Serbo-Croatian, Bosnian : comparative forms of "malen"

harakiri

Senior Member
Japanese
> »Sve je meni jasno«, zacereka se Jovan, »ali ne to da možeš nastradati zbog svojih nogu. To ne mogu da shvatim. Razumem da su ti kao moje... manji čovek manje i vredi... ali to su prave nožurde, bato moj! Sve bih dao da sam tako krakat. Bogami. Ovako sam često nespokojan - tur samo što mi se ne vuče po prašini.«

This phrase is from "CRVENI PETAO LETI PREMA NEBU" of Bulatovic.
How should we understand "manji čovek manje i vredi..."?
The translation of this phrase is... A smaller guy is less worth. This is not difficult to understand.

Here "manje i vredi" I want to understand.
As for "vredi", it's the verb "vredeti". vredeti - Wiktionary
As for "manji čovek", čovek is "masculine", so it should be "manji".
Here "manje" is of nominative, neuter, I suppose.
Why is grammatically "manje" here used?
 
  • Zec

    Senior Member
    Croatian
    It's an adverb: adverbs are regularly derived from neuter nominative adjectives. So manje vredi "it's worth less". I suppose it can be understood as a kind of wordplay, although the paragraph is rather opaque to me without the wider context.
     

    harakiri

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Oh, then it's quite understandable. ;-) Hvala!

    Yes, picking up only this part isn't enough to understand the whole context. Bulatovic, of course, on purpose had used this kinda phrase, which sounds contradictive, to shake our conscience, our understanding. When we hear what these guys (Petar and Jovan) talked, we may worry about the quarrel. However, they didn't argue, but they did somehow share the mutual understanding to each other. Multiplying this type of conversations helps us to start reading the meta context, which is not written. It's a technique of Bulatovic. I can say so, since I enjoyed this novel in my language already.
     
    Top