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While -aasje is a suffix similar to a Dutch suffix, i.e. -atie, its variant -eraasje is typically Frisian. The suffix is added to native verbs. It creates action nouns with common gender and a collective element. An example is skriuwe to write > skriuweraasje writing. The suffix is functionally comparable to -erij.

[+]Verb as base

The suffix -eraasje probably came into existence by analogy with French loans like moederaasje compassion (from French moderation) and alteraasje alteration, commotion (from French altération).

While -aasje follows French loan verbs most of the time, its variant -eraasje is typically Frisian and is added to native, i.e. Germanic, bases. The result is always a noun of common gender.

Table 1
Base form Verbal stem Derivation
skriuwe to write skriuw skriuweraasje writing
stride to struggle striid strideraasje struggle
fjochtsje to fight fjocht fjochteraasje fighting
ite to eat yt iteraasje eating
skite to shit skyt skiteraasje diarrhoea
timmerje to hammer timmer timmerderaasje woodwork
kreamje to give birth kream kreameraasje childbirth

The derivation creates action nouns that often have a more or less collective element; for instance, in the case of skriuweraasje the whole of the writing process is involved.

[+]Nous as base

There are also two nouns that can function as base: the pluralia tantum klean clothes and sinten money. These result in kleaneraasje clothes and sinteraasje finance. Hence, both derivations have a clearly collective aspect.

[+]Phonological properties

If the verb stem ends in /r/, a [d] is inserted. This insertion is optional after /n/ and /l/. An example is rekkenje to calculate, which has rekken as base, which becomes rekkenderaasje calculation after suffixation. A general treatment of d-insertion can be found in /d/-insertion in the sequences /nər/, /lər/, and /rər/.

The word timmerderaasje woodwork also has the variant timmeraasje woodwork. In the latter form, the final part of the stem has been truncated in order to avoid two identical rhymes.

[+]Similar suffixes

Most of the nouns in -eraasje have an additional variant ending in -erij next to them. To give a few examples: skriuweraasje writing lives next to skriuwerij writing, timmer(der)aasje woodwork has the parallel form timmerderij woodwork, etc. Nouns in -eraasje and -erij all have a more or less collective element in them. A difference could be that words ending in the former have a stronger pejorative connotation than words ending in the latter.

Furthermore, the nominal infinitive (see -en) can function as an action noun as well. Examples are: skriuwen writing, fjochtsjen fighting, etcetera. A difference from the suffixes -eraasje and -erij is that the collective element is less clear.

Finally, some of the verbal stems mentioned above can be preceded by the prefix ge-. The verbal stem fjocht fight can then become gefjocht fight(ing) and the verbal stem skriuw write then turns into geskriuw writing. A word like geskriuw has a clearly collective element, but in gefjocht this is not necessarily so.

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This topic is based on Hoekstra (1998:122-123) and Hoekstra (1991). See also Visser (2000:181-182), who mentions this suffix in a much wider treatment of the adaptation of French loans in Frisian.

  • Hoekstra, Jarich1991Argewaasje en strideraasjeFriesch Dagblad04-05Taalsnipels 183
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
  • Visser, Willem2000Frjemd wurdt eigener. Oer de âlde Frânske lienwurden yn it FryskIt Beaken62141-218