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A Grammar of Interlingua

Alexander Gode & Hugh Blair IALA 1951

Word Building - derivation

Adjectives from nouns


ADJECTIVES are derived FROM NOUNS by means of the suffixes listed below. On the use of nouns in apposition with quasi-adjectival functions, see §30 above.

'pertaining to ..., characteristic of ..., etc.' e.g.
natura 'nature' > natural;
new formation: veneno 'poison' > venenal 'poison, of poison'
Note: The most general and unspecific adjectival suffix. The variant -ar is to be preferred with nouns containing l; e.g.
bussola 'compass' > bussolar '(of the) compass.' The type interrogatorial may be construed as a derivative from interrogatorio 'interrogatory' or (with the suffix variant -ial) from interrogator. In patterns of this sort the variant -ial is to be preferred.
'pertaining to ...'; esp. 'native of ...' e.g.
urbe 'town' > urban; Mohammed > mohammedan 'Mohammedan'; Africa > african 'African';
new formations: Tolstoi > tolstoian 'Tolstoyan'; Asia > asian 'Asian'
Note: Used with names of places and persons. In the case of place names not ending in -a or -o as also of all names of persons, the euphonic variant -ian is to be preferred; e.g.
Zamenhof > zamenhofian 'Zamenhofian'; but also Canada > canadian. The corresponding noun form is -ano (-iano).
'pertaining to ... , consisting of ... , etc.' e.g.
legenda 'legend' > legendari, 'legendary'; fragmento 'fragment' > fragmentari 'fragmentary';
new formation: vestimento 'garment' > vestimentari 'garment'
Note: Functions as adjective corresponding to nouns in -ario, -ero and -iero. The variants -er and -ier may be used to correspond to nouns in -ero and -iero respectively.
'having a... or ...s' e.g.
barba 'beard' > barbate 'bearded'; vertebra > vertebrate;
new formation: anello 'ring' > anellate 'ringed'
Note: Coincides with past participle, in adjectival use, of verbs in -ar; e.g.
anellar 'to ring' > anellate 'ringed.'
  1. 'like, similar to, or characteristic of a ...' e.g.
    gigante 'giant' > gigantesc 'gigantic';
    new formation: elephante 'elephant' > elephantesc 'elephantlike';
  2. 'in the manner or style of ...' e.g.
    arabe 'Arab' > arabesc 'arabesque';
    new formation: Chopin > chopinesc 'Chopinesque'
'pertaining to ...'; esp. 'native to..., of ...'; e.g.
China > chinese 'Chinese';
new formation: Ural 'Urals' > uralese 'Uralian'
Note: Used with names of places. For nouns in -ese, see §138 above.
'of, pertaining to ..., characterized by ...' e.g.
cubo 'cube' > cubic; nostalgia > nostalgic;
new formation: Bosporo 'Bosporus' > bosporic 'of the Bosporus'
'bearing, producing, yielding' e.g.
cono 'cone' > conifere 'coniferous'; carbon 'coal' > carbonifere 'carboniferous';
new formation: fungo 'fungus' > fungifere 'fungusbearing'
'making, causing ...' e.g.
pace 'peace' > pacific;
new formation: lumine 'light' > luminific 'light-producing'
'of, pertaining to, etc., ...' e.g.
alcali [Chem.] > alcalin 'alcaline'; can 'dog' > canin 'canine';
new formation: mure 'mouse' > murin 'of mice, mouse'
Note: Used particularly with names of animals. The substantivized forms -ino, -ina may be used to designate animal offspring.
'pertaining to... ism or... ists' e.g.
evolution > evolutionista 'of evolution, evolutionist';
new formation: inflation > inflationista 'inflationary, inflationist'
Note: Not distinct from nouns in -ista used in apposition.
'like..., shaped like ...' e.g.
negro 'Negro' > negroide 'negroid';
new formation: disco 'disk' > discoide 'discoid, discoidal'
Note: Used chiefly in technical terms. To be substantivized without change in form.
'having, abounding in . .., characterized by ...' e.g.
joco 'joke' > jocose; religion > religiose 'religious';
new formation: incendio 'destructive fire' > incendiose 'abounding in destructive fires'
Note: -ion plus -ose > -iose.
'pertaining to ...osis' e.g.
neurosis and neurotic;
new formation: thrombosis and thrombotic
Note: Used in technical (medical) terms corresponding to (and derived from the base of) nouns in -osis.
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