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Adjectives and Adjective Phrases in Frisian

The Adjective Phrase (AP) is a structure built around an adjective. Most adjectives are words denoting properties: the adjective kâld cold denotes the property of being cold. This topic starts with some characteristics and classifications of the AP. After this it focuses attention on different aspects of the internal structure and the external structure of the AP.


The internal structure of the AP involves the following elements:

  • Arguments to adjectives, which are bracketed in the two examples below (see complementation):
    Example 1

    a. [De wyn] is kâld
    the wind is cold
    The wind is cold
    b. Fereale [op Martsje]
    enamoured of Martsje
    Enamoured of Martsje
  • Modifiers and degree quantification:
    Example 2

    a. [Tige] fereale
    very.much enamoured
    Very much enamoured
    b. My [te] kâld
    me too cold
    Too cold for me
  • Comparatives and superlatives:
    Example 3

    a. [Kâlder] as juster
    colder than yesterday
    Colder than yesterday
    b. It [kâldst]
    the coldest
    The coldest

The external structure of the AP involves the following constructions:

The properties of adjectives derived from participles and infinitives may be different from those of ordinary adjectives:

Example 1

a. De [bloeiende] kwits
the flowering rowan.tree
The flowering rowan tree
b. It [te lêzen] boek
the to read book
The book that I have to read