join us!
Adjectives are modifiers that have a noun as their referent & are subject to gender, number & definiteness agreement with it.

Adjectives are a type of modifier (the other being adverbs) that modify a noun. Adjectives may be split into two subcategories according to their syntactic behavior: positive & elative.

Positive Adjectives — the default form of adjectives — follow the noun they modify & its noun modifiers — if any — observing grammatical agreement with the noun they modify (namely, gender, number & definiteness agreement).

Sama's new job
أغنيتي
my-song
المفضّلة
DEF-favorite
my favorite song

Elative Adjectives are adjectives that can convey either a comparative or a superlative meaning, depending on the syntax. In the syntax of adjectives, they are comparatives. For the use of superlatives — which follow a different syntax — see Numerals.

In Palestinian Arabic, superlatives are never inflected, as they are not subject to grammatical agreement. However, although comparatives are technically subject to agreement, they are usually only inflected for definiteness; their feminine & plural forms are deprecated (see Morphology below). At the same time, attributive comparatives are mainly used for indefinite nouns (2a), as definite comparatives (2b) are semantically equivalent to superlatives (3).

Morphology

Adjectives in Palestinian Arabic have relatively predictable morphological behavior. Most have sound plural forms, with only one broken plural pattern associated with a very common adjective pattern. Only two truly irregular categories of adjectives exist & they are discussed below.

Regular Adjectives

By default, Adjectives are marked as feminine by ة (-e) & plural by ين (-īn); that is, their plural forms are sound. Rarely, adjectives may not have any inflected forms, usually due to being in a rare pattern (e.g. طازة ṭāza) &/or being derived from a loanword (e.g. تمام tamām).

Most adjectives fall into a handful of patterns. Patterns with semantic implications are treated separately as adjective categories (see Semantics below). Aside from those, there are two neutral adjective patterns: CiCiC & CCīC — the latter being notable in that it usually entails broken plural forms.

CiCiC
M
زنخ
zinix
P
زنخين
zinxīn

CCīC Adjectives usually have the broken plural فعال (CCāC), but may be sound too; those borrowed from Standard Arabic (technically, CaCīC) tend to have sound plurals.

CCīC
M
كبير
kbīr
P
كبار
kbār
M
سريع
sarīʕ
P
سريعين
sarīʕīn

Sometimes adjectives seem to unexpectedly have broken plural forms, usually due to the term in question having an independent use as a noun. In these cases, the broken plural forms apply specifically to the noun senses of the term.

مشهور
bookmark
famous, well-known
M
مشهور
mašhūr
P
مشهورين
mašhūrīn
مشهور
bookmark
famous, well-known
M
مشهور
mašhūr
P
مشاهير
mašāhīr

Demonym Adjectives

Demonym Adjectives are relative adjectives derived from Demonym Nouns or the names of countries, cities, etc. In theory, relative adjectives have sound plural forms, but Demonym Adjectives that are derived from a Demonym Nouns have their plural forms supplied by the noun itself. Hence, some of these terms have plural forms that are neither sound nor broken, but rather are back-formed by removing the يّ (-yy) suffix & sometimes applying some other transformation.

فرنسا
bookmark
France
فرنساويّ
bookmark
French
M
فرنساويّ
fransāwi
F
فرنساويّة
fransāwiyye
P
فرنساويّين
fransāwiyyīn
عرب
bookmark
Arabs
عربيّ
bookmark
Arabic, Arab
M
عربيّ
ʕarabi
F
عربيّة
ʕarabiyye
P
عرب
ʕarab

Regardless of the form of the plural itself, all Demonym Adjectives are characterized by the fact that their plural forms may only be used for animate nouns; it's always ungrammatical to use the plural form of a Demonym Adjective for a non-animate noun. Although non-animate plural nouns are usually grammatically feminine & only optionally plural if counted, dual nouns are always forcibly grammatically plural in Palestinian Arabic. Hence, the diseappearance of dual inflections for adjectives in Palestinian Arabic has left a lexical gap wherein Demonym Adjectives cannot be used with non-animate dual nouns without applying dual inflection to adjectives, something that otherwise only occurs in Standard Arabic.

In a minority of cases, the plural form is formed by placing the term's root in any of a variety of broken plural patterns usually reserved for nouns.

Defect Adjectives

Defect Adjectives — which are in the أفعل (ʔaCCaC) pattern — always have فعلا (CaCCa) feminine forms & فعل (CuCC) plural forms. Note that these inflectional patterns don't apply to other terms in this pattern that are not adjectives (e.g. أزعر ʔazʕar).

DEFECT ADJECTIVES
M
أحمر
ʔaħmar
F
حمرا
ħamra
P
حمر
ħumr

Elative Adjectives are, by definition, in the أفعل (ʔaCCaC) pattern; they are Defect Adjectives morphologically. Although this means they have the aforementioned inflected forms eymologically, they are not inflected in practice. Only Defect Adjectives that are positive adjectives are used in their distinct feminine & plural forms.

As for the formation of Elative Adjectives, they are formed productively by placing the root of any word in this pattern. Alternatively — like in English — أكثر (ʔaktar "more") may be used, most commonly if the positive form has more than three consonants or otherwise doesn't fit into the pattern.

more of an idiot

Semantics

Some of the aforementioned adjective patterns have semantic associations.

Relative Adjectives

Relative Adjectives are formed by attaching the suffix يّ (-yy) to a noun, indicating something that is of or related to that noun.

فلسطين
bookmark
Palestine
فلسطينيّ
bookmark
Palestinian
M
فلسطينيّ
falasṭīni
F
فلسطينيّة
falasṭīniyye
P
فلسطينيّين
falasṭīniyyīn

Additionally, nouns may be formed from Relative Adjectives in turn by attaching the suffix ة (-e). Known as Nominalized Adjectives, these nouns usually refer to an abstraction of the Relative Adjective or — if the latter refers to a person — to a human collective.

مسيحيّ
bookmark
Christian
COMING SOON
الكحول
the-alcohol
مش
not
حرام
immoral
عند
at
المسيحيّة
Christians
alcohol isn't sinful for Christians

Intensive Adjectives

Intensive Adjectives are in the فعلان (CaCCān) pattern. Usually associated with emotions, this adjective category indicates a current state (i.e. how something is currently or lately) — usually of a person — constrasting with adjectives that refer to intrinsic qualities &/or are used for inanimate nouns.

هو
he
حليان
looking good
he's looking good

Intensive Adjectives are often associated with A2 Verbs, which tend to indicate something entering into a state (i.e. becoming a certain way).

INTENSIVE ADJECTIVES
COMING SOON
زعلان
bookmark
upset (sad, angry, etc.)
M
زعلان
zaʕlān
F
زعلانة
zaʕlāne
P
زعلانين
zaʕlānīn

Active Participles

Active Participles are morphologically like other adjectives. Semantically, they stand out in that they convey a verbal meaning, whether a present continuous or past perfect meaning.

Passive Participles

Defect Adjectives

Defect Adjectives that are strictly positive (i.e. not Elative Adjectives) tend to refer to certain bodily characteristics & impairments; the six primary color terms are in this pattern as well. Still, these are relatively infrequent & the pattern is only productive for the formation of Elative Adjectives.

DEFECT ADJECTIVES
أعمى
bookmark
blind
أصلع
bookmark
bald
أحمر
bookmark
red