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Show all Choice between plural suffixes

Generally, native nouns ending in a consonant receive the ending -e in the plural, and native nouns ending in -e (schwa) receive an additional -n in the plural. Words ending in a full vowel normally receive a plural ending -s. Nouns which are borrowed from High German often show the German plural forms, too.

Resident names ending in -er remain unchanged in the plural.

Table 1
sg. -C, pl. -e die Disk, do Diske ‘table(s)’, die Kening, do Keninge ‘king(s)’, dat Bäiden, do Bäidene ‘child, children’
sg. -e, pl. -n die Boolke, do Boolken ‘beam(s)’, ju Siede, do Sieden ‘side(s)’
sg. –[V:], pl -s dät Färtiko, do Färtikos ‘cupboard(s)’, dät Kakkedu, do Kakkeduus ‘heap(s) of excrements’, die Inka, do Inkas ‘Inca(s)’
sg. [HG], pl. [HG] die Student, do Studenten ‘student(s)’, dät Laptop, do Laptops ‘laptop(s)’, die Buur, do Buren ‘farmer(s)’
sg. -(t)je, pl. (t)jenesg. -ke, pl. -kene dät Aantje, do Aantjene ‘short distance(s)’, ju Bääsje, do Bääsjene ‘granny, -ies’, dät Buutje, do Buutjene ‘slice(s) of bread’, dät Häimke, do Häimkene ‘cricket’

A great many female nouns end in -e, both simplex words (e.g. ju Siede ‘side’) and derived words (e.g. ju Delenge ‘partition’). Those nouns receive an additional -n in the plural: do Sieden, do Delengen. There is a tendency to make plural female nouns end in –(e)n, just like in German. This is certainly true of (i) female nouns suffixed by (er)äi, e.g. juWiesmoakeräi ‘jest, fooling’, do Wiesmoakeräien; (ii) deverbal nouns ending in -t, like ju Plicht, do Plichten ‘duty, -ies’ and jo Foart, do Foarten ‘canal’; and (iii) words like ju Tied, do Tieden ‘time(s)’. However, the plural form of juNoacht ‘night’ is not only attested as do Noachten but also do Noachte.

Nouns ending in long vowels often show native -e(n) endings in the plural: Ree/Reeë (n.) ‘deer’, Litanie/Litanieën (f.) ‘litany/-ies’, but a word like Kupee (f.) ‘train compartment’ still sounds a bit foreign, hence Kupee/Kupees. Words ending in diphthongs are mostly native and unproblematic: die Skou, do Skoue ‘shoe(s)’.

Some nouns waver between the Disk/Diske-type and the Boolke/Boolken-type, e.g. ju Lätter, do Lättere and ju Lättere, do Lättern ‘letter(s) (of the alphabet)’ or die Steel, do Stele and die Stele, do Stelen ‘handle, stick’.

Many learned words ending in a consonant show the suffix -en in the plural, contrary to the general rule (i.e.: consonant stem gets plural -e, schwa stem gets plural -en). For example: die Gymnasiast, do Gymnasiasten. This type of (alleged) interference is also visible with a few nouns which have weak German counterparts, e.g. die Buur, do Buren (cf. der Bauer, genitive des Bauern, plural die Bauern).

Diminutives ending in -tje and -ke (e.g. dätAantje, ju Häimke) are generally treated as if they were diminutives ending in -tjen and -ken,just like dät Kitjen ‘prison’ and dätDüüfken ‘young girl’. That is: their plurals show -tjene and -kene.

dät Boantje, do Boantjene ‘job(s)’, dät Buutje, do Buutjene ‘slice(s) of bread and butter’, dät Düüfke, do Düüfkene ‘little girl(s)’, dät Düümken, do Düümkene ‘penis(es)’ dät Hüüsken, do Hüüskene (‘toilet’), dät Kitjen, do Kitjene (‘prison’), dät Manken, do Mänkene (‘male [animal]’), dät Peerdje, do Peerdjene (‘dragon-fly’)

Some Saterland Frisian diminutives are (also) feminine. Their plurals end in -ene (i.e. -kene or -jene), whereas most other plural feminine words end in -en (e.g. ju Bääsje, do Bääsjene ‘grandmother(s)’).

Many of those (partly) feminine diminutives refer to plants and small animals (e.g. dät/ju Häimke, cricket’).

ju Bääsje, do Bääsjene ‘grandmother(s)’, ju/dät Baumantje , do Baumantjene ‘wagtail(s)’, dät/ju Häimke, do Häimkene ‘cricket(s)’

Feminine diminutives ending in two weak (schwa containing) syllables show plural forms in -en, however, possibly for phonological reasons, e.g. ju Miegelke, do Miegelken ‘ant(s)’.

ju Doderke, do Doderken ‘yolk(s)’, ju/die Dröizelke, do Dröizelken ‘blackbird(s)’, ju Miegelke, do Miegelken ‘ant(s)’, ju Wiezelke, do Wiezelken ‘weasel(s)’

The noun juFottelke ‘(a certain kind of) sock’ has a plural form Fottelken. The neuter synonym dät Fottelken has a plural form do Fottelkene. The noun ju Tuwwelke ‘potato’ has an unchanged plural form do Tuwwelke.

Today, geographical nouns featuring the suffix -er, -ker/tjer or -ster remain unchanged in the plural. (Read more on geographical names and plurals.)

die Seelter, do Seelter ‘the Saterlander(s)’, die Romelster, do Romelster ‘the Ramsloh resident(s)’, die Uutändjer ‘the Utende resendent(s)’

Although Fort’s dictionary mentions a few examples of suffixed resident nouns with regular plurals (e.g. die Rumer, do Rumere ‘Roman(s)’), they do not seem to be used (anymore), as our informants told us. In the Saterlandic hymn one can hear: Wie sunt luter een Lounds Loundjer, / Skäddeler, Romelster un Uutändjer (‘we are countrymen of one land only: Scharrel, Ramsloh and Utende residents’). Another written source says: Rakt t noch Romer of Grieken? (‘Are there still Romans or Greeks out there?). The suffixes -er, -ster and -ker/(t)jer are also used as adjectival suffixes, e.g. ju Romelster Määlne ‘the Ramsloh mill’. Such adjectives are indeclinable.

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