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The negative prefix mis- derives nouns on the basis of other nouns. Derivations with mis- always indicate disapproval. An example is rekken bill > misrekken miscalculation.

Note that there is another prefix mis- that derives verbs.

[+]General properties

Examples of derivations with mis- are listed below:

Table 1
Base form Derivation
begryp understanding misbegryp misunderstanding
ferstân mind misferstân misunderstanding
gebrûk use misbrûk abuse
die(d) act misdie(d) crime
stap step misstap lapse
rekken bill misrekken miscalculation
slach stroke misslach mishit
In Frisian mis also exists as an independent adjective, meaning wrong, of target, from which the prefix must have been grammaticalized; it should therefore rather be considered a prefixoid. It can be difficult to distinguish between the prefix and the adjective if besides the derivation with the prefix mis-, one also finds a phrase containing the adjective mis. However, apart from a stress difference and the occurrence of inflectional suffixes with the adjective, there is often also a slight difference in meaning. Examples are listed below:

Table 2
Derivation Phrase
misset lapse misse set wrong move
miswurd indecent word mis wurd wrong word
misdei lost day misse dei wrong day
misreis miscarriage misse reis wrong carriage
[+]Phonological properties

The prefix is pronounced as [mɪs]. The stress is on the prefix, for instance geBRÛK use > MISbrûk abuse. In this example one can also truncation of the prefix ge- in the base word gebrûk use. It should be noted that in the phrases with the adjective mis, the main stress is not on the adjective, but on the noun.

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This topic is based on Hoekstra (1998:69-70).

  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy