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-eer /ɛ:r/ is a stress-bearing non-native cohering suffix found in verbs derived from non-native bound forms (e.g. produceer to produce, cf. product product), (mostly non-native) nouns (e.g. alarmeer to alarm < alarm alarm) or (occasionally) non-native adjectives (e.g. activeer to activate < actief active, selecteer to select which maybe derives from select select, ). There are various allomorphs such as -ueer (e.g. accentueer accentuate < accent accent), -seer (e.g. categoriseer categorize < categorie category), -iseer (e.g. karakteriseer characterize < karakter character), -tiseer (e.g. schematiseer schematize < schema schema), and -atiseer (e.g. systematiseer systematize < systeem system). It is also possible to analyse some of these alleged allomorphs in terms of stem allomorphy, borrowing and/or affix substitution; the last example systematiseer systematize may also be a derivation of the (derived) adjective systematisch systematic. Verbs in -eer are always inflected regularly (past tense produceerde produced, past participle geproduceerd produced).


-eer /ɛ:r/ and its allomorphs is one of the four verbalizing suffixes in Dutch, and the only one that is productive; it belongs to the non-native stratum of the language. The others are -el, -er, and -ig; other verbs enter the language through borrowing or conversion. Bases are usually non-native nouns, adjectives or bound forms. Haas (1993: 348-351) distinguish three types:

  • ( The suffix -eer often occurs with bound forms that are usually non-native, most often of Latin of French origin. Examples are produceren to produce, to reside, concluderen to conclue, emanciperen to emancipate, procederen to litigate, docerento teach, resumeren to summarize, absorberen to absorb, reageren to react, monteren to mount, to assemble, fingeren to feign, specificeren to specify, refereren to refer, masturberen to masturbate, tatoeëren to tattoo, variëren to vary, riskeren to risk, chaufferen to drive. The distinction between Latin stems and others is relevant in that in Latin stems, /k/ before the suffix (usually spelled c) becomes /s/ (usually spelled c): specificeren to specifyspecificatie specification, abdiceren to abdicateabdicatie abdication, impliceren to implyimplicatie implication, introduceren to introduceintroductie introduction, compliceren to complicatecomplicatie complication. Another feature of these Latin stems is that they usually need additional material to become a word: the Latin stem dic-to point, e.g., cannot function as a verb wit -eer alone: another element (usually a bound form) is needed as well, as in indiceren to indicate or abdiceren to abdicate; the same holds for fic-to make in unificeren to unify, simplificeren to simplify, pacificeren to pacify, etc. There is also a small group of roots ending in /k/ that are (probably) not of Latin origin where this alternation does not occur: frankeren to frank, to prepay, markeren to mark, maskeren to mask, to camouflage and riskeren to risk.
  • ( The suffix -eer can also be attached productively to nouns, usually non-Germanic ones: alarmeren to alarm (cf. alarm alarm), balanceren to balance (cf. balans balans), triomferen to triumph (cf. triomf triumph), spioneren to spy (cf. spion spy), signaleren to signal (cf. signaal signal), duelleren to duel (cf. duel duel), adviseren to advise (cf. advies advice), importeren to import (< import import), portretteren to portray (cf. portret portrait). If the noun ends in schwa, the schwa is deleted as a consequence of prevocalic schwa-deletion: coderen to encode (cf. code code), nuanceren to nuance (cf. nuance nuance), annonceren to announce (cf. annonce announcement), frauderen to defraud (cf. fraude fraud), charmeren to charm (cf. charme charm). Sometimes the suffix also attaches to native nouns that are either monosyllabic (groeperen to group, shockeren to shock, normeren to normalize, scalperen to scalp, kamperen to camp) or bisyllabic with schwa in the second syllable (redeneren to reason < reden reason, waarderen to value < waarde value). If the noun ends in a vowel other than schwa, it is sometimes deleted (torpederen to torpedo cf. torped torpedo, gireren to indorse cf. giro giro, agenderen to agenda cf. agenda agenda, diplomeren to certificate cf. diploma diploma, fantaseren to imagine cf. fantasie phantasy), and not in other cases (parodiëren to parody, tatoeëren to tattoo). The suffix -eer also combines with non-native complex words: enthousiasmeren to enthuse (enthousiasme is formed with -asme), urineren to urinate (urine contains -ine), reglementeren (reglement contains -ment), motiveren to motivate (< motief containing -ief), telefoneren (telefoon telephone contains the bound form -foon), filosoferen to philosophize (< filosoof philosopher with the bound form -soof), telegraferen to telegraph (< telegraaf telegraph contains the bound form -graaf). In other cases, a suffix or bound form may or may not be retained, e.g. with -ade: kwadraat square > kwadrateren to square vs plagiaat plagiarism > plagiëren to plagiarize. The final /k/ of the suffix -iek changes into /s/ (spelled c) when -eer is attached (specifiek specific/specificeren to specify, muziek music/musiceren to play music); this does not work for other cases of final /k/: shockeren to shock, blokkeren to block, flankeren to flank, etc. If a noun ends in the sequence consonant+schwa+/r/, registreren to register (cf. register register), filtreren to filter (cf. filter filter), etc.
  • ( The suffix -eer attaches much less easier to adjectives, but we do find non-native stems (frequenteren to frequent < frequent frequent(ly)) as well as native ones (kleineren to humiliate < klein small, halveren to halve, to bisect < half half). If the adjective ends in schwa, it is deleted: liquideren to liquidate < liquide liquid, valideren to validate < valide valid, disambigueren to disambiguate (cf. ambigue ambiguous). If the base is formed with a non-native suffix, the allomorph -iseer is often found: legaliseren to legalize (< legaal legal), criminaliseren to criminalize (< crimineel criminal, populariseren to popularize (< populair popular).

Morphological potential: nominalizations of verbs in -eer are usually formed with non-native suffxes via affix substitution: the nominalizing suffixes do not come after the -eer suffix but replace it: e.g adviseur advisor (cf. adviseer to advise with the -eur), plagiator plagiarist (cf. plagieer to plagiarize and plagiaat plagiate) and filtratie filtration (cf. filtreer to filter with the suffix -atie). In the case of the allomorphs of the suffix, only the -eer part is replaced: ioniseer to ionize > ionisatie ionization, accentueer to accentuate > accentuatie accentuation, which might be taken as an argument for stem allomorphy rather than affix allomorphy.

  • Haas, Wim de & Trommelen, Mieke1993Morfologisch handboek van het Nederlands. Een overzicht van de woordvormingSDU Uitgeverij