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There are only a few derivations with the suffix -el, it is an unproductive suffix. The suffix -el forms adjectives from verbs and can in its function be compared with -ich. An example is brûke to use > brûkel angry. However, it can be questioned if one can speak of derivation in these cases.

There is a separate suffix -el that derives verbs from other verbs; this is discussed in the topic on -el forming verbs from verbs.

[+]General properties

Derivations ending in -el [əl] are historically derived from verb stems. However, in most cases the stems and the corresponding verbs cannot be recognized anymore. Examples are given in the table below:

Table 1
wankel shaky
gammel wobbly
nommel noble-minded
skrutel shy
nippel moody
mûtel chubby
himmel neat
noartel surly
krigel diligent
The formation krigel diligent may be related to the verb krije to get, which has an alternative stem krig-. Note that noartel surly can also have the forms noartsk surly, noartlik surly and noartich surly.

Adjectival derivations with -el from verbs are rare and unproductive. A comparable situation occurs with the suffix -er deriving adjectives from verbs.

[+]Morphological potential

Derivations with -el from verbs can be input for other suffixes, examples are given in the table below:

Table 2
Base Derivation
wankel shaky wankelich unstable; wankelens unstability
gammel wobbly gammelich / gammeleftich sickly; gammelens / gammelichheid sickliness
nommel noble nommelens nobility
brûkel angry brûkelens anger
mûtel chubby mûtelens / mûtelheid chubbiness; mûtelich chubby
himmel neat himmelich very much wanting to clean
noartel surly noartelens surliness
krigel touchy krigelens / krigelheid diligence
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This topic is based on Hoekstra (1998:133). Some more details about this suffix can be found in Sytstra and Hof (1925:92) and Tamminga (1973:9).

  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
  • Sytstra, Onno H. & Hof, Jan J1925Nieuwe Friesche SpraakkunstLeeuwardenR. van der Velde
  • Tamminga, Douwe Annes1973Op 'e taelhelling. Losse trochsneden fan Frysk taellibben. IIA.J. Osinga