Fill in the blank hot:_____::hotter:comparative::hottest:superlative

In the comparison of adjectives, the terms “comparative” and “superlative” are used for the second and third degrees of comparison. What is the term for the first degree?

descriptive?

That’s what I thought, but I’m not 100% certain.

Positive.

From Merriam-Webster:

Here’s a cite:

http://www.ucalgary.ca/UofC/eduweb/grammar/course/speech/1_4d.htm

and another:

http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/adjectives-adverbs/adjectives

Why not “normative”?

I was thinking of “nomative” when I ran accross “positive” researching my answer. I tried to look up nomative but had no luck. Maybe I misremembered “normative.”

Or misspelled it (two times out of three).

Actually, what I remembered from school *was * “nomative” (not an accidental mispelling of “normative”.) Now, I’m fully aware I could be misremembering it, which is why I was researching it before I answered.

A friend of mine’s mom was an English teacher. I’m going to ask her and will post her reply.

You’re thinking of “nominative,” I think. That’s not what he’s looking for, though. Nominative describes the adjective’s case.

I was taught “positive, comparative, superlative.”

She didn’t remember. :frowning:

  1. How are comparative and superlative adjectives not descriptive?

  2. “Positive” is the traditional term for the non-comparative, non-superlative form of an adjective. Alternatively, the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language uses the term “plain” form, reserving the term “positive” to mean the opposite of “negative”.

And a nitpick: “nominative” does describe case, but adjectives do not have case. Nouns do. In some languages, the case of a noun may be reflected on any adjective it combines with, but this is not so in English.

You can use “base form”, which has the advantage of being employable for other word classes (part of speech), such as verbs - the base form being typically used today where “infinitive” might have been used 30 years ago.

Are “nominative” and “positive” interchangeable?

No.

Also,

Braiiiiiiinnnnsss

I’m positive this thread’s a zombie. At roughly 5 years, it’s zombier than most but far from the zombiest.

Calling this thread a “zombie” would be descriptive.

Vindicitive? ::a steal from Finnegans Wake::

Frustrative! (Sumerian and Akkadian had this).

Care to explain? I loves me some ancient languages.

I don’t know much about it - I have very little knowledge of ancient Middle Eastern languages. I think it’s a verbal mode indicating “if only” or “I wish I could” or something like that. I heard of the term from a friend who studied Akkadian some years ago, but I don’t know anything in detail.

A lot of languages have what we would consider odd verbal modes and noun cases, but that only means that the way of expressing these thoughts are formalized in a way that is (more or less) unknown in English. The concepts can be expressed in English, too, if only by different means. Roughly anyway - an exact 1:1-translation from one language to another is probably an impossibility.

This Sumerian grammar (PDF!) confirms my notions. P 107. Is the internet great or what!