A Grammar of Vabungula

Part 2.3 - Parts of Speech - Adjectives / Adverbs

Adjectives and Adverbs

Strictly speaking, Vabungula makes no distinction between adjectives and adverbs. Thus, fûmun can mean both "fast" and "quickly".

De lese fûmun.        He is very fast.
De agula lese fûmun.  He speaks very fast.

Note that adjectives precede nouns, as in English:

arela di   (a/the) red flower

The position of adverbs, however, is rather fluent:

De agula fûmun.  He speaks quickly.
De fûmun agula.  He speaks quickly.

Formation of Adjectives

Many adjectives in Vabungula end with the suffix -ke, especially adjectives formed from verbs or nouns.

rêmgeke  loud (from rêmge, loudness)
karanike logical (from karanil, logic)

Some adjectives follow the pattern saXXXke as follows:

When XXX is a verb, the adjective describes a tendency to perform the action of the verb:

      sadamunake (harmful)
         from damuna (to harm)

      saegefake (persistent)
         from egefa (to persevere, to persist) 

When XXX is a noun, the adjective describes a quality inherent in that noun:

      saframke (grassy)
         from fram (grass)

      sahake (bright)
         from ha (light)

When XXX is another adjective, the adjective describes a state of possessing the quality of said adjective, or, in some cases, causing a state described by the said adjective. Note that the suffix -ke is not duplicated.

      sanimêlake (confident)
         from nimêlake (sure, certain)

      sanamêke (messy, untidy, disorderly)
         from namêke (mixed up)

      sarunadeke (emotionally depressing)
         from runade (emotionally depressed)      

Some adjectives follow the pattern suXXXke where XXX is a transitive verb. The adjective describes a tendency to receive the action of the verb:

      sudžûdonike (honorable)
         from džûdoni (to honor)

      sutulake (pitiful)
         from tula (to pity)

      suklegoke (doubtful)
         from klego (to doubt) 

Adjectives can be formed from adverbial participles by adding the suffix -ke:

      Olkamasteke kaklege mikrêman gafwi mehela. 
      Rolling stones gather (lit: grow) no moss.

         olkamas (roll - verb)
         olkamaste (rolling - adverbial participle)
         olkamasteke (rolling - adjective)

Demonstrative Adjectives

The demonstrative adjectives are:

      tu (this)   tun (these)
       (that)   tên (those)

The plural forms tun and tên, although more frequently used, have a colloquial flavor, and may be replaced in more formal usage by tu and .

       tu gace   (this path)     tê mihuli   (that cloud)
       tun gacen (these paths)   tên mihulin (those clouds)
(also: tu gacen; tê mihulin)


Comparatives are formed by the words janglu ("more") and sikiglu ("less", "fewer").

      Tu sekara janglu agasê ne tê sekara.
      This tree is older than that tree.
      So sa sikiglu murafa ne ka.
      I have less money than you.
      Exceptions: do ("good"), dosa ("better"); 
                 na ("bad"), nasa ("worse").

      Tu sefamukam dosa ne tê.
      This pencil is better than that one.

Notice the word for "than": ne. Actually, ne means "compared with", "in relation to"

      Upoja ne tu solam galasê kagace.
      North of this place there is a road

Therefore, janglu ne actually means "more in comparison with."


Superlatives are formed by the words janasa ("most") and sikilisa ("least", "fewest").

      Tu sekara janasa jana ne mna karela.
      This tree is bigger than all the others.
      Ke sikilisa golamake.
      It is the least interesting.

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Page last modified on December 30, 2009
Vabungula is an artificial language invented by Bill Price in 1965.
Vabungula co nûsk mugola famêlêtke onudž Bill Price larla alara idekuzorekol.
Copyright © 1999 by Bill Price
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