Dothraki Adjectives

From The Languages of David J. Peterson
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Adjectives appear after the nouns they modify.


Comparison is declension of adjective that determines to which degree the adjective modifies the noun. For example hot, hotter, hottest in English. In Dothraki this is done by adding certain affixes to the adjective. Dothraki also has a set of comparison in the negative which in English is only possible with the construction less or least or by switching to an adjective of the opposite meaning.

Positive Comparative Superlative Negative Contrastive Sublative
(not hot)
(less hot)
(least hot)
(more broken)
(most broken)
(not broken)
(less broken)
(least broken)
(not strong)
(less strong)
(least strong)
(more famous)
(most famous)
(not famous)
(less famous)
(least famous)


Adjectives ending with a consonant agree with number, and, when singular, with case of the noun they modify. Even while inanimate nouns don't decline between singular and plural, if there is an adjective modifying the noun, there may be an agreement with plural evident in the adjective. For example you would say alegra haj (a strong duck) but in plural it would be alegra haji (strong ducks). For animate nouns you would see the declension both in the noun and the adjective. So you would say rakh haj (strong boy) and rakhi haji (strong boys).

In certain cases adjectives also agree with noun case: When a consonant-ending adjective modifies a singular noun that is in a case form other than nominative, it will get the suffix /-a/ added.

  • Alegra ivezh laina. — (The wild duck is beautiful.) Here the noun alegra (duck) is in the nominative form so the adjective ivezh (wild) is unchanged.
  • Anha ray tih alegre ivezha. — (I have seen the wild duck) Here the duck is in the accusative form (which is of course non-nominative) since it is the object of the sentence. This means the adjective changes to ivezha.

No agreement is visible in adjectives ending with a vowel - they remain the same.

Expressing adjectives as a verb

In english you can use adjectives to say things like "This food is hot" or "I am the strongest". In Dothraki you wouldn't use an adjective to form those sentences, instead you would make a verb out of the corresponding adjective. The way that works is that you simply add a verb ending /-(l)at/ to the end of the adjective.

  • zheana (beautiful) → zheanalat (to be beautiful)
  • ivezh (wild) → ivezhat (to be wild)
  • ahasan (sharper) → ahasanat (to be sharper)
  • asafazhanoz (least hot) → asafazhanozat (to be least hot)

Inflection Hierarchy

There is a hierarchy in the order in which adjectives are inflected.

  1. Comparative inflection is applied before anything else.
  2. If an adjective is to be used as a stative verb, no other adjectival inflections are applied.
  3. Adjective agrees with plurality of the argument it modifies. If plural, it gets an /-i/ suffix if it did not already end with a vowel.
  4. Adjective agrees with case of the argument it modifies. If not in nominative, it gets an /-a/ suffix if it did not already end with a vowel.

As the case agreement is applied after the plurality agreement and only affects consonant endings, we can see, why case agreement never shows in plurals.


Participles are adjective-like verb forms, and for the most part they function exactly like adjectives, agreeing with the plurality and case of the argument they modify. As they are, however, conjugated verbs, stative verb forms cannot be derived the same way as with true adjectives. Instead, the verb that was conjugated in participle is just conjugated in different way, according to situation.

Kendra ovray arthas firikhnharenoon."A loose opal fell from the crown."
Anha ez kendre ovraya."I found a loose opal." participle agrees with non-nominative case
Ave lost lajakis chilayi."Father failed to notice the lying warriors." participle agrees with plural
Lajaki chilish."The warriors were lying." verb form is not derived from the participle
Rakh navvirzethay e vaesaan."The ashamed boy went to the city."
Rakh nem avvirzeth."The boy was ashamed." participle had incorporated an elided nem, but still had to be untangled to be used in verb form