Many languages have comparative and superlative suffixes or other morphological forms such as English ‘-er’ and ‘-est’, Latin ‘-or’ and ‘-issimus’, and Arabic ‘afʕal’ template, but I couldn’t find any kanguages with a negative comparative forms, and even some websites which claimed they don’t exist in any language. Why is that and is there truly no language which has a ‘negative comparative’ form?

PS: What tags would fit this question, I couldn’t think of any.

  • 3
    Most languages have negative comparative and superlative constructions – English has ‘less X’ and ‘(the) least X’, for example. What they generally don’t have are negative comparative/superlative morphological forms, made by adding a suffix or using a template, parallel to how the positive comparative and superlative are formed. The most obvious guess at a reason would be because the negatives are much rarer than the positives – you simply need them less often(!). Jul 23, 2021 at 7:56
  • Yes, mixed them up, sorry. Jul 23, 2021 at 8:55
  • You may want to take a look at linguistics.stackexchange.com/a/2122/445
    – Alex B.
    Jul 23, 2021 at 12:32
  • As in, likely → unlikelier (less likely) → unlikeliest (least likely)?
    – Draconis
    Jul 23, 2021 at 17:43
  • 1
    Not really? You can’t use that for any adjective, for example you can’t have ‘unbigger’. I was thinking something more like the opposite of ‘-er’, like some prefix or suffix that means ‘less’. Jul 23, 2021 at 17:59


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