The adjectives. 127
Grammatical categories. Weak and strong declension.
The strong and weak declensions arose due to the use of several stem-forming suffixes. In the strong declension there appeared the set of endings mainly coincedind with the endings of a-stens and ō-stems of nouns. Some emdimgs in the strong declension of adjectives have no parallel in the noun paradigms; they are similar to the endings of pronouns (Dat. Sing., Acc. sing.Masc., some Fem. And pl. Endings). Therefore the strong declension is sometimes called the “pronominal” declension. As for the weak declension, it uses the samemarkers as n-stems of nouns exept that in the Gen pl. The pronominal ending –ra is often used instead of the weak –ena.
|Strong (pure M||a-and ō-stems) N F||Weak M N||F|
|Nom. blind Gen. blindes Dat.blindum Acc. blindne Instr. blinde||blind blindes blindum blind blinde||blind blindre blindre blinde blindre||blinda blinde blindanblindan blindan blindan blindan blinde blindan blindan||blinde blindan blindan blindan blindan|
|Nom. blinde Gen. blindra Dat. blindum Acc. blinde Instr. blindum (NE blind)||blind blinda,-e blindra blindra blindum blindum blind blinda, -e blindum blindum||blindan blindra, -ena blindum blindan blindum|
The difference between the strong and the weak declensions is also semantic. Unlike a noun, an adjective did nopt belong to a certain declension. Most adjectives could decline in both ways The choice of the declension was determined by a number of factors: the syntactical function of the adjective, the degree of comparison and the presence of noun determiners. The adjective had a strong form when used predicatively and when used attributively without any determiners. The weak form was imployed when the adjective was preceded by a demontstrative pronoun or the Gen. Case of personal pronouns.
Some adjectives were always declined strong: eall, maniз,ōþer (NE all, many, other), while others were always weak: adjectives in the superlative and comparative degrees, ordinal numerals, the adjective ilca (NE same).
The strong forms were associated with the meaning of indefiniteness, the weak forms – with the meaning of definiteness.
Degrees of comparison.
Positive, comparative, superlative degrees. Means of forming the degrees of comparison: suffixation, suffixation plus vowel interchange, suppletion.