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Verb as base

The suffixes that derive adjectives from verbs can be categorizeded with respect to which part of the verbal argument structure they apply. An example is -ber, which typically refers to the theme. It has a modal meaning in that it refers to possibilities and potentialities: "possible to be {verb}-ed" or "able to {verb}". A comparable non-native suffix is -abel. In many cases this property also applies to -lik, although this also can refer to the agent. Other agent-oriented suffixes are -ich (and its variant -erich) and -sk. The latter can also refer to the event itself, as can -ich. Hence, it is not always possible to draw strict borderlines in this area. This also applies to unproductive -sum.

A special place is occupied by -el and -er, as it is questionable whether they still have any role synchronically. Maybe the same applies to -en, which is a historical reduction of the ending -end of the present participle. Participles are not dealt with here, as they can be considered cases of conversion (or transposition) in the first place. For their adjectival use, see the topic on adjectival conversion.


More details about the suffixes can be found by following the corresponding links (in alphabetical order):