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The suffix -voud /vAUd/ is a non-cohering native suffix creating countable nouns of neuter gender from cardinal numerals, such as vijfvoud [[vijf](NUM)[-voud]](N) pentuple. Plurals are in -en (vijfvouden /vEIf.'vAU.də(n)/ pentuples). The general meaning is something with the cardinality of the base cardinal.

[+]Input conditions

The Germanic suffix -voud is used to create nouns from cardinal numbers, e.g. vijfvoud [[vijf](NUM)[-voud]](N) pentuple(Smessaert 2013:51). Being of neuter gender, -voud formations select the definite singular article het. The suffix may yield an infinite number of formations, given that the series of cardinals is infinite: drievoud triplicate, vijfvoud 5-fold 5-tuple, honderdvoud 100-fold 100-tuple, tweemiljoenvoud 2-million-tuple, etc.

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The suffix ultimately derives from the verb vouwen to fold. One of the first formation with -voud, meervoud plural was coined by sixteenth century grammarians (1584) as a translation of Latin pluralisplural(Van der Sijs 2010). eenvoud 1-fold simplicity is exceptional in that it is of common gender, selecting the definite article de. It is probably a back formation from older eenvoudig simple.

[+]Inflectional properties

Plurals of -voud formations are in -en, when semantically applicable:viervouden [[[4](NUM)[voud](AFF)](N)[en](PL)](N-PL) /'vi:r.''vAU.dən/ quadruples.


The general meaning of formations with -voud is something with the cardinality of the base cardinal, as illustrated below:

Example 1

We moeten de aanvraag in tweevoud indienen
we must the request in duplicate in-hand
we must submit the application in duplicate
Example 2

Een viervoud is een getal dat deelbaar is door vier
A fourfold is a number that divisible is by four
A quadruple is a number which is divisible by four

Formations with -voud quite often occur in floating quantifier constructions with the preposition in X-voud, as exemplified in example (1) above.

There is a number of special cases on the basis of special (indefinite) numerals, whose meaning is not completely transparent: eenvoud 1-fold simplicity, enkelvoud only-fold singular, meervoud more-fold plural, plurality, veelvoud many-fold multiple, as in In de wiskunde is een veelvoud van een geheel getal een product van dat gehele getal met een ander geheel getal In the mathematics is a multiple of a whole number a product of that whole number with an other whole number In mathematics, a multiple of an integer is the product of that integer with another integer.

[+]Phonological properties

In formations with -voud, stress is on the numeral base, -voud bears secondary stress. The suffix is realised as /vAUt/, with a voiceless final consonant because of final devoicing, but the consonant is voiced /d/ underlyingly, as can be seen in the plural form. -voud is non-cohering, syllabification respects the morpheme boundary.

[+]Morphological potential

Formations with -voud can be input to adjective formation with the suffix -ig, e.g. tweevoudig [[[two](Num)[-voud](Aff)](N)[-ig](Aff)](A) twofold. Diminutive formation (tweevoudje twee-voud-DIM, enkelvoudje only-voud-DIM) is possible and uses predictably the allomorph je-, but is often semantically odd.

  • Sijs, Nicoline van der2010Etymologiebank, http://etymologiebank.nl/
  • Smessaert, Hans2013Basisbegrippen morfologieBasisbegrippen taalkundeLeuven/Den HaagACCO