Icelandic superlative prefixes lang-, al-

Hspo

Senior Member
British English (Yorkshire)
Good morning.
Is there a rule for using lang- or al- with superlatives when comparing several things( eg. alstærsti, langminnst...)? Does it depend on the adjective, context or do we learn each one by heart?
Thank you for your help? :)
 
  • Rafeind

    Member
    Icelandic - Iceland
    Lang- implies a big gap between the thing referred and the next thing, while al- means it is the most adjective of all things, but is most often replaced with allra. Albestur = allra bestur = best of all, langbestur = much better than the others.

    There is also the prefix all- which is used with adjectives (not necesserily superlatives) and means quite eg. allalgengur = quite common.
     

    Hspo

    Senior Member
    British English (Yorkshire)
    Thank you Rafeind. I understand that better now.
    I was also wondering if these prefixes had predestined adjectives, ie. do certain adjectives take al- and others lang- , or can they be used with any adjective simply according to context and meaning?
    I hope this is clear. Thank you again. :)
     

    Rafeind

    Member
    Icelandic - Iceland
    Since the meaning is different, which one is used (if any at all) depends on what it is, you want to say. As far as I can tell lang- can be used with any adjective (it can also be stacked: langlangbestur). Al- is uncommon and I think I would always rather use allra. There might be some adjectives where al- is better but I can‘t remember any.
     

    klandri

    Member
    Icelandic
    Since the meaning is different, which one is used (if any at all) depends on what it is, you want to say. As far as I can tell lang- can be used with any adjective (it can also be stacked: langlangbestur). Al- is uncommon and I think I would always rather use allra. There might be some adjectives where al- is better but I can‘t remember any.
    It's not very common to use al- productively in new words but there are quite a few fixed words that have it. Examples include almáttugur, omnipotent/all powerful, alvitur, omniscient/all knowing, etc.
     

    Rafeind

    Member
    Icelandic - Iceland
    Takk klandri, eins og ég sagði gat ég ekki fyrir mitt litla líf munað eftir þeim.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top