Unary suffixes are a type of affix that can appear after many types of syllables, such as: nouns, noun suffixes, verb prefixes, verbs, verb suffixes, prepositions, numbers, and other unary suffixes. They may even be embedded within compound words.
The only parts of speech a unary suffix can't modify are noun prefixes (because anything followed by a noun prefix becomes a noun), and preposition prefixes.
A unary suffix indicates the quality or degree of the word that immediately precedes it.
List of Unary Suffixes
Primal has twelve unary suffixes:
The remainder of the lesson describes the normal use of these suffixes.
Describing Nouns and Verbs
The quality or degree of a noun or verb is described by a unary suffix. Because unary suffixes modify many kinds of words, they often act like simple adjectives or adverbs describing degree, such as English "very", "barely", or "not". Here is an example with each suffix, using some common nouns and verbs:
The unary suffix kE (kel, "beyond") is not commonly used, outside of exaggeration.
The next seven unary suffixes, Jy (jee, "maximal"), Xy (zhee, "extreme"), Ty (tsee, "great"), ma (ma, "moderate"), Hy (khhee, "poor"), sy (see, "slight"), and Xr (zhur, "lacking") define a strict scale of order. This order does not indicate the "social quality" of items, as with English "a bad day". The unary suffixes describe how accurate a word is, not whether it is good or bad. For example, the phrase faQsy (fadth-see, "cat slight") does not mean "a terrible cat". It means, "a slightly feline thing". The only situation where unary suffixes imply "good" or "bad" is when they modify words that have those intrinsic meanings, such as the noun DVT (dzeerts, "quality").
The unary suffixes Xr (zhur, "lacking") and Hr (khhur, "not") both are similar to English concepts of "no", "none" and "not". The difference between these suffixes is that Xr (zhur, "lacking") means "exactly zero/none", while Hr (khhur, "not") means "something else". For example:
The unary suffix WU (wul, "sort-of") is rarely used. It refers to something that is "similar but not directly comparable", similar to the English prefix "quasi".
The unary suffix Jw (jooh, "anti") means "the opposite". Because most words in Primal already have a compliment, it is less commonly used.
Finally, the unary suffix ky (kee, "cute") is a modifier that makes a word playfully diminutive, similar to English "friend" becoming "buddy", "mom" becoming "mommy", and "please" becoming "pretty please".
Describing Other Words
Unary suffixes can modify verb suffixes. The unary suffix modifies the syllable it directly follows, but the verb suffix always modifies the verb. For example, consider the following four verbs:
Unary suffixes can be used to modify noun suffixes in a similar fashion. This is uncommon, however.
Unary suffixes can't modify noun prefixes, because anything following a noun prefix becomes a noun.
Unary suffixes can modify verb prefixes, to exaggerate tense. For example:
Two or more unary suffixes can follow one another. In this case, each unary suffix modifies the previous one: