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Among the suffixes that adverbialize temporal nouns we also find -ich. It can, however, only be attached to the noun jûn evening.


The only noun that can take -ich in order to form an adverb is jûn evening. In fact, the phenomenon is even further restricted in that it only occurs in the south, especially in the southeast. This implies that also the phonology is deviating, we see the form jonnich [jonəχ]. The pronunciation [əχ] of the suffix is as expected, but the vowel of the stem is not. However, if one remembers that the base word is [jo:n] in this area, then regular shortening gives [jonəχ] as a result. The adverb could also, probably even more regularly, be derived from the variant jonne [jonə] that occurs in the same region.

The meaning of jonnich is something like 'this evening, the evening of this day", hence: 'tonight'. The word also occurs in the expression fan 'e jonnich of the evening-SUFF tonight, with the same meaning. One could say that the semantic contribution of the suffix is vacuous here, as the pattern normally contains a noun. We also have the expression fan 'e jûn tonight with the same meaning. Actually, these expressions with the preposition fan of should be considered as influences from Dutch vanavond or as analogical extensions of the Frisian pattern in fan 'e moarn this morning, fan 'e wike this week, etc. The normal Frisian designation for tonight is simply jûn, or this dialectical jonnich. For this part of the day, no preposition is used.

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Hoekema (1963) provides the result of dialectical surveys, including a map. He also mentions comparable suffixes in this word in East- and North-Frisian dialects, for instance Saterlandic äuwich. Such forms can also be found in Versloot (1996). This author tentatively assumes that the suffix is a variant of a suffix -(l)ing, which possibly also shows up in English evening. Tamminga (1973:60) reports the form jûnich in the southwest, a region that fell outside Hoekema's dialectical inquiries.

  • Hoekema, Teake1963Twa WâldwurdenUs Wurk1293-96
  • Tamminga, Douwe Annes1973Op 'e taelhelling. Losse trochsneden fan Frysk taellibben. IIA.J. Osinga
  • Versloot, A1996JonnichFriesch Dagblad08-06005