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-erwijs /ərυεis/ is a suffix that creates adverbs from present participles and adjectives. Examples illustrating its usage are vragenderwijs questioningly and mogelijkerwijs possibly.

Example 1

a. De heer Van den Berg noemde vragend-erwijs enkele oplossingen.
Mister Van den Berg mentioned asking-ly some solutions
Mister Van den Berg questioningly pointed out some solutions.
b. Mogelijk-erwijs trekt de export in september weer aan.
Possibl-y pulls the export in September again on
Possibl-y the export will be picking up in September.

An alternative form of –erwijs is –erwijze /ərυεizə/.


The suffix -erwijs derives adverbs from present participles and adjectives. Examples based on participles are gebiedend ordering > gebiedenderwijs by order and spelend playing > spelenderwijs without effort. A de-adjectival example is mogelijk possible > mogelijkerwijs possibly. For both kinds of bases, the suffix is productive. Examples of recent coinings are zappenderwijs by zapping and ludiekerwijze playfully. The adjectival bases are usually complex and mainly stem from the native stratum of the lexicon. The suffix itself, too, belongs to the native stratum.

With present participles, –erwijs carries the meaning ‘in a … manner’ which reflects its etymological relationship with the nouns wijs manner and wijze manner. The main semantic roles of the adverbs are that of qualification, modality, and evaluation, as illustrated by the following three sentences respectively:

Example 2

Ik leerde de tekst repeter-end-erwijs
I learned the text repeat-ing-SUFF
I learned the text by rehearsing
Example 3

Dat is noodzakelijk-erwijs / ironisch-erwijs het geval
That is necessari-ly/ ironicall-y the case
That is necessari-ly / ironically the case
Example 4

Begrijpelijk-erwijs bleef hij thuis
Understanding-ly stayed he home
Understandingly he stayed home

The suffix preserves the main stress location of its base word; the first syllable of the suffix carries secondary stress. The prosodic structure of the adverbs is such that each consists of two prosodic words. The first one is formed by the base + the part /–er/, whereas -wijs/-wijze forms the second prosodic word, as in (muγələkər)(υεizə).

Adverbs in -erwijs cannot be input for further derivation.

For more information and discussion, see Diepeveen, Ariane 2012. Modifying words. Dutch adverbial morphology in contrast. Diss. FU Berlin, chapter 9. http://www.diss.fu-berlin.de/diss/receive/FUDISS_thesis_000000038716