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The adjectival suffix -s /s/ appears with a variety of input words. The resulting adjectives form a heterogeneous group. A few examples, sorted according to input type, illustrate the range of the phenomenon:

Example 1

Input: common nouns
a. slaafs
b. werelds
c. zomers
Example 2

Input: proper names and related derivatives
a. Luthers
b. Freudiaans
Example 3

Input: verbs
a. broeds
b. speels
Example 4

Input: adjectives and other categories
a. groots
grand, magnificent
b. bovengronds
c. wijdbeens
with spread legs
d. doordeweeks

The semantics of the derivations is too diverse to be usefully expressed in a common formula. Read more below for the individual subgroups.

Adjectives with the suffix -s inflect like ordinary adjectives. Whether they are available for comparation depends on the semantics of the complex word. Adjectives denoting gradable properties can inflect for degree (schoolser more school-like) while those expressing relational or absolute properties cannot (*doordeweekser more weekday).

In some cases, the base is not or no longer a word of Dutch, so its category cannot be ascertained. An example is wulps voluptuous.

A special use of -s, discussed separately, is found in geographical adjectives (see here).

[+]Adjectives based on common nouns

Adjectives formed from common nouns and the suffix -s express a property related to the meaning of the noun. This is possibly the commonst group of -s derivations, even though it is not productive. Examples are duivel devil > duivels devilish, boer farmer > boers rustic, coarse, schalk imp > schalks impish, dood death > doods deathly, hemel heaven > hemels heavenly, school school > schools school-like, regimented. Besides, there are forms with idiosyncratic meanings, such as kerks church-SUFF religious, devout or haaks hook-SUFF orthogonal.

A similar type of adjective is formed from nouns denoting days, months or seasons: zondagse broek Sunday trousers, maartse bui March shower, zomerse picknick summer picnic. Depending on context, the meaning is 'typical for X' or 'meant for X'. Similar derivations related to timespans are forms ending in -lijks (discussed here).

[+]Adjectives based on proper names and related derivations

This type of adjective appears in two variants: with proper names and with person nouns ending in -(i)aan. The meaning in both cases is '(as) by/from X, connected with X' or 'following (the school or teachings of) X'. Examples for the first type are de Lutherse bijbel the Lutheran bible and de Wittgensteinse traditie the Wittgensteinian tradition. It is possible to think of other adjectives as related to this type, e.g. protestants protestant, rooms belonging to the Church of Rome, catholic and joods Jewish. Here, the bases are not proper names (or, in the case of rooms, the name belongs to a city rather than a person, however, the adjective does not mean 'from Rome'), but the semantic effect of the derivation is similar.

The second type is more common, examples are Wagneriaans in the style of Wagner, Freudiaans Freudian and franciscaans Franciscan. In many cases, the adjectives are more common than the corresponding base nouns ending in -iaan, which suggests that there may be a morphological schema for deriving adjectives with -(i)aans directly. The process is productive and can be extended easily to new person names.

[+]Adjectives based on verbs

This group is small, the most common examples are broeds broody, loops in heat, speels playful, steels stealthy and waaks watchful. The meaning in all cases is 'having the tendency to X', which appears extended in idiosyncratic ways in broeds breed-SUFF broody and loops run-SUFF in heat. Synthetic compounds such as goedgeefs generous, goedlachs cheery may also be analyzed as members of this group because they are partially verbal.

[+]Adjectives based on other inputs

The suffix -s appears with still other types of input. Groots grand is derived from the adjective groot big. This is an exceptional case. More common are adjectives formed from word sequences, especially consisting of preposition-noun-combinations, as in naoorlogs post-war, overzees overseas, naschools after school and buitenaards extraterrestial. Note that the two words do not necessarily form a word group: na school after school but *na oorlog *after war. Other complex bases are numeral-noun (tweedaags two day), adjective-noun (platvloers coarse), root-noun (midscheeps midship) and phrases ( doordeweeks weekday, laag-bij-de-gronds mean, cruel, low). The semantics is transparent in most cases, but not easily generalizable. Common semantic domains are temporal, spatial and manner.

[+]Morphological potential

Adjectives with the suffix -s do not easily serve as input for further derivation. In some cases, nominalization is possible, especially for the deverbal cases, but only with the suffix -heid, see speelsheid playfulness and goedlachsheid cheeriness, but also schoolsheid regimentation and aardsheid earthliness, worldliness.