• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
Form
quickinfo

The periphrastic superlative is expressed by the word meastmost preceding the adjective.

readmore

The superlative can not only be expressed by the superlative morpheme -st following the adjective, but also by the word meastmost preceding the adjective. The word meastmost is itself the superlative corresponding to positive follemany/much and to comparative mearmore. So there is an a priori choice, although not every adjective allows either a morphological or a periphrastic superlative:

Example 1

a. yntelligenst - meast yntelligent
most intelligent
b. *rynskst - meast rynsk
most lavish
c. moaist - *meast moai
most beautiful

In actual practice, there are some factors favouring either the morphological or the periphrastic superlative. Roughly speaking, the periphrastic superlative occurs more easily with words having more syllables, the more so in case the stress does not fall on the first syllable. There are some specific cases in which the periphrastic superlative is favoured. Adjectives in –sk, for example, cannot form a morphological superlative. The same holds for certain pseudo-participles and for coordination constructions (see Pseudo-participles and Coordination).

[hide extra information]
x Literature

More details can be found in Hoekstra (2002).

References:
  • Hoekstra, Eric2002Meast ferneamd of ferneamdstFriesch Dagblad10-08Taalgenoat en taalgeniet 27
Suggestions for further reading ▼
phonology
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show more ▼
morphology
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show more ▼
syntax
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
  • Periphrastic
    [83%] Frisian > Syntax > Adjective Phrases > Comparison by degree > Superlative > Formation
  • Form
    [80%] Frisian > Syntax > Adjective Phrases > Comparison by degree > Comparative > Formation > Periphrastic
  • Coordination of the superlative element with a minorative one
    [79%] Frisian > Syntax > Adjective Phrases > Comparison by degree > Superlative > Formation > Periphrastic
  • Superlative
    [75%] Frisian > Syntax > Adjective Phrases > Comparison by degree
  • The superlative complement
    [74%] Frisian > Syntax > Adjective Phrases > Comparison by degree > Superlative
Show more ▼
cite
print