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The suffix -(e)lings is completely unproductive. It creates adverbs from nouns (for example krús cross > krúslings crosswise) and verbs (roere to touch > roer(de)lings closely). A minor base category are adverbs. The meanings of derivations in -(e)lings are diverse. In general, they indicate a manner that is related to the meaning of base form.

[+]General properties

The meanings of derivations with -(e)lings are diverse. In general, they indicate a manner that is related to the meaning of the base form. The suffix -(e)lings can derive adverbs from nouns, verbs and, even more marginally, adverbs. These various bases will be discussed in the sections below.

Forms like mûnling oral, ûnderling mutual and sûnderling stranger (without -s) are loans from Dutch. They are treated here as derivations with the suffix -(e)ling.

[+]Noun as base

The suffix -(e)lings can derive adverbs from nouns. Examples are given in the table below:

Table 1
Base form Derivation
each eye eachlings right in the face
rêch back rêchlings / rêgelings backwards
side side sydlings indirectly
tiid time tydlings gradually
ears arse earslings misplaced
ein end einlings finally
The adverb bek(ke)lings backwards has an opaque base *bek back.
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Hoasfuotlings on socks and ienlings singly

In hoasfuotlings on socks, the base form is actually hoasfuotling, which means that it would not be a derivation with the suffix -(e)lings. According to Hoekstra (1998:163), hoasfuotlings originated from a confusion of the old-fashioned adverbial wordgroup op hoasfuotlingen on socks with the adverbial derivation -lings.

The derivation ienlings singly is possibly not a derivation from the numeral ien one + -(e)lings, but of ienling + -s.

[+]Verb as base

The suffix -(e)lings can derive adverbs from verbal stems. Examples are given in the table below:

Table 2
Base form Derivation
trobbelje to hop trobbelings contiguous with legs and feet
bûkelje to jump over a ditch in bent posture with the pole under one arm bûkelings with a pole under one arm
rêchbrekke to jump over a ditch with the pole diagonally behind rêchbreklings with the pole diagonally behind
roere to touch roer(de)lings almost touching (in a move)
Mostly, the variant -lings is chosen. In roerdelings, we see insertion of /d/ after /r/.

[+]Adverb as base

Adjectival/adverbial bases are quite marginal. There are only two examples, which can possibly best be interpreted as having been derived from an adverb. These are dwers transverse > dwerslings sideways and koart short > koartlings recently. We see that only the variant -lings is involved here.

[+]Phonological properties

There is no clear rule when to use schwa in -(e)lings [(ə)lIŋs]. Both forms can occur, however with the form without -e- having a certain preference.

The suffix -(e)lings behaves like a phonological word of its own, and thus receives secondary stress, whereas the main stress on the base word is preserved.

[+]Morphological potential

-(e)lings is unproductive in Frisian. It does not feed further word formation, apart from tydlings gradually, which can be the base for the suffix -wei: in tydlingswei gradually.

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This topic is based on Hoekstra (1998:163-164).

  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy