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The suffix bet-, taken over from its use in kinship terms, may derive time adverbials in the second or higher degree in the realm of the time unit 'day'. The main items are betearjuster the day before yesterday and betoaremoarn two days after tomorrow. A peculiarity is the fact that the prefix may operate recursively.

[+]General properties

The prefix bet- must have been converted to the adverbial temporal domain from its use in kinship terms; see bet- forming nouns out of nouns. The prefix is used in adverbs of time, although even this is further restricted to the unit 'day'. It forms a term of the second or higher degree. For the first degree, we have the element ear- for the past, as in earjuster the day before yesterday. Bet- is used to form the second degree: betearjuster two days before yesterday. In principle, the suffix is recursive, as in betbetearjuster three days before yesterday. For the future, the zero degree is moarn tomorrow and the first degree is oaremoarn the day after tomorrow. The second degree is then betoaremoarn two days after tomorrow, with recursion betbetoaremoarn, betbetbetoaremoarn, etc.

In its use in time adverbials, the suffix bet- is getting obsolete. Especially in its recursive function it is probably quite rare now.

[+]Phonological properties

The suffix is pronounced as [bɛt]. The stress is on the prefix, as in BETearjuster two days before yesterday).

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This topic is based on Hoekstra (1998:64).

  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy