• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
-baar (ADJZ)

Table 1
Formal category Derivational suffix
Functional category Adjectiviser (ADJZ)
Orthographic form -baar (e.g. lees·baarreadable; vloei·baarfluid, liquid)
Phonological form /bar/
Phonological properties
  • Non-cohering
  • Stress-shifting (fixing)
Allomorphs None
Semantic properties (meaning)
  • Where base is a transitive verb: [possible to be SEM(V.TR.PASS)] (lees·baarreadable)
  • Where base is an intransitive verb: [possible to SEM(V.INTR)] (vloei·baarfluid, liquid)
Input restrictions: categories
  • Verb (V)
  • In a few cases it is arguable whether the input is a verb or noun, e.g. dank·baarthankful
  • In a handful of exceptions the base is a noun, e.g. vrug·baarfruit·ADJZfertile
  • A number of cases should be considered lexicalised and unanalisable, e.g. dier·baardear
Input restrictions: stratum Germanic, although words (not roots) from the Classic stratum could also serve as bases (registreer·baarregister·ADJZregistrable)
Output: categories Adjectives (ADJ)
Output: morphological potential
  • Available for suffixation with -heid (dank·baar·heidthank·ADJZ·NMLZthankfulness)
  • Available for negative prefixes (e.g. on- or nie-)
  • Available for inflection with attributive -e
  • Depending on the semantics, it is also available for degrees of comparison with -er (always with the interfix -d-) and -ste
  • [[x](V)[baar](ADJZ)](A) (lees·baarreadable)
  • Sub-schema: [[x...eer](V)[baar](ADJZ)](ADJ) (registreer·baarregistrable)
  • Fully productive
  • Competes with -lik (e.g. aan+skou·likworth seeing)
Etymology (stratum) Germanic
English equivalent -able
Dutch equivalent -baar

Afrikaans -baar behaves the same as Dutch -baar.

This description of -baar is based by and large on Kempen (1969:431-434) and De Haas and Trommelen (1993:291-294).

[+] Phonological and orthographic properties

-baar is a non-cohering suffix as it behaves as a phonological word on its own (e.g. eet·baareat·ADJZedible).

-baar is stress fixing, implying that the last syllable before the suffix is usually stressed. Polysyllabic bases with initial stress are usually assigned a new stress pattern (e.g. toe·laat/ˈtu.lat/permit > toe·laat·baar/tuˈlat.bar/permissible). This regularity holds for all particle verbs (e.g. in·lê/ˈən.lɛ/preserve > in·lê·baar/ənˈlɛ.bar/preservable), as opposed to prefixed verbs which keep their stress pattern (e.g. weer·lê/verˈlɛ/disprove > weer·lê·baar/verˈlɛ.bar/disprovable). We find exceptions in compounds such as onder·ver·huur·baar/ˈɔn.dər.fər.ɦyr.bar/sublettable, which retain their stress pattern even after addition of -baar.

[+] Semantic properties

The relation between the base and the resulting adjective is consistent: -baar always expresses some kind of possibility. Some -baar-adjectives have a slightly idiosyncratic meaning, e.g. betaal·baarpayable, affordable whose literal meaning payable is superseded by the conventionalised meaning affordable(Hüning and Van Santen 1994; Kempen 1969; Van Marle 1984).

The following meanings can be observed, depending on the nature of the base:

  • Transitive verb: [possible to be SEM(V.TR.PASS)], e.g. eet·baareat·ADJZedible; smeer·baarspread·ADJZspreadable
    • With ditransitive verb: adress·eer·baaraddress·VBLZ·ADJZaddressable
    • With verb with prepositional object: luister·baarlisten·ADJZlistenable
  • Intransitive (unaccusative) verb: [possible to SEM(V.INTR)], e.g. vloei·baarflow·ADJZfluid, liquid; leef·baarlive·ADJZliveable; ont·vlam·baarVBZ·flame·ADJZinflammable

Kempen (1969:432-433) makes some finer, additional distinctions between the meanings for -baar derivations:

  • Transitive verb: [which become(AUX.PASS.PRS) SEM(V.TR.PASS)] (e.g. aanbeveel·baar[which become recommended]recommend·ADJZrecommendable); [which deserves to be SEM(V.TR.PASS)] (e.g. aanbid·baar[which deserves to be adored]adore·ADJZadorable)
  • Intransitive verb: [which SEM(V.INTR)] (e.g. blyk·baar[which appears]appear·ADJZapparent)
  • Noun: [suitable for SEM(N)] (e.g. diens·baar[suitable for service]service·ADJZsubservient); [which produces SEM(N)] (e.g. vrug·baar[which produces fruit]fruit·ADJZfertile)

Kempen (1969:433) also classifies the verb bases of -baar derivations in the following categories:

  • Spiritual/cognitive and bodily activities: aflei·baarderive·ADJZderivable
  • Movement or non-movement: beskik·baardispose·ADJZdisposable
  • Scientific processes: fermenteer·baarferment·ADJZfermentable
  • Language-related activities: lees·baarread·ADJZreadable
  • Legal concepts:toereken·baarimpute·ADJZimputable

Negated forms inherit the particular semantics of their base: drink·baardrinkable often means pleasant to drink rather than possible to drink; consequently, on·drink·baarundrinkable usually means unpleasant to drink rather than unsafe to drink.

When the semantics allows it, -baar adjectives can appear in the comparative and the superlative: hierdie klere is betaal·baar·d·erthese clothes are more affordable.

[+] Input

The suffix -baar productively forms adjectives out of transitive verbs (including ditransitive verbs, and verbs with prepositional objects), and intransitive (unaccusative) verbs.

In a few cases it is arguable whether the input is a verb or noun: dank·baarthankful; diens·baarserviceable; eer·baarhonourable; kos·baarvaluable; skyn·baarapparent; stryd·baarmilitant; and wonder·baarmiraculous.

In a handful of exceptions the base is a noun: aksyns·baarexcise·ADJZexcisable; middel·baarmiddle·ADJZsecondary, average, medium; sig·baarsight·ADJZvisible; and vrug·baarfruit·ADJZfertile. In the latter case we note something of the etymology of -baar: Its original meaning was to bear; bearing; hence, vrug·baar literally means to bear fruit; fruit-bearing.

A number of cases should be considered lexicalised and unanalisable: bruik·baarusable (where bruik- is a dependent stem); dier·baardear; op·en·baarpublic; rug·baarknown; and sonder·baareccentric, strange.

The bases that -baar attaches to are mostly Germanic (e.g. brand·baarburn·ADJZflammable). It also attaches to words (but not roots) from the Classic stratum (e.g. reduseer·baarreduce·ADJZreducible). Bases can be simplexes (e.g. aai·baarpet·ADJZpettable), or complexes (e.g. aan·raak·baar[[[aan](PREP.PTCL)[raak](V)](V)[baar](ADJZ)](ADJ)at·touch·ADJZtouchable; analis·eer·baar[[[analis](root)[eer](VBZ)](V)[baar](ADJZ)](ADJ)analys·VBZ·ADJZanalysable).

[+] Output

-baar is an adjectiviser. Words ending in -baar can usually not function as adverbs.

Adjectives in -baar are available for further derivation by means of -heid (e.g. lees·baar·heid[[[lees](V)[baar](ADJZ)](ADJ)[heid](NMLZ)](N)readability).

Derived forms with negative prefixes occur regularly, such as on- (e.g. on·lees·baarunreadable); and nie- (e.g. nie·-·oor·draag·baarnon-transferable). Some -baar adjectives beginning with the negative prefix on- lack a positive form without this prefix (on·ontkom·baarCN-escape-ADJZinescapable vs. ?ontkom·baarescapable).

Pre-nominal attributive adjectives in -baar are always inflected with the attributive -e (e.g. lees·bar·e boekreadable book).

Depending on the semantics, it is also available for degrees of comparison with -er (always with the interfix -d-, e.g. betroubaar·d·erreliable·LK·CMPRmore reliable), and -ste, e.g. betroubaar·stereliable·SUPLmost reliable.

[+] Schema(ta) and/or paradigm(s)
  1. [[x](V)baar](A)

    -baar combines with transitive verbs and intransitive verbs:

    Example 1

    Example 2

  2. [[x...eer](V)[baar](ADJZ)](ADJ)

    Since -baar often attaches to verbs from the Classic stratum, we could also identify a productive subschema for verbs ending in -eer. Note that, unlike in English, -baar attaches to the word (stem) and not to the Classic root.

    Example 3

    Example 4

[+] Productivity

The suffix -baar is fully productive (Kempen 1969:431).

-baar often competes with -lik, sometimes with the same meaning, sometimes with subtle differences in meaning, and sometimes not interchangeable.

Example 5

Johanna was om begryp·lik·e redes versigtig in haar verslaghouding in haar dagboek.
Johanna was for understand·ADJZ·ATTR reasons careful in her reporting in her diary.
For understandable reasons, Johanna was careful in her reporting in her diary.
[The words begryp·lik and begryp·baar are fully synonymous and interchangeable; see for instance HAT]
Example 6

... dat die kontrak met die inwoners so gewysig sal word dat dit vir 'n moontlike koper uitvoer·baar en aanneem·lik sal wees.
... that the contract with the occupants so changed shall become.AUX.PASS.PRS that it for a potential buyer execute·ADJZ and accept·ADJZ shall be.
... that the contract with the occupants shall be changed so that it shall be executable and reasonable for a potential buyer.
[In the case of uitvoer·baarexecutable a competing form *uitvoer·lik does not exist. With regard to aanneem·lik vs. aanneem·baar, we notice an overlap between the meanings plausible and acceptable, but only aanneem·lik has the meanings reasonable; credible; viable ,  feasible; admissible, while only aanneem·baar means adoptable; assumable; see for example PAEEA]
[+] Etymology

Afrikaans -baar relates to Dutch -baar, and can be traced back via the Middle Dutch adjective bare, and Old High German bâri, belonging to the Old Germanic beran, which meant (suitable for) bearing (WNT). In as such it relates to the verbs baar (Afrikaans), baren (Dutch), and bear (English).

  • Haas, Wim de & Trommelen, Mieke1993Morfologisch handboek van het Nederlands. Een overzicht van de woordvormingSDU Uitgeverij
  • Hüning, Matthias & Santen, Ariane van1994Produktiviteitsveranderingen, de adjectieven op -lijk en -baarLeuvense Bijdragen831-29
  • Marle, Jaap van1984A Case of Morphological Elaboration: the History of Dutch -baarFolia Linguistica Historica9213-34
  • Schuurman, Ineke1987Incorporation in the Groningen dialectBeukema, Frits & Coopmans, Peter (eds.)Linguistics in the Netherlands 1987DordrechtForis Publications185-194
  • Turk, A. E. & Sawush, J. S1997The domain of accentual lengthening in American EnglishJournal of Phonetics2525-41
Suggestions for further reading ▼
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show more ▼
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
  • -baar
    [82%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Adjectives > Adjectival suffixes
  • -(e)lijk
    [76%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Adjectives > Adjectival suffixes
  • -ing
    [76%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Nouns > Nominal suffixes
  • Separable complex verbs (SCVs)
    [75%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation > Compounding
  • -er (nominal)
    [75%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Nouns > Nominal suffixes
  • -ber
    [77%] Frisian > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Suffixation > Adjectival suffixes > Verb as base
  • -heid, -ens and -ichheid
    [76%] Frisian > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Suffixation > Nominal suffixes > Adjective as base
  • -DIM (diminutive)
    [76%] Frisian > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Suffixation > Nominal suffixes > Noun as base
  • Degree
    [75%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Adjectives
  • Strong and other irregular verbs
    [75%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Verbs
Show more ▼
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
  • 1.3. Inflection
    [75%] Dutch > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 1 Characterization and classification
  • Introduction
    [74%] Dutch > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases
  • Ge-nominalization
    [74%] Dutch > Syntax > Nouns and Noun Phrases > 1 Characterization and classification > 1.3. Derivation of nouns > 1.3.1. Deverbal nouns
  • 1.3.2. Deadjectival nouns
    [74%] Dutch > Syntax > Nouns and Noun Phrases > 1 Characterization and classification > 1.3. Derivation of nouns
  • 5.5. Co-occurring adjectives
    [73%] Dutch > Syntax > Adjectives and Adjective Phrases > 5 Attributive use of the adjective phrase
Show more ▼
This is a beta version.