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oer-
quickinfo

The prefix oer- derives nouns on the basis of nouns. Basically, there are two senses. One denotes an origin, a first version of some phenomenon. An example of such a primal meaning is minskehuman > oerminskeprotohuman.

There is also a prefix oer- that is attached to kinship terms. It then forms a third-degree term from a second-degree term. An example is pakegrandfather > oerpakegreat-grandfather.

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[+] The prefix oer- denoting first origin

The productive prefix oer- denotes a state of origin, the first appearance of what is denoted by the base. It is related to Dutch oer- and German Ur-. Examples of derivations with this oer- are listed below:


Table 1
Base form Derivation
byldpicture oerbyldarchetype
boskforest oerboskprimeval forest
knalbang oerknalbig bang
driftdrive oerdriftprimitive drive
minskehuman oerminskeprotohuman
tiidtime oertiidprehistoric times
stofdust oerstofprotoplasm
folkpeople oerfolkprimitive people
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The prefix oar-

Next to oer- there is the prefix oar-, which has the same etymology. This element oar- is not productive, however, and it can only be found in synchronically opaque words like oarlochwar, oarsprongorigin, oardieljudgement, oarsaakcause and oarkondedocument.

[+] The prefix oer- in kinship terms

Frisian has another prefix oer- which only superficially resembles the prefix dealt with above. It is related to the preposition oerover, and therefore it is a prefixoid. The Dutch counterpart is over-, likewise descending from a preposition, i.e. Dutch overover. This prefix oer- is attached to kinship terms, and then forms a third-degree term of a second-degree term. An example is pakegrandfather > oerpakegreat-grandfather. The only existing derivations with this prefix oer- are listed below:


Table 2
Base form Derivation
pakegrandfather oerpakegreat-grandfather
beppegrandmother oerbeppegreat-grandmother
bernsberngrandchild(ren) oerbernsberngreat-grandchild(ren)
In order to express an even higher degree in kinship, these formations with oer- can be prefixed with bet-.

[+] Phonological properties

The prefix is pronounced as [uər]. The stress is always on the prefix. Examples are OERknalbig bang and OERpakegreat-grandfather).

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Literature

The prefix oer- denoting first origin is shortly dealt with in Hoekstra (1998:66), and its role in kinship terms is mentioned in Hoekstra (1998:64).

References:
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
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