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-erig
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The suffix -erig/ərəɣ/ can be used to derive adjectives from nouns (houtwood > houterigwooden, awkward), verbs (plakkento stick > plakkerigsticky) or - more rarely - from other adjectives (zoetsweet > zoeterigsweetish). In some cases, the input consists of two or more words: jonge hondenyoung dogs > jongehonderigplayful.

Schema:
[[X]-erig](A)

Meanings:
  • if X is an adjective: 'having a tendency to be X' (slightly pejorative) jaloerserigjealous
  • if X is a noun: 'to resemble X' or 'with (much) X' kitscherigkitschy, bloederigbloody
  • if X is a verb: 'with a tendency to X' (often pejorative) huilerigweepy, whining, prekerigmoralizing, bigoted
The pejorative connotation appears frequently, but not everywhere: krullerigcurly or slaperigsleepy are affectively neutral.

In some cases, the meaning of the -erig-adjective is idiosyncratic and not easily recoverable from its base, e.g. in landeriglistless < landland or krenterigstingykrentraisin. In a fair number of cases, the category of the base is ambiguous: an adjective like slaperigsleepy could be derived from the verb slapento sleep or the homophonous noun slaapsleep. In other cases, the base does not or no longer exist as an independent word, as in miezerigmeasly.

-erig has a close competitor in the suffix -ig. Sometimes, the structure of an adjective is ambiguous between the two suffixes, e.g. in gluurderiginclined to peeking, which could have the structure [[gluur-d](V)-erig](A) or [[gluurder](N)-ig](A). Semantically, the two suffixes are similar, though -ig, has a less pejorative meaning (Schultink 1962).

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[+] General properties

The suffix -erig forms adjectives out of nouns or verbs or, more rarely, other adjectives. The process is productive, especially with nominal and verbal bases. The meaning of the resulting adjective can be pejorative, witness slachtofferigvictim-erigself-victimizing. Newly coined forms often occur in contexts with negation: ik ben niet zo weggooierigI'm not so fond of throwing things away.

-erig-forms behave like other adjectives and have a positive, comparative and a superlative form: plakkerigsticky, plakkerigerstickier, plakkerigststickiest.

[+] Stratum, input and phonological properties

The bases that the suffix attaches to are mostly Germanic (springerigspringy < springjump) but some are non-Germanic (paniekerigpanicky < paniekpanic). They can be morphologically complex (opdringerigintrusive, pushy < opdringento intrude) or simple (hongerighungry < hongerhunger). Forms with suffixed bases are rare, but seem not to be impossible; an attested example is literairderigartificially literary.

An interesting subclass are -erig-adjectives derived on the basis of more than one word. Examples are dikdoenerigboastful, which is related to the expression dik doento boast, and jongehonderigboisterous, based on jonge hondenyoung dogs. Such words are formed in one derivational step; the intermediate forms do not exist (*dikdoen, *doenig, *jongehond, *honderig). Very rarely, an entire idiom can be input for the derivation: van-de-hak-op-de-takk-erigerratic, jumping from one topic to the next.

Phonologically, -erig is a cohering suffix; bases ending in a consonant are resyllabified such that the consonant becomes the onset of the first syllable of the suffix. When the base word ends in /r/, a /d/ is inserted between base and suffix: zeurcomplain > zeurderigcomplaining. The same can happen after root-final /n/, though not in all cases: compare uitgaanto go out > uitgaanderigfond of going out but zoenkiss > zoenerigfond of kissing. Some potential forms may be avoided because they contain two consecutive syllables with a schwa (?wandelerigfond of walking).

[show extra information]
x

For more examples and discussion of /d/-insertion, see Booij (1998).

If a base ends in /ər/, as in waterigwatery < waterwater or betweterigsmart-alecky < betwetersmart-aleck, it is not clear whether the suffix is -ig or rather -erig, with haplological deletion of /ər/. Finally, the stress patterns of -erig-adjectives is usually identical to that of their bases, although there are cases like /zich 'aanstellen/to be difficult about something vs. /aan'stellerig/being difficult about something, where the addition of -erig moves the stress to the last syllable before the suffix.

[+] Morphological potential

Adjectives ending in -erig do not easily serve as input for further derivations, the exception being nominalization with -heid: opdringerigheidintrusiveness, plakkerigheidstickiness, kneuterigheid cosiness.

References:
  • Booij, Geert1998Prosodic output constraints in morphologyKehrein, Wolfgang & Wiese, Richard (eds.)Phonology and morphology of the Germanic languagesTübingenNiemeyer143-163
  • Schultink, Henk1962De morfologische valentie van het ongelede adjectief in modern NederlandsDen HaagVan Goor Zonen
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