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2.2.2 Weak verbs

Saterland Frisian has two classes of weak verbs (just like Old Frisian and West Frisian). The first class resembles the Dutch and German types of weak verbs. The second class is characterised by the suffix -je in the (short) infinitive, the present first person singular and the present plural. These two classes are named Class I and Class II weak verbs respectively, or, more informally, weak -e-verbs and -je-verbs.

Class I verbs: dele ‘to divide’

Table 1: Present tense
iek dele ‘I divide’
du deelst ‘you (sg.) divide’
hie, ju, dät deelt ‘he, she, it divides’
wie, jie, jo dele ‘we, you (pl.), they divide’
Table 2: Past tense (preterite)
iek deelde ‘I divided’
du deeldest ‘you (sg.) divided’
hie, ju, dät deelde ‘he, she, it divided’
wie, jie, jo deelden ‘we, you (pl.), they divided’

perfect tense: iek häbe deeld ‘I have divided’

imperative: deel ‘divide (sg.)’, delet ‘divide (pl.)’

Class II verbs: koopje ‘to buy’

Table 3: Present tense
iek koopje ‘I buy’
du kopest ‘you (sg.) buy’
hie, ju, dät kopet ‘he, she, it buys’
wie, jie, jo koopje ‘we, you (pl.), they buy’
Table 4: Past tense (preterite)
iek kopede ‘I bought’
du kopedest ‘you (sg.) bought’
hie, ju, dät kopede ‘he, she, it bought’
wie, jie, jo kopeden ‘we, you (pl.), they bought’

perfect tense: iek häbe koped ‘I have bought’

imperative: kope ‘buy (sg.)’, koopjet‘buy (pl.)’

Class I weak verbs show voice assimilation in the past and perfect tense, e.g.: iek däkke, iek däkte ‘I cover, I covered’ and iek sätte, iek sätte ‘I put (prs.), I put (past)’ (although iek sättede is also used as a past tense form).

Class II weak verbs lose their inserted schwas when the verbal stem ends in a sonorant (/l,r,m,n/). So: iek woonje, du woonst, hie (etc.) woont. Class II imperative forms often lose their final schwa, so: moak(e) ‘make’.

Many verbs are ambiguous between class I and class II. For example: ‘to baptise’ is a class I verb in Ramsloh (döpe) but a class II verb in Scharrel (dööpje).

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