Chapter 2 - The Adjective
§58. —Adjectives in General
The aspiration of adjectives, when joined to nouns, has been treated of in § 21.
Adjectives are generally placed after the nouns to which they belong, except (a) in the case of emphasis ; or (b) in the case of some monosyllabic adjectives ; as, deaṫ, good; sean, old, &c. ; and (c) of numerals, vid. § 59 ; as, an Tiomna Nuaḋ, the New Testament ; ḋearg lasair, red flame. The adjective also precedes the noun when joined to the assertive present is ; as,is fuar an lá é, it is a cold day.
When the adjective precedes the noun it is frequently regarded as forming with it a compound word, and consequently suffers the same initial changes after the article or preposition as if it were a noun, and aspirates the initial letter of its noun if a mutable consonant; as, an t-óig ḟear , the young man ; an t-sean ḃean, the old woman.
When the adjective is the predicate of a sentence, and the noun is the subject, the adjective is not inflected and suffers no initial changes ; as, tá an ḃean geanaṁuil , the woman is beautiful ;is maiṫ iad, they are good ; do riġne mé an sgían geur, I sharpened the knife, not do riġne mé an sían ġeur, which would be Imade the sharp knife.
"When an adjective, beginning with a lingual, is preceded by a noun terminating with alingual, the initial of the adjecitve retains its primary sound in all cases of the singular ; as,ar mo ġualainn deis, on my right shoulder ; ar a ċois deis, on his right foot." — O' Donovan.
" When an adjective is used to describe the quality of two nouns, it agrees with the one next to it ; as, fear agus bean ṁaiṫ, a good man and woman; bean 7 fear maiṫ." — O'Donovan.
Adjectives which signify profit, nearness to, fitness, and their opposites, take after them the dative case with do ; as, is old ḋom, it is bad for me ; is maiṫ ḋom, it is good for me. Adjectives which signify fulness, and those which signify part of any thing, take de, of, with the article before the noun in the dative ; as, fear dona daoiniḃ, one of the men ; lan d'uisge, of water.
Adjectives which signify likeness, or an emotion of the mind, take le with the dative case ; as, is cosṁuil an fear le fiġeadóir, the man is like a weaver.
The comparative degree takes ná, or no, than, before the following noun : as, as mó Pól ná Peadar, Paul is greater than Peter. "
The superlative degree does not require a genitive case plural after it, as in Latin, for the genitive case in Irish, as in English, always denotes possession, and nothing more, and therefore could not be applied, like the genitive case plural in Latin, after nouns partitive, or the superlative degree ; but it generally takes after it the preposition do, or, more correctly, de." — O'Donovan.
§59. — Numerals.
Numeral adjectives precede their substantives; as, aon ḟear, one man ; but when the number consists of a unit and decimal, the noun is placed between the unit and the decimal ; as, trí cloċa déag , thirteen stones ; aon pea'fi afi pan, twenty- one men.
The cardinals dá, two ; fiċe, twenty ; and all the multiples of ten (as, deiċ ar ḟiċid, thirty ; ceud, a, hundred) take the noun in the singular number ; as, ceud fear, a hundred men.