

Indefinite Adjectives

marnui, a certain:

Voubouda dartirani marnui nu vegos abui lesegada.

I know a doctor who could assist.

 nuri see above


There are two, mutually exclusive, ways of expressing the comparative: (a) attributive (with peva & pepeva), and (b) predicative (with cer & cecer).

(a) Attributive

The attributive does not show comparison with something else:

Comparative of Inferiority

Aspeva is used if the comparison has never been to the contrary; if it once was, manpeva is used:

Aspeva celini depa.

The less beautiful armchair.

Manpeva lesqovi dartiran.

The less happy doctor (i.e., he was happy before).

The superlative is formed with aspepeva & manpepeva.

Comparative of Equality

As … as is translated by e … e:

Nunieni depa e sabra e abut.

This armchair as big as yours.

Nunieni butou e lesqova e nuni tou.

This man as happy as that man.

Note that the adjectival form has reverted to its radical form.

Comparative of Superiority

Peva ibeyoi meyonqa.

The farther city.

Peva sabri tutuca [liyansyenatta].

The bigger rat [ran away].

Pepeva is used for the superlative:

Pepeva ibeyoi meyonqa painosa nuni.

The farthest city in the land.

English uses -er/more when two objects or people are compared, but Taneraic always uses the superlative:

Pepeva sabri tutuca [ama yabnuta].

The bigger rat [of the two].

Pevi is the same as peva remí, and precedes nouns where comparison is implicit but not stated:

Pevi tutuca vas peuda ganien.

More rats live here.

When comparison, or an association, is implied, the ligative sasescya is employed, and the whole adjectival phrase is placed after the noun in apposition:

nainougacyou e sepou sasescya tanerai, an English–Taneraic Dictionary

nalaicyubatten e Australia sasescya Amerikia, Australian–American research

nevasenatten e noub sasescya au, hand–eye coordination

Note the ligative e, required as a “link”. In English, such comparisons are often linked by an en-rule, as above.

(b) Predicative

Comparative of Inferiority

Acyer is used if the comparison has never been to the contrary; if it once was, mancer is used:

Avi depa celinda acyer abut.

My armchair is less beautiful than yours.

Dartiran lesqovada mancer imato.

The doctor is less happy than before (i.e., he was happy).

The superlative is formed with aspepeva & manpepeva.

Comparative of Equality

As … as is translated by e … e:

Nunieni depa e sabrada e abut.

This armchair is as big as yours.

Nunieni butou e lesqovada e nuni tou.

This man is as happy as that man.

Note that the stative verb desinence is simply added to the radical form.

Where English uses the comparison of equality with “times”, Taneraic uses the positive comparative:


E yosabrada e tutuca.

It is as big as a rat.

Yosabrada yabusyi cer tutuca.

It is two times (twice) as big as a rat.

Comparative of Superiority

The comparative after a verb in Taneraic is rendered by cer:

Buqabustada ibeyoi cer.

You must go farther.

Cer may translate as “more than” if more material follows:

Buqabustada ibeyoi cer Parija/ayo/varauganestada.

You must go farther than Paris/he, she (him, her, etc.)/I can.

Sometimes English uses “better” or “to”, especially in verbs of liking:

Vavas pevadi aleuhati saqir aiban cer aluti nun.

I like salty foods better than sweet ones.

Vavas pevadi bocyadidon cer didon.

I prefer margarine to butter.

Cecer is used for the superlative:

Buqabustada ibeyoi cecer.

You must go farthest.

Vavas pevadi aleuhati saqir aiban cecer.

I like salty foods the best.

Remí … cer is used when nouns take a complement:

Remí tutuca vas peuda ganien cer gan.

More rats live here than there.

 Adjectives of Color

Primary, secondary and tertiary colors are formed with the desinence –i:

mirta, the color red > mirti, red

bihar, the color blue > bihari, blue

neza, the color yellow > nezi, yellow

Colors named after objects are usually formed with the affix group yas-. . . –ati:

yasassurati, aquamarine (adj.) (lit., after-the-sea)

yasassurati qoisu, aquamarine (n.)

Referential color adjectives are formed with the affix group yas-. . .-ati, or are translated with a yas phrase (such phrasal adjectives of color must follow the noun in apposition):

Yasnaqelati xirar qancu. Yasautati iyoh.


Xirar qancu gadí yas naqela. Iyoh mirti yas aut.

A snow-white wedding gown. A blood-red moon.

(4) Adjectives formed with the hyphened word “-colored” in English are often formed with the affix group yas-. . . –ati, or are translated with majun, “color”, and a yas or dayole phrase:

Jula au dayole majun teza. Beyau yas majun mendai harogá*

Rose-colored glasses. Straw-colored hair.

* Majun is not a classifer nor an unbound prefix; it therefore governs the genitive in yas phrases and in compound dayole phrases.

The Taneraic is literal; “rose-colored glasses” in the sense of seeing something in too favorable a light would need to be paraphrased.

Color-combined adjectives are formed with the conjunction e:

bihari e cyiri armin, blue-green shirt*

* “a blue and green shirt” is translated variously bihari e cyiri armin or bihari e aspeu e cyiri armin; “blue and green shirts”, i.e., blue shirts and green shirts, is translated bihari armin je cyiri armin.

As adjectives of color cannot stand alone as nouns, note the use of the demonstrative pronoun nun:

Svai vadidi mirti nun.

I’ll take the red (one), please.

Svai vadidi mirta means, “I’ll take the color red”, which is clearly not meant. (As mirta is also the word for “inflammation”, and the verb “take” here is rendered by didi, “to buy”, such a sentence becomes nonsensical.)

Adjectives Formed from Proper Nouns

Nearly all proper nouns in Taneraic are borrowed words. [Work in progress]

The ligative e alone may be used:

jouna e Francia, a French film

syiroun e Italia, Italian cooking

A phrase (qualifiers) is needed when the sense is extended:

jouna e qata e Francia, a French film (i.e., a film about France)

jouna ai qaize e Francia, a French film (i.e., a film in French)

jouna [yole] raiga oher Francia, a French film (i.e., a film made in France)

darpauran qaize e Francia, a French teacher (i.e., a teacher of French)

darpauran dayole jitovun e Francia, a French teacher (i.e., a teacher who is French)

Proper-noun combinations are expressed with the ligative e doubled:

Concorde” vayole naibisot xasa e Anglia e Francia.

The Concorde is an Anglo-French project.

Some set expressions are derived from proper nouns. These are also formed with the ligative e:

qon rixai e Noa, Noah’s ark

bacyu le e Axila, Achilles’ heel

Other set expressions do not have exact equivalents in Taneraic: e.g., “Adam’s apple” is rendered by dega zevus (lit., throat bulge); but “Murphy’s law”, the “principle” that what can go wrong will go wrong, would have to be paraphrased. Note that “Adam’s apple” — a person called Adam who has an apple — is simply translated in the genitive: pula beden aher Adam.

Classifying adjectives formed from proper nouns, through derivation or not, with the meaning “named after”, “with the name of”, “of the time(s) of”. “of the nature of”, etc., are formed in Taneraic with the ligative e or with an e phrase:

e (jabe e) Artur, Arthurian

e (yas e) Wilde, Wildean

nuni lungara e Reagan, the Reagan years

„bon (resó) e Ashley”, Ashley House*

* Similarly, where English uses the possessive in commercial establishments (here, the redundant possessive is retained for recognisability): e.g., „bon e Harrods”, Harrods; „bon e Macey’s”, Macey’s, etc.

The ligative e is used with names or titles in apposition:

„naipauranajon e Melburna”, the University of Melbourne

pouque e Yapania, the Emperor of Japan

meyon e Parija, the city of Paris

Equivalent of the Present Participle

As present participles do not exist in Taneraic, a circumlocution is required.

Equivalent of the Past Participle

As past participles do not exist in Taneraic, a circumlocution is required.

(a) Adjectives often perform the task of the past participle in English:

(b) A relative circumlocution with the passive mood is common:

lebet yole raiga ye laura, a heart (which is) made of gold*

* The relative yole may be dropped: lebet raiga ye laura; indeed, the passive mood may simply be implied: lebet ye laura.

Consider further:

Go daju syirounga, gon yomas resdi zaba.

The meal cooked, he set the table.


When the meal was cooked, he set the table.

 Numerals (Ordinals)

Ordinals are formed by genitive inflexion (short forms for numbers 1 – 9)

mara, first; yaba, second; cana, third; pova, tenth; poumarata, 11th; poviabata, 12th; yabbou suya, 25th; teqou poumara 111th; pou gigova, supou jauna, 10,058th

Only the last part of the number is inflected (as above).

Cardinals used as Ordinals

In English, cardinals can stand for ordinals, but ordinals must always be used in Taneraic:

caniyoha 18-a, (on) March 18 ([on] the 18th of March)

aiveyo cana, (on) Day Three

oralato 55-a, (on) page 55

virqo yaba, (on) Platform 2

uzo eyan yaba, Act II/Second Act

asyuca poucanata, Chapter 13

Leave a Reply