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mis-
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The unproductive prefix mis- derives verbs from other verbs. It expresses that the action expressed by the base form miscarries. An example is sizzeto say > missizzeto say something wrong. The prefix mis- can also function as a negative element. It then expresses the opposite of the base form. An example is haagjeto please > mishaagjeto displease.

Note that there is also another element mis- that does bear stress and that occurs in (separable) particle verbs, where it is related to the adverb miswrong. In addition, there is a nominal prefix mis-, with comparable semantics.

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[+] General properties

The unproductive prefix mis- derives verbs from other verbs. It expresses that the action expressed by the base form has miscarried. Relevant examples are listed below:

Table 1
Base form Derivation
dwaanto do misdwaanto do wrong
brûketo use misbrûketo abuse
liedeto lead misliedeto mislead
foarmjeto form misfoarmjeto deform
steanto look missteanto not suit
sizzeto say missizzeto say wrong
hearreto hear mishearreto mishear
behanneljeto treat mishanneljeto maltreat (with truncation of be-)
bekommeagree with miskommeto disagree with (with truncation of be-)
The prefix mis- can also function as a negative element. It then expresses the opposite of the base form. Examples are listed below:
Table 2
Base form Derivation
haagjeto please mishaagjeto displease
gunneto not begrudge misgunneto begrudge
fertrouwe/betrouweto trust mistrouweto mistrust (with truncation of be- or fer-)
befalleto please misfalleto displease (with truncation of be-)
lokketo succeed (literary) mislokketo fail (literary)

A few derivations with mis- cannot be explained by the patterns above. They express a negative meaning while their basic correlate is also negative. Such formations must have been formed on the basis of verbs prefixed by an unstressed syllable, which has been replaced by mis-. The process of substituting other prefixes for mis- might be explained semantically or phonologically. The semantic explanation would be that verbs with a negative meaning may attract the prefix mis-, which has a negative meaning as well. A phonological cause might be that the dispelled prefixes all contain a labial followed by a schwa, where mis- has a labial (/m/) as well, but in contrast also a full (i.e. /I/) vowel. The relevant cases are listed below:

Table 3
Nonexistent base form Derivation Probable base
*ledigje misledigjeto offend beledigjeto offend
*learje mislearjeto fail (with truncation of fe-) felearjeto fail (from French faillir)
*tribelje mistribeljeto fail fertribeljeto fail
*kearje miskearjeto be wrong mankearjeto be wrong

[+] Phonological properties

The prefix is pronounced as [mIs]. In derivations with mis- the stress is not on the prefix (e.g. misBRÛketo abuse).

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Literature

This topic is based on Hoekstra (1998:150). The issue of substitution of other prefixes has been treated in Hoekstra (1993:14-15).

References:
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1993Ig-tiidwurden en g-tiidwurdenUs wurk: tydskrift foar Frisistyk421-68
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
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