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The suffix –gewijs /γəυεis/ attaches mainly to nouns to form adverbials and adjectives.

Example 1

a. Onze ecologische schuld wordt stap-s-gewijs afgelost.
our ecological debt is step-s-SUFF paid off
Our ecological debt will be paid off step by step.
b. Wij hebben elk dossier steekproef-s-gewijs gecontroleerd.
we have every file sample-wise checked
We checked every file at random
c. stap-s-gewijze invoering
step-s-SUFF introduction
stepwise introduction
d. steekproef-s-gewijze tests
sample-s-SUFF tests
random tests

In most cases, the adverbs and adjectives express the manner of the action.

The suffix has an allomorph –gewijze /γəυεizə/ which is more archaic.


–gewijs is used to form adverbials from nouns. Its meaning contribution can be circumscribed as 'in a … manner', and hence it can be attached productively to nouns that denote a specific form of action. It can also have a limiting meaning 'as to ….', as in (2).

Example 2

Temperatuur-gewijs gaan we er niet op vooruit
Temperature-SUFF go we there not at forward
Temperature-wise it is not getting any better for us

Exceptionally, –gewijs occurs with adjectives and verbs, as in steelsgewijs surreptitiously and zapsgewijs in a zapping manner respectively.

There may be a linking element -s between the base word and the suffix. The suffix forms a prosodic word of its own, and hence receives secondary stress on the syllable that contains /υεi/. The location of main stress of the base word is preserved.

Words with –gewijs may also be used as adjectives, but not when the limiting meaning is involved: een stapsgewijze aanpak a step-wise approach. This is why this suffix is classified as both an adverbial and an adjectival suffix. Adverbs in -gewijs cannot be input for further derivation, but adjectives occasionally occur in nominalizations such as stapsgewijsheid stepwiseness. For more information and discussion, see Diepeveen, Ariane  2012. Modifying words. Dutch adverbial morphology in contrast. Diss. FU Berlin, chapter 10. http://www.diss.fu-berlin.de/diss/receive/FUDISS_thesis_000000038716