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-inne
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The stressed, unproductive suffix -inne is found in nouns denoting female persons or animals. The input is usually simplex nouns. Being of common gender, -inne derivations take the definite article dethe. An example is liuwlion > liuwinnelioness.

Other suffixes that derive female nouns are -e, -esse, -ske and -ster. Note also the suffix -e that derives female inhabitant names, on the basis of an adjective, however.

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[+] General properties

The base words in derivations with -inne are usually simplex nouns, either monosyllabic (e.g. bazinnefemale boss < baasboss) or bisyllabic with a second syllable with schwa (e.g. ezelinnefemale donkey < ezel[e:zəl]donkey). We see truncation of -en in for example heidenheathen > heidinnefemale heathen.

Formations with the suffix -inne have common gender, e.g. they take dethe as their definite article. They denote female function names or female animal names. Examples are listed below:

Table 1
Base form Derivation
freonfriend freondinnefemale friend
keizeremperor keizerinneempress
bakkerbaker bakkerinnefemale baker
fijânenemy fijândinnefemale enemy
heidenheathen heidinnefemale heathen
FriesFrisian Friezinnefemale Frisian
reusgiant reuzinnegiantess
liuwlion liuwinnelioness
aapmonkey apinnefemale monkey
bearbear bearinnefemale bear
Thus freondinnefemale friend is the female counterpart of freonfriend and a liuwinnelioness is a female liuwlion. In some cases, -inne does not mean female counterpart of but rather spouse of. For example, a word like keninginnequeen is ambiguous or vague between highest ruler of a country, who happens to be female and wife of highest ruler of a country. However, in derivations with the suffix -ske, this ambiguity is more prominent.

In case the base form denotes an animal, a compound with the word wyfkewoman-DIMfemale can be used instead of the suffix -inne. Thus instead of liuwinnelioness there is also the alternative wyfkeliuwlioness, or see wyfke-ezelfemale donkey next to ezelinnefemale donkey.

[+] Phonological properties

The suffix -inne[ɪnə] bears the main stress of the derivation, for example in ezeLInne. It is cohering, syllabification does not line up with the morphological boundary, e.g. ezelinne[e.zə.lɪ.nə]female donkey < ezel[e.zəl]donkey. This also implies that an underlying voiced obstruent remains voiced. Examples are reus/rø:z/giant > reuzinnegiantess and Fries/fri.əz/Frisian > Friezinnefemale Frisian. We see insertion of /d/ after stems ending in /n/, for example freonfriend > freondinnefemale friend or fijânenemy > fijândinnefemale enemy.

[+] Morphological potential

For its plural, -inne regularly uses the plural ending -en, e.g. freondinnenfemale friends or liuwinnenlionesses. Diminutives are with the allomorph -tsje, as in liuwintsjelittle lioness.

Apart from dininutive formation, -inne cannot be input for further derivational processes. Compounding is no problem, for example freondinnerûntefriend-SUFF-circlecircle of female friends.

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x Literature

This topic is based on Hoekstra (1998:92-93). The suffix is also mentioned in Tamminga (1973:55). The treatment in Veen (1984-2011) is also worth mentioning.

References:
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
  • Tamminga, Douwe Annes1973Op 'e taelhelling. Losse trochsneden fan Frysk taellibben. IIA.J. Osinga
  • Veen, Klaas F. van der (ed.)1984-2011Wurdboek fan de Fryske Taal - Woordenboek der Friese Taal
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