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The negative pronominal quantifier is usually derived from its existential counterpart by the addition of an n- prefix. The following table illustrates this for written language:

Table 1
Existential Negation
Person immen somebody nimmen nobody
Thing eat something neat nothing
Place earne somewhere nearne nowhere
Time ea ever nea never


It is remarkable that this whole paradigm has been rendered obsolete by loans from Dutch, although Dutch has essentially the same regularity, including the use of the n- prefix to express negation. Furthermore, the existential personal pronoun ien someone has never had a morphological parallel: *nien no one. Both in Frisian and in Dutch, the existential non-personal pronoun wat something is not included in the system of morphological negation either. In both languages, wat successfully competes against Dutch iets, Frisian eat / yts, even though Dutch iets something forms a paradigm with its negation niets nothing, and Frisian eat something with neat nothing. In both languages, wat something is characteristic of spoken language.