« PreviousContinue »
271 (6) If the adjective-form ends in -v, -es, -av or -ap, these affixes may be immediately appended to the uninflected form (above,
272 (c) If the adjective-form ends in -ητ or -εντ, this is softened into σ on account of the dental following, thus:
πένης for πένητες
χαρίεις for χαρίεντος
In contracted forms we may have no- for -eo-, as in Sophocles (Phil. 972), τολμήστατος for τολμέστατος.
For the softening of the dental, compare the Latin duris-simus for dured-timus.
Obs. Compounds of χάρις for χάριτος form the comparative and superlative from the gen., on the same principle as in σοφός, σοφῶς, σοφώτερος, thus :
273 (d) Adjectives in -wv (-ov-s), and the few which end in -ξ (-κ-s), change the w of the adverb into e and retain the s, thus:
σώφρων σωφρόνως σωφρονέστερος σωφρονέστατος
εὐδαιμονέστερος εὐδαιμονέστατος ἀφηλικέστερος
To the same class belong the contracted forms in -oos, -ous, which change the -ows of the included adverb into -oes, -ous; as
Some other long forms adopt the same change; as
ἐπιπεδέστερος (Xen. Hell. VII. 4, § 13).
274 (e) The included adverb is shortened into -us instead of es in some of these forms: thus from ἅρπαξ (ἁρπακτής) and μισο
πόρπαξ, we have ἁρπαγίσ-τατος and μισοπορπακίσ-τατος. This is particularly observed in the comparison of nouns in -s, -ov: thus we have κλέπτης, κλεπτίσ-τερος; πότης, ποτίσ-τατος; λάγνης, λαγνίσ-τατος; πλεονέκτης, πλεονεκτίσ-τατος. But ὑβρίστης makes ὑβριστότερος on account of the cacophony in ὑβριστίσ-τερος. Some nouns in -os, -ου follow this analogy: thus we have λάλος, “talkative,” λαλίστερος; πτωχός, “beggarly,” πτωχίσ-τερος; ὀψοφάγος, “gluttonous,” ὀψοφαγίσ-τατος; μονοφάγος, " eating alone,” μονοφαγίσ-τατος.
275 (f) Forms which present adverbial inflexions in -αι (?, q) or have by-forms in -os, which are in themselves of a comparative nature, attach the comparative suffix to an adverbial inflexion in
276 The vacillation in these forms of the comparative, and the frequent use of more than one form for the same adjective, must be referred to laws of euphony acting on the termination of the included adverb. The following list contains the most important variations:
ἀσμενώ-τατος, adv. ἀσμενέστατα and άσμεναί-τατα ἀφθονώτατος
(2) Qualitative Comparison in -ίων, -ισ-τος.
277 The comparative degree is also expressed by the qualitative ending -ιων = -ιον-s, which is merely a strengthened form of the qualitative termination -cos; compare the relative words med-ius, al-ius, with the comparative endings -ior (for -ios), neuter, -ius, gen. -iôris. This qualitative ending, which is appended not to an adverbial inflexion, but to the uninflected form, does not imply excess like that in -τερος, but only a considerable amount of the quality indicated by the adjective-rather more than less—and this is often the force of the Latin comparative. So also our termination -ish, as brack-ish = "rather salt than otherwise," &c.
278 The comparatives in -ιων are, for the most part, appropriated to positives in -vs, or to other positives, chiefly in -pos, which seem to have had by-forms in -vs, or, which is the same thing, adverbs in -s. From this latter form there is a corresponding
superlative in -TOs, which bears the same relation to the ending in -τατος that τρίτος does to τρί-τατος. Thus we have
where the penultima of -wv is long in Attic Greek; short in old epic and Ionic (above, p. 30, B, 4).
Similarly, because αἰσχρός and καλ-ός (for καλ-λός from καδλός, above, 87) had by-forms in -us, as appears from αἰσχύνομαι and καλλύνω, we have
279 If the ending -ύς, -ρός is preceded by a guttural or dental, the of the termination is either transposed or absorbed, and the guttural or dental is represented by a compound sibilant (above, 103).
Obs. By the side of these qualitative comparisons in -ιων, -ιστος
we may have regular comparisons in -τερος, -τατος.
Thus we find
Many common adjectives have forms of comparison derived from other positives, which are sometimes obsolete and sometimes not used in the same sense as their comparatives and superlatives. The following are the most common examples:
1 ἀγαθός, “good” ἀμείνων (for ἀμενίων from ἀμενεύς,
λφων (λάω, “to take or choose”) λῷστος
That these comparative forms are not altogether synonymous is shown by their use in the same passage; as Xen. Anab. 1. 7, § 3: νομίζων ἀμείνονας καὶ κρείττους πολλῶν βαρβάρων ὑμᾶς εἶναι. Ibid. v. 10, § 15: πότερα λῷον καὶ ἄμεινον ἔνη. Cf. Plat. Gorg. p. 488 B. The general distinction is this: ἀμείνων is better for use and externally; κρείττων, " better,” 'better," as more powerful; βελτίων, “better” morally; λφων, " better,” as preferable ; φέρτε ρος, “better,” as more profitable.
Of these synonyms, κακίων means “more cowardly, baser
born,” and the like, in opposition to ἀρείων and βελτίων ; χείρων is “ inferior,” in opposition to ἀμείνων; and ἥσσων is “ weaker,” in opposition to κρείσσων.