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Adverbial suffixes

Dutch has a category of adverbs which may be extended through suffixation of adjectives, nouns and (rarely) verbs. The following  adverbial suffixes occur:  ‐(e)lijk, ‐(e)lings, ‐erwijs, ‐gewijs, ‐halve, ‐iter, ‐tjes, ‐waarts, ‐weg . Their use may be illustrated by the examples in (1), where the adverbs are derived from adjectives and nouns. Notice that a linking element ‐s‐ may be inserted, e.g. groep-s-gewijs in groups.

Table 1
Base word Derived adverb
recent recent recentelijk recently
blind blind blindelings blindly
redelijk reasonable redelijkerwijs reasonably
groep group groepsgewijs in groups
fatsoen decency fatsoenshalve for decency's sake
normaal normal normaliter normally
gewoon common gewoontjes rather common
huis house huiswaarts homewards
simpel simple simpelweg simply
Some of these derived adverbs can also be used as adjectives, as shown by the following example:

Example 1

Uit een recent-elijk-e brief (...) blijkt dat deze instantie weinig gecharmeerd is van reclame aan lantaarnpalen.
out INDF recent-SUFF-INFL letter(C) appear.3SG.PRS that DEM.PROX.SG.C instance(C) little charm.PTCP be.3SG.PRS of publicity(C) on lamppost.PL
A recent letter (…) shows that this authority doesn’t like the idea of ads on lampposts very much

This applies in particular to some words ending in -elijk, -elings, –gewijs, and –waarts.

Adverbializing word formation processes tend not to be very productive, mainly because most Dutch adjectives can be used as adverbs without an adverbial morphological marker. The addition of an adverbial suffix may also imply the addition of a semantic component to the base, in particular when the base is not an adjective. For instance, the suffix –waarts adds a directional meaning.

Adverbial suffixes are closing suffixes: they block the application of further word formation processes. This follows from the fact that adverbs do not feed word formation in Dutch. Exceptions are those adverbs that are also used as adjectives, For instance, since achter-waarts backwards can also be used as an adjective (een achterwaarts-e beweging a backward movement, the coinage of a noun like achter-waarts-heid backward-ness is possible.

All adverbial suffixes belong to the native stratum of the Dutch lexicon, except for the non-native suffix –iter. They take adjectives and nouns as their bases, and occasionally a verb, as in rak-elings closely.

  • Diepeveen, Ariane2012Modifying words. Dutch adverbial morphology in contrast.FU BerlinThesis