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Weak agreement

A preceding definite article or demonstrative triggers weak agreement on the following adjectives. Weak agreement is uniform.


Weak agreement is uniform and insensitive to the features gender and number. Weak and strong agreement are distinguished solely from each other in the neuter singular, where weak agreement has a schwa, strong agreement has zero. Otherwise, weak and strong agreement are identical, invariantly consisting of the schwa.

Weak agreement is unary in Modern Frisian and does (therefore) not involve number or gender features of the following noun, as it did in Old Frisian. The unary paradigm of weak agreement for the adjective is given below:

Table 1
Weak agreement Example
Singular, neuter -e it grutte boek the big book
Singular, common -e de grutte man the big man
Plural -e de grutte boeken/mannen the big books/men
Weak agreement is triggered solely by the definite article and the demonstrative ones. The definite article and the demonstrative ones share the unique property that they bear irregular strong agreement.

All other singular quantifiers trigger strong agreement on following adjectives in Standard Frisian. It must be mentioned, though, that nowadays, under the influence of Dutch, possessors can also trigger weak agreement on the adjective under the influence of Dutch. On the other hand, possessors are a natural extension of the class of definite and demonstrative articles, since possessors are generally definite themselves.