Dal'qörian Inherent and non-inherent adjectives

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back to Dalcurian adjectives

Most attributive adjectives denote some ‘attribute’ of the noun which they modify. For instance, the phrase a red car may be said to denote a car which is red. In fact most adjective-noun sequences such as this can be loosely reformulated in a similar way:

* an old man-a man who is old
* difficult questions-questions which are difficult
* round glasses-glasses that are round

This applies equally to postpositive adjectives:

* something understood-something which is understood
* those responsible-those who are/were responsible

In each case the adjective denotes an attribute or quality of the noun, as the reformulations show. Adjectives of this type are known as INHERENT adjectives. The attribute they denote is, as it were, inherent in the noun which they modify. However, not all adjectives are related to the noun in the same way. For example, the adjective small in a small businessman does not describe an attribute of the businessman. It cannot be reformulated as a businessman who is small. Instead, it refers to a businessman whose business is small. We refer to adjectives of this type as NON-INHERENT adjectives. They refer less directly to an attribute of the noun than inherent adjectives do. Here are some more examples, showing the contrast between inherent and non-inherent:  


* distant hills
* a complete chapter
* a heavy burden
* an old man


* distant relatives
* a complete idiot
* a heavy smoker
* an old friend

One can clearly see the difference in meaning between an inherent and a non-inherent adjective. For example, an old man is a man who is old, whereas an old friend is not a friend who is old, but a friend who you have known for some time.

In Dalcurian, attributive adjectives are never used in a non-inherent style. This is because almost all Dalcurian attributive adjectives carry only an attributive meaning. For example, to say literally ni vätös zécösatrátsi-a heavy smoker, would imply that the ‘smoker’ was of a ‘heavy stature’ (this is most likely why Dalcurians are termed 'Literal Thinkers). Again, the adjectives must be avoided but there are a number of ways in which non-inherent formations can be rendered. One way is to verbalize the sentence and modify it with an adverb that relates to the adjective:

  • Mæ vätösas zécösatr. He smokes heavily. (see Adverbs for word order)

Although this does not directly describe an attribute of ‘the smoker’ himself, it still describes an attribute of his smoking which, in turn, tells us more about ‘him’.

  • Ni qömpal qvéamø di äda-épø. An old friend. (lit: A friend out of the past).
  • Tev’araciev, binä, máriÞ ni qömpal qvéamø äda-épø, tirigöria. I’m meeting with an old friend later. (lit: Later, I am meeting with a friend out of the past).
  • GeræÞ tamlájel. Distant relatives. In Dalcurian, these are known as slight relations.

This is an area of Dalcurian grammar which I would describe as being a little difficult. Unfortunately, there is no ’list’ that depicts each and every equivalent of an English non-inherent phrase. Through your learning of Dalcurian, it will become apparent as to which words can be replaced or used, and how sentences can simply be re-formed.

Just remember, not everything from one's own language can be directly translated into a foreign one; this is one of those areas!

Comparison of adjectives

Comparative sentences

Adjective endings

Adjective tense

Attributive and Predicative adjectives

Post positive adjectives

Nominal adjectives

Resultant adjectives

This article is one of many about the Dalcurian language.

Sub categories:

Dalcurian language and basic history:
Halcánian dialect
Dalcurian alphabet and pronunciation
Comparison of adjectives * Comparative sentences * Adjective endings * Adjective tense * Attributive and Predicative adjectives * Post positive adjectives * Inherent and non-inherent adjectives * Nominal adjectives * Resultant adjectives * Adjectives with prepositions * Adjective Hierarchy * Adjective Negation
The verb to do * Modal Verbs * Verb Moods
Preposition word order * Alternative uses of prepositions

Miscellaneous word and phrase lists:

Colours * Days/months/seasons * Describing people * Names of Countries * Hello/goodbye Please/thankyou * Intensifiers * English Dalcurian Dictionary


Omniglot * Various webpages in Dalcurian