In my last post I covered the basics of comparing regular adjectives. Participles decline as regular adjectives when they are compared, whether they be present active (patiēns, patient) or perfect passive (apertus, open).
A related phenomenon occurs with compound adjectives ending in -dicus, -volus, and -ficus (from dīcō, volō, and faciō). These compounds in fact take the stem of their related present active participle (dīcens, volens, faciens) in place of other endings.
There is a certain kinship between Greek and Latin (a) comparative and (b) superlative forms, as well as between (c) a particular branch of Latin positive adjectives and Greek comparatives.
To recall your knowledge of positives, comparatives, and superlatives in each language, let’s view a few examples:
Dark, darker, darkest
niger, nigrior, nigerrimus
μέλας, μελάντερος, μελάντατος
Big, bigger, biggest
magnus, maior, maximus
μέγας, μείζων, μεγίστος
Dear, dearer, dearest
cārus, cārior, cārissimus
φίλος, φιλότερος, φιλότατος
Sweet, sweeter, sweetest
suavis, suavior, suavissimus
ἡδύς, ἥδιος, ἥδιστος
I struggle here to explain the precise interrelations between the various forms above, because A&G are quite tight-lipped about the matter (everything in this post is drawn from two far-disparate footnotes). However, we see a certain kinship between:
the Latin comparative (n.) -ius [e.g. nigrior (m/f), nigrius (n)] and the Greek -ίων [e.g. μείων (smaller, less)]
the Latin superlative –issimus [suavissimus] and the Greek -ιστος [ἥδιστος]
(these ^^ are also both relative to the English superlative [e.g. sweetest])
the Latin positive –ter (ater, atra, atrum) and the Greek -τερος (φιλότερος)
I think that last one is a bit of a stretch, so don’t shoot the messenger (of AG 214bn), but shoot me a comment if you disagree either with their claim or with my reading of their claim, and explain why.