Grammar of adverbs

Adverb is the word that modifies a verb, adjective or other determiner, clause. Adverbs usually express location (place, space), time and frequency, manner and reason. Nûrlâm has few adverbs in it's core dictionary. But they could be easily made from adjectives or other lexical categories by adding suffix -arz to the root of short adjectives, or replacing suffix -ûrz of long adjectives with -arz. For example, hîs (quick) becomes hîsarz (quickly) but aktûrz (accurate) becomes aktarz (accurately). Please note, that adverbs in English often have the same form as adjectives (e.g. “quick” instead of “quickly”), but in Nûrlâm they should always have different form.

Adverbs have no agreement with verbs in grammar. The only grammar form adverbs have beside nominal is the comparative, which is made by adding suffix -ar (the same as adjectives) placed after suffix -arz if adverb has it or after the root for short adverbs. Example is hîsarzar (= more quickly). Technically the superlative form with suffix -az is also possible: hîsarzaz = in the fastest way (lit. “the most quickliest”, but it is extremely rare in colloquial speech.

For adverb's position in sentence (word order) see corresponding article in Syntax chapter.

Some short adverbs are clitic attached to the verbs to express grammatical category of aspect.

Some adverbs (relative, interrogative, indefinite, quantifier) are similar to pronouns and conjunctions, so may be confused with them. They are grouped together with some other words as pro-forms.

Some adverbs are similar to adpositions when take noun together into an adverbial phrase. For example “far away” (adverb) and “far from home” (adposition + noun + postposition).

Adverbs within impersonal constructions

Some adverbs are often used in impersonal constructions “it's (adv.)” which usually change modality of phrase. They don't signal about any particular modality without additional words and previous statements. Most of them may be replaced with verb “to be” + adjective or gerundive with adjectival meaning.

The list of adverbs with Necessitative and Desiderative meanings

These adverbs are used together with gerundives to express necessitative and desiderative modalities – order to 3rd person or wish to 3rd person to do something or event to happen. As modal verb “must” (= “maug”) is not used with such impersonal sentences, the whole phrase does not have much of obligation tone and information about issuer of command, but what and when to do is stated strictly.

English Nûrlâm Example Replacement
desirable ghîrarz It's desirable for you to finish it by dawn ⇒ Ghîrarz fizûr gorzatan ik ânsh gerundive “ghîrat”: Gorzutan ik ânsh (kulâ) ghîrat fizûr ⇒ To finish it by dawn is to be desired for you
important hormarz It's important that he will know nothing ⇒ Hormarz narîstat tazûr = (It's) important to be not known to him adjective “horm”: Narîstat tazûr kulâ horm ⇒ To be not known to him is important
necessary bolkarz It's necessary to destroy the ring ⇒ Bolkarz shadat nazgum gerundive “bolkat”, adjective “bolkûrz”:
Shadut nazgum kulâ bolkat ⇒ To destroy the ring is to be needed“;
Shadurm nazgumob kulâ bolkûrz ⇒ The destruction of the ring is necessary

Together with verb “to be” in past tense (“kuz” = “it was”) these adverbs indicate hypothetical or counterfactual modalities: It was necessary to destroy the ring (but now Gollum is the new Dark Lord) ⇒ Kuzâ bolkarz shadat nazgum (ap Gollum kulâ fîn Gothbûrz zil).

The list of adverbs used with various epistemic modalities

These adverbs are used together with various epistemic modalities (actions that may be): potential, dubitative, subjunctive, eventive, counterfactual and others.

English Nûrlâm Example
natural thangarz It's natural that elves and dwarves hate each other ⇒ Thangarz zamash golguhai agh gazathai mokû ûgh isk
probably, (im)possible, (un)likely (nar-)falgarz It's probably a hobbits who stole the ring ⇒ Kudug orskuzû nazgum falgarz
strange râzarz It's strange that he didn't come ⇒ Râzarz zamash tanarskâtuz
unbelievable narsambarz It's unbelievable that he killed a dragon alone ⇒ Narsambarz zamash tadoguz ash lûg ashûkarz
grammar_adverb.txt · Last modified: 2023/10/02 14:34 by morgoth