Agreement of adjectives with multiple nouns
- Greetings all,
I have just replied to an e-mail query about what gender and
number an adjective should be if it is qualifying two or more
nouns connected by vaa or ca. I thought I would forward my reply
to the list.
Gender: the rule is that the adjective takes the gender of
whichever noun it is nearest to. In practice this will most often
be the masculine noun if there is one. Examples:
aññaatako vaa gahapati vaa gahapataani vaa
"a male householder or female householder who is unrelated [to
kaalakato pitaa vaa maataa vaa
"a mother or father who is deceased"
Number: if a group of singular nouns are conected by vaa, then
the adjective will be singular. If they are connected by ca then
it will be plural. If some nouns are singular and others plural,
the number of the adjective will depend on whether the noun
nearest to it is singular or plural.
ekasmi.m samaye naatho Moggallaanañca Kassapa.m gilaane dukkhite
disvaa bojjha`nge satta desayi.
"On one occasion, the Lord, seeing Moggallaana and Kassapa sick
and in pain, taught the seven factors of awakening."