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The prefix heal- takes a nominal base to form a noun, however on quite a limited scale since in practice it only combines with the nouns broer brother and suster sister. Derivations refer to a brother or a sister who either has a different father or mother than oneself. An example is broer brother > healbroer half-brother.

[+]General properties

The unproductive prefix heal-, actually a prefixoid, is a grammaticalization of the adjective heal half. Its use is highly restricted as it can only be attached to two words, in healbroer half-brother and healsuster half-sister, rspectively. In addition, one can also find the word healbern stepchild, to refer to a child from a previous relation of one's partner (cf. styp-).

Alternative prefixes with the same function are kâld-, kalf- and pot-.

[+]Phonological properties

The prefix is pronounced with a broken vowel as [jɛl]. In derivations the stress is on the prefix, for example in HEALsuster half-sister.

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This topic is based on Hoekstra (1998:65).

  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy