[From Manx Soc vol 2, Kelly's Manx Grammar]



In the Manks there are but two degrees of comparison, viz., the positive, or low degree; and the superlative, or highest derree; as, aalin, fair, s'aalin, fairest; pos. yn fer graney, the ugly man; sup. yn fer s'graney, the ugliest man. But in this superlative is included the English comparative degree also; as, s'aalin may be Englished, fairer; and s'graney, uglier.

The superlative is formed of its positive by adding s' (a contraction of the word smoo, more, or most,) to the initial of its singular masculines; as, pooaral, powerful, sup. s'pooaral, more, or most powerful.

Between the comparatives, or words or persons compared, is commonly placed the comparative conjunction na, answering to the ante­comparative conjunction ny; as, ta moddey bio ny share na lion marroo, a live dog is better than a dead lion.

As the positive degree ee is a weak adjective, it undergoes those changes of gender that adjectives are subject to; but the superlative alters not, but is always expressed in its singular masculine; as, yn ven ghennal, the merry woman; sup. yn ven s'gennal, the merriest woman.

Monosyllables that begin and end with a consonant have always the syllable ey added to them in the superlative degree; as, post boght, poor; sup. s'boghtey, poorest.

Polysyllables ending in agh commonly change agh into ee; as, post agglagh, horrid, sup. s'agglee, most horrid; post kiaralagh, careful, sup. s'kiaralee, most careful.

Positives having oa and io change them into e; as, moal, feeble, sup. s'melley, most feeble; post chion, tight, sup. s'chenney, tightest:

Having o and ia make i; as, trome, heavy, sup. s'trimmey, heaviest; gial, white, sup. s'gilley, whitest:

Having au, make iu--as roauyr, fat, sup. s'riurey, fattest; liauyr, long, sup. s'liurey, longest.

These following are anomalous, or irregular comparisons:--


Comp. and Sup.

Mie, good,

Share, better, or best.

Olk, bad,

Smessey, worse, or worst.

Beg, or beggan, little,

Sloo, less, or least.

Mooar, great,

S'moo, greater, or greatest.

Ymmodee, many,

S'lhee, more, or most.

Faggys, near,

S'niessey, nearer, or nearest.

Lhean, broad,

S'lhea, broader, or broadest.

Aeg, young,

S'aa, younger, or youngest.

Foddey, far, distant,

S'odjey, farther, or farthest.

Which variations run through all the European languages, as depending on the Celtic; and not from the caprice of custom, as Mr. Louth imagines. (See Eng. Gr. p. 26.)

The Manks language, besides the degrees of comparison already mentioned, has a sort of comparison which imports sometimes equality, sometimes admiration, and may be explained in English by as, so, how: as, cha aalin as eshyn, as fair as he; s'mie lhiam shen dy jarroo! how pleasing is it to me! s'banglaneagh y peccagh! how prolific is man! s'mooar lhiam eh! how I begrudge it! It is formed of the positive, by prefixing the contraction s', according to the rules of the superlative degree.


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