Denominative Adjectives

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424. The suffix -ιο, feminine -ιᾱ, nominative -ιος, (-ιᾱ,) -ιον, is most widely used to form adjectives from noun-stems. A final stem-vowel contracts with ι, or it may be changed or dropt. The meaning of the suffix is vague, pertaining to the noun, in some way which the noun or the context makes clear.

δίκαιος
just, right
δίκη (δικᾱ-)
justice, right
ἀρχαῖος
ancient
ἀρχή (ἀρχᾱ-)
beginning
ἀγοραῖος
of the market
ἀγορᾱ́
market
βασίλειος
royal, the kingʼs (27)
βασιλεύ-ς
king
Tελαμών-ιος
of Telamon
Tελαμών
Telamon
σωτήρ-ιος
saving, of safety
σωτήρ
savior
οἰκεῖος
domestic, oneʼs own
οἶκο-ς
house, property
ἄγρ-ος
wild
ἀγρό-ς
field
πολέμ-ιος
hostile
πόλεμο-ς
war
Κορίνθ-ιος
Corinthian
Κόρινθος
Corinth
Μῑλήσ-ιος
Milesian (46)
Μῑ́λητος
Miletos
αἰδοῖος
revered
αἰδώς
respect, reverence (129)

a. In some adjectives the suffix appears to be -ειο, nominative -ειος.

γυναικ-εῖος
of women
γύνη (γυναικ-)
woman

425. The suffix -ικο, nominative -ικός, -ή, -όν, is added to noun-stems as well as to verb-stems (413.d); in some cases the starting-point may have been either. A final stem vowel is dropped; but with ι-stems the ending is probably -κο.

βασιλ-ικός
kingly
βασιλεύς
king
βαρβαρ-ικός
barbarian
βάρβαρος
foreigner
ἑλληνικός
Greek
Ἕλλην
Greek
δᾱρεικός (for δαρει-ικος)
daric
Δᾱρεῖος
Dareios
πολεμ-ικός
warlike
πόλεμος
war
γεωργ-ικός
skilled in farming
γεωργός
farmer
στρατηγ-ικός
skilled as a general
στρατηγός
general
φυσι-κός
natural, physical
φύσις
nature

Many of these, by omission of τέχνη (art), become nouns.

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γραμματική grammar

426. The suffixes -εο, nominative -οῦς, -ῆ, -οῦν (87), and -ινο, nominative -ινος, -η, -ον, form adjectives of material.

ἀργύρ-εος, ἄργυροῦς
of silver
ἄργυρος
silver
λίθ-ινος
of stone
λίθος
stone
ξύλ-ινος
wooden
ξύλον
wood

But they also have in other words a more general meaning.

φοινῑ́κεος, φοινῑκοῦς
red
Φοῖνιξ
Phoenician
ἀληθ-ινός
genuine
ἀληθής
true
ἀνθρώπ-ινος, ἀνθρώπειος
human
ἄνθρωπος
man

Several in -ινός are made from words denoting time.

ἐαρ-ινός
of spring
ἔαρ
spring
ὀπωρ-ινός
autumnal
ὀπώρᾱ
harvest
ἡμερ-ινός
of daytime
ἡμέρᾱ
day

427. The suffix -εντ, nominative -εις, -εσσα, -εν, in a few adjectives means endowed or supplied with:

χαρί-εις
graceful
χάρις (χαρι-, χαριτ-)
grace
φωνή-εις
possessing voice or speech
φωνή
voice

428. The suffixes -ιμο, -νο, -ρο are added to noun-stems as well as to verb-stems (cp. 412). In some cases either verb or noun may have been the base:

ἄλκιμος
mighty
ἀλκή
prowess
φρόν-ιμος
sensible
φρήν (φρεν-)
mind
ὀρει-νός (for ὀρεσ-νος)
of the mountains
ὄρος (ὀρεσ-)
mountain
ἀλγει-νός (for ἀλγεσ-νος)
painful
ἄλγος (ἀλγεσ-)
pain
λυπη-ρός
painful
λῡ́πη
pain
λῡπέω
grieve
φθονε-ρός
grudging
φθόνος
envy
φθονέω
grudge
δροσε-ρός
dewy
δρόσος
dew
πονη-ρός
toilsome, bad
πόνος
toil, distress

Suggested Citation

Meagan Ayer, ed. Goodell’s School Grammar of Attic Greek. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-947822-10-8. http://dcc.dickinson.edu/grammar/goodell/denominative-adjectives