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Chapter Eleven. Adjectives

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Chapter Summary

Adjectives of Aramaic stock and loanwords that have been adapted to Aramaic morphology are inflected for gender and number. They are closely related morphologically to nouns. The attributive function of adjectives is reflected not only by their syntactic function of a modifier of a head noun but also by their inflection, in that attributive adjectives, unlike referential nouns, do not exhibit a large diversity of plural endings but generally have only the ending -e irrespective of whether the plural noun is masculine or feminine. The vowel in the first syllable is in principle pronounced long, in accordance with the normal rules of vowel lengthening in pretonic open syllables, although the duration is reduced in fast speech. In the form qaddisa 'holy' the original gemination is usually preserved due to the influence of the language of the church liturgy, which is based on literary Syriac.

Keywords: adjectives; Aramaic stock; literary Syriac; vowel



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