Content words, or words that aren’t particles like li and e, can have their meaning altered by a word that come after them. We can think of the first word as the head, and following word as the modifier.
- kili jaki - [head][modifier] : vegetable(s)<-dirty - dirty vegetable(s).
More than one modifier can be chained together, with each modifying the meaning that came before.
- kili jaki mute - [head][modifier][modifier] : dirty vegetable(s)<-many - many dirty vegetables.
So far we have seen single words act as a subject, action/quality/state, and object. They all can be modified.
- jan mute li telo e kili jaki. - many people wash the dirty vegetables.
- jan li telo mute e kili jaki. - the people thoroughly wash the dirty vegetables.
- jan li telo e kili jaki mute. - the people wash may dirty vegetables.
If you feel you are starting to understand how to stack your glyph blocks, adding modifiers shouldn’t be too hard. Let’s look at jan Pije’s example, building up to this good soldier.
This compound noun block is equally at home as the subject, or direct object.
In chapter 2 we talked about tucking glyphs behind others. Look how well this works for the combination jan utala in these examples.
short blocks: lili and mute
Lili and mute are wider and shorter than some of the more square glyphs. As modifiers this can work to your advantage, as they don’t take up too much space. Often they can tuck right underneath the noun they are modifying.
thin blocks: ni
Remember we said syllable glyphs can be used instead of glyph blocks? As a glyph block, ni is pretty square, but as a syllable it is tall and thin. This can be useful when ni is used as a modifier. Take a look at how ni works as a glyph block above and a syllable block below . This can offer you a variety of ways to fill the given space in any situation.
stretching and squishing blocks
Maybe you have started to notice, glyph blocks have a little bit of give to them. They can stretch or squish in order to maintain a square shape in a multi-block structure. If you understand how to tuck one glyph behind another, to stretch or squish glyphs, and use short and thin blocks, you will see just how many different arrangements there are for compound blocks.
Here are seven different ways to arrange ma ike jaki ni. Which one you would want to choose would depend on the how well it fits in the rest of the sentence.