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Verbal conversion

Derivation of verbs by way of conversion is a very common process in Frisian. This can already be seen in the array of lexical categories than can function as input. Not only do the open classes of nouns and adjectives function as input category, but also adverbs, numerals and interjections may be converted to a verb. It is with nouns and adjectives, however, that verbal conversion is really productive.

Interestingly, the resulting verbs all belong to the weak verbs of class II, i.e. they have an infinitive ending in -je. The only, phonologically driven, exceptions consist of stems that end in /i/, as a vowel, but mostly in the guise of the final glide [j] of a falling diphthong. In such cases, the converted verb follows the paradigm of class I. An example is the interjection jûchhei hoorah, which converts into the verb jûchheie to cheer. A past tense form is (hy) jûchheide (he) cheered, and not *hy jûchheie, which is to be expected if the verb follows class II.

It should be noted furthermore that a /s/ or /z/ is inserted before the ending -je after stems ending in /t/ or /d/, respectively. Examples are kloet punting pole > kloetsje to pole and sêd satisfied > sêdzje to satisfy.


More details about the different types of verbal conversion can be found by following the corresponding links: