• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents

New Dutch nouns can be formed by means of prefixation and suffixation, and also by compounding. In addition, nouns may result from borrowing and univerbation.


New Dutch nouns can be formed by a number of derivational processes:

  • suffixation, e.g. the noun roodheid redness is derived from the adjective rood by means of the suffix -heid. An important subclass of nominal suffixation is diminutive formation, as in vogeltje small bird < vogel bird.
  • prefixation, e.g. the noun gelach laughing is derived from the verb lachen to laugh (or rather from the verbal stem laugh) by means of the prefix ge-.
  • Occasionally, one finds circumfixation, e.g. the collective noun geboomte trees is derived by means of the circumfix ge...te.
  • conversion: the noun gek fool is related to the adjective gek crazy but the difference in word class does not correspond to a difference in form.
Other processes may introduce new nouns into the language as well, e.g.
  • borrowing: computer computer is a recent loan from English, wijn wine is a much older loan from Latin (vinumwine)
  • univerbation: e.g. the noun wittebrood white bread can be traced back to a combination of the (inflected) adjective wit white and the noun brood bread.
  • compounding: the noun stadhuis city hall is the result of the combination of two nouns, stad city and huis house.
  • Many nouns, especially from learned parts of the vocabulary, are either borrowed or the product of neoclassical word formation: bioscoop cinema consists of two parts bio(s) and scoop of Latin or Greek origin that do not occur as independent words.