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-mannich
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The unproductive suffix -mannich derives neuter nouns on the basis of nouns. Examples are deimannichcouple of days (from deiday) and metermannichcouple of meters (from metermeter). The suffix -mannich adds the meaning couple of. Most of the times, the base form is a noun that indicates a measure, although other bases are possible as well: boekmannichcouple of books. The indefinite article in is part of these formations, i.e. we have in deimannich instead of bare deimannich.

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[+] General input and restrictions

The suffix -mannich can be seen as a grammaticalization of the indefinite numeralmannich, which means a couple of or several. The suffix only has the former meaning, i.e. 'a couple of'. The list of derivations with -mannich is limited. Examples are given in the table below:


Table 1
Base form Derivations
deiday deimannichcouple of days
gûneguilder gûnemannichcouple of guilders
jieryear jiermannichcouple of years
keartime kearmannichcouple of times
metermeter metermannichcouple of meters
minútminute minútmannichcouple of minutes
oerehour oeremannichcouple of hours
pûnpound pûnmannichcouple of pounds
reisjourney reismannichcouple of times
stapstep stapmannichcouple of steps
stikpiece stikmannichcouple of
telmoment, second telmannichcouple of seconds
wikeweek wykmannichcouple of weeks
wurdword wurdmannichcouple of words

The base form is often a noun that indicates a measure of time, distance, weight, etc., but other nominal bases are also possible to certain extent:

Example 1

a. Ik haw in boekmannich op 'e planke stean
I have a book-many on.the shelf stay
I've got a couple of books on the shelf
b. Ik haw in famkemannich op it feest troffen
I have a girl-many on the party met
I've met a couple of girls on the party

There are a few input restrictions, mentioned by Hoekstra (1992:83-84). Firstly, a noun ending in -mannich cannot be preceded by an adjective:

Example 2

a. *Ik haw in spannend boekmannich op 'e planke stean
I have an exciting book-many on.the shelf stay
I've got a couple of adventure books on the shelf
b. *Ik haw in tsjep famkemannich op it feest troffen
I have a handsome girl-many on the party met
I've met a couple of handsome girls at the party

Secondly, a sentence in which the noun is followed by a complement is not allowed. An example of such an ungrammatical sentence is given in (a) below. The solution is to put the word ending in -mannich before the complement, as can be seen in (b):

Example 3

a. *Ik seach in famke mei blauwe eagen mannich
I saw a girl with blue eyes many
I saw a couple of girls with blue eyes
b. Ik seach in famkemannich mei blauwe eagen
I saw a girl-many with blue eyes
I saw a couple of girls with blue eyes

If the base noun indicates a measure, like kroadebarrow in (4a) below and hûnderta hundred in (4b), the complement also has to be moved to the right-hand side of the derivation with -mannich:

Example 4

a. *Ik brocht in kroade dong mannich fuort
I brought a barrow dung many away
I took away a barrow of dung
a.' Ik brocht in kroademannich dong fuort
I brought a barrow-many dung away
I took away a barrow of dung
b. *Der stienen in hûndert kij mannich yn it lân
there stood a hundred cows many in the land
A few hundred cows stood in the meadow
b.' Der stienen in hûndertmannich kij yn it lân
there stood a hundred-many cows in the land
A few hundred cows stood in the meadow
[+] -mannich and articles

Most of the times, the formation with -mannich is used in combination with the indefinite article ina(n). According to Hoekstra (1998:89), it is probably best to see in rather as an extension of the base than as an article, since the construction cannot exist without it:

Example 5

a. Wy hawwe in deimannich fuort west
we have a day-many away been
We've been away some days
b. Wy hawwe *deimannich fuort west
we have day-many away been
We've been away some days

Alternatively, we could consider this as an example of construction-dependent morphology, as the indefinite article forms part of the nominal construction.

However, we can evoke a definite article by attaching a complement, as in

Example 6

It deimannich dat ik fuort west haw
the.N day-many that.N I away been have
The couple of days that I have been out

We then see that derivations with -mannich have neuter gender, determined by the suffix. In the example above, the base deiday.Cday has common gender, which is overridden by the gender of the suffix.

[+] The origin of -mannich

The suffix -mannich originates from the expression in {noun} of {numeral}a {noun} of {numeral}. An example is in dei of trijea day of threeabout three days (see also The construction in N of Num. In older Frisian, the numeral in this construction could also be represented by mannich, as can be seen in the following quotation:

Example 7

Och, scipper, hie ik mar in stik of mannich fen dy scepsels...
Oh, skipper, had I PRT a piece of many of those creatures
O skipper, if I only had a couple of those creatures...

Later on, the small word ofof got elided, and in this way nouns in -mannich came into existence.

[hide extra information]
x A related construction

From the same expression in {noun} of {numeral} the deletion of of also occurred before the numerals twatwo, trijethree, oardehealone-and-a-half and treddehealtwo-and-a-half, as can be seen in the examples below:

Example 8

a. in deitwa
a day.two
a couple of days
b. in wyktrije
a week.three
a couple of weeks
c. in wurd oardeheal
a word other.half
a couple of words
d. in gûne treddeheal
a guilder third.half
a couple of guilders

Higher numbers are excluded, however, cf. *in deitsiena day-tenabout ten days.

It would be questionable to consider elements such as twa etc. as suffixes, as in this case the gender of the construction depends on the gender of the measure noun: de deitwa vs. it jiertwa, in keeping with the gender contrast between deiday.C and jieryear.N. Derivations with -mannich are always neuter; the gender is determined by the suffix. Moreover, in contrast to -mannich, where ofof cannot be added anymore (*in stik of mannicha couple of), the construction in dei of twaa couple of days is even more common in everyday language than in deitwa.

More information about the construction in {noun} (of) {numeral} can be found in the construction in N of Num.

[+] Phonological properties

The suffix -mannich does not alter the stress pattern of the base form: DEIday > DEImannichcouple of days and minÚTminute > minÚTmannicha couple of minutes. In most cases, there are no extra phonological shifts either: the suffix can just be added to the base form, as in gûne[ɡunə]guilder > gûnemannich[ɡunəmɔnəx]couple of guilders. However, in wykmannichcouple of weeks the final schwa of the base form wike[vikə]week has been dropped.

[+] Use

Formations with bases that are not measure nouns tend to become restricted to the written language nowadays. However, they can easily be replaced by another derivation with -mannich, i.e. stikmannich. Hence, instead of in boekmannicha couple of books we then get in stikmannich boekena couple of books. This derivation with the semantically 'empty' base noun stikpiece actually functions as an indefinite numeral: in stikmannich beammena couple of trees, in stikmannich gebouwena couple of buildings, etcetera. However, for many speakers also in stikmannich will be rather archaic. For them, it would be more common to use the connected construction in stik of wat {noun}a piece or whata couple of, as in in stik of wat boekena couple of books.

[hide extra information]
x Literature

This topic is primarily based on Hoekstra (1998:88-89) and Popkema (2006:114 and 181). A detailed treatment of the construction in {N} of {Num} and its derivatives can be found in Hoekstra (1992:83-87).

References:
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1992In dei of trije : tusken leksikon en syntaksisPhilologia Frisica anno 1990, Fryske Akademy63-89
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1992In dei of trije : tusken leksikon en syntaksisPhilologia Frisica anno 1990, Fryske Akademy63-89
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
  • Popkema, Jan2006Grammatica FriesUtrecht/ LjouwertUitgeverij Het Spectrum BV Prisma Woordenboeken en Taaluitgaven/ Fryske Akademy
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