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1.3 Degree modification of APs

Its is a characteristic of adjectives that they can be modified by an adverbial of degree, such as aiske ‘very’, gans ‘very’, gjucht ‘very’, swiede ‘very’. There are many adverbs denoting a high degree, but there are also several adverbs denoting a moderate degree, such as ‘n bitje ‘a little’, laidich ‘a little’, wät ‘somewhat’. Two examples are given below:

Hie fäilt sik gjucht mollich bie uus.
he feels himself very at.home at us
He feels very much at home with us.
Dät Klood is ‘n bitje japsk an dän Hoals.
the dress is a little too.wide at the throat
The dress is a little too wide at the neckline.’

Many of these adverbial elements are sensitive to the lexical and the quantificational nature of the following word.


Another characteristic of most adjectives is that they have comparative and superlative forms used for relative comparison. The comparative generally ends in –er, and the superlative in –st. In addition, a group of frequent adjectives of one syllable may change their stem vowel in the comparative or the superlative or both. A few adjectives are very irregular. Below some examples of irregular paradigms are given:

Joop japper joopst.
deep deeper deepest
Deep, deeper, deepest.
Goud beter bääst.
good better best
Good, better, best.
Fuul moor maast.
much more most
Much, more, most.
Groot gratter grootst.
great greater greatest
Great, greater, greatest.

Some constructions and idioms are sensitive to degree, as we will see.

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