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-(e)loos
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The suffix -(e)loos /(ə)los/ is used to derive adjectives from nouns and incidentally from other words. Examples are given in (1), in which (1a) contains a nominal base, (1b) a verbal base and (1c) (arguably) an adjectival base:

Example 1

a. naamloos
name-less
name-SUFF
nameless
b. reddeloos
redd-e-loos
save-e-SUFF
hopeless, irredeemable
c. bewusteloos
bewust-e-loos
conscious-e-SUFF
unconscious

The meaning of -loos is 'without X'; in the few examples with verbal stems it is 'not to X' (reddeloosirredeemable) or 'not Xing' (roerloosmotionless).

In some cases, the base has been lost as an independent word, which leaves the complex adjective with a non-transparent meaning. Examples are argeloosguileless, unsuspecting, klakkeloosunthinking, laveloosloaded (with drink) and roekeloosreckless.

In inflected form, the final consonant of the affix is voiced because its position at the onset of the syllable saves it from devoicing: stemloze medeklinker/stɛmlozə medəklɪnkər/voiceless consonant.

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[+] General properties, productivity, input, stratum

The affix -loos attaches productively to nouns. The bases can be native or non-native, morphologically simple or complex. Examples are raamlooswindowless, schaamteloosschaam-te-loosshameless, accentloosaccent-free and identiteitsloosident-iteit-s-looswithout identity. Adjectives ending in -loos can form suffixed comparatives (moedelozermore discouraged), but not superlatives (*moedeloost -- here the periphrastic form would be used instead: meest moedeloosmost discouraged).

[+] Phonological properties

-loos is a non-cohering affix; syllabification respects morpheme boundaries: zoutloos/zɑut.los/. Moreover, the affix is available for backward gapping: kleur- en geurloos color- and scentless. The addition of -loos normally does not change the main stress of the word; an exception is the word meedogenloos/me'doɣənlos/pitiless < mededogen/'medədoɣən/pity, which also exhibits stem allomorphy.

A variety of linking sounds can occur in between the stem and the suffix, illustrated in (2):

Example 2

a. moedeloos
moed-e-loos
courage-e-SUFF
discouraged
b. klassenloos
klass-en-loos
class-en-SUFF
classless
c. bezitsloos
bezit-s-loos
possession-s-SUFF
without possessions

Nouns with a stem allomorph ending in /ər/ can appear in this form before -loos; an example is kindchild > kinderlooschildless. Occasionally, variants with a bare stem and variants with a linker appear side by side (gewichtloos/gewichtsloosweightless), occasionally with a difference in meaning: naamloosnameless vs. nameloosunutterable.

The distribution of schwa before -loos is discussed in (Fehringer 2003).

[+] Morphological potential

Adjectives ending in -loos can be input for nominalizations in -heid: liefdeloosloveless > liefdeloosheidlovelessness.

References:
  • Fehringer, Carol2003Prosodic conditions on allomorph selection in Dutch derivational morphologyJournal of Germanic Linguistics15297-325
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