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-oan
quickinfo

The suffix -oan productively derives adjectives from other adjectives. It has the peculiar restriction that it only attaches to the comparative degree of the adjectival base. If the base already denotes an increase, then the derivation with -oan implies an extra increase. For example, in a sentence like it wurdt letteroanit gets later-SUFF, the suffix -oan means that 'getting later' will even taken more time.

The suffix -oan can also derive adverbs from other adverbs, denoting a continuation in time.

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[+] General properties

The suffix -oan derives adjectives from other adjectives, denoting an intensification or continuation. Examples are given in the table below:


Table 1
Base form Derivation
tsjusterderdarker tsjusterderoanstill darker
grutterbigger grutteroanstill bigger
slimmerworde slimmeroanstill worse
neiercloser neieroanstill closer
drokkerbusier drokkeroanstill busier

As is shown in these examples above, the base form of a derivation with -oan is the comparative degree of the adjective. The derivations therefore denote a further intensification or increase, i.e. a further continuation of what is already going on.

Because of the fact that derivations with -oan denote an increase, they can only occur in sentences with verbs expressing a change, like wurdeto become or kommeto come.

Example 1

It wurdt tsjusterderoan
it becomes darker-SUFF
It is getting still darker
Example 2

Hja kamen neieroan
they came closer-SUFF
They came closer and closer

Sentences with verbs like wêzeto be, which express a state, are therefore impossible:

Example 3

*It is tsjusterderoan
it is darker.SUFF
It is getting still darker

The derivation in -oan can only be used predicatively:

Example 4

a. *It drukkeroan-e wurk
it busier-SUFF-INFL job
The job that is still getting busier
b. It wurk wurdt drokkeroan
the job becomes busier-SUFF
The job is getting still busier
[show extra information]
x oan- vs -oan

The suffix -oan has a comparable function as the particle oan- in combination with verbs that are derived from adjectives by way of conversion. Instead of it wurdt tsjusterderoanit is getting still darker, one can say it tsjusteret oanit is getting still darker. Other examples are given in the table below:

Table 1
it betteret oanit is still getting better oanbetterjestill getting better
it boazet oanit is still getting worse oanboazjestill getting worse
it swieret oanit is still getting heavier oanswierjestill getting heavier
it ripet oanit is still getting riper oanrypjestill getting riper

[+] Phonological properties

The suffix -oan is pronounced as [o.ən]. In -oan derivations the main stress can fall both on the stem of the adjectival base or on the suffix itself: GRUTteroanstill getting larger vs grutterOANstill getting larger.

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x

This topic is based on Hoekstra (1998:163). More details about the -oan suffix can be found in Hoekstra (1989) and Tamminga (1963:185-187).

References:
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1989It wurdt tsjusterderoanFriesch Dagblad06-05Taalsnipels 105
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
  • Tamminga, Douwe Annes1963Op 'e taelhelling. Losse trochsneden fan Frysk taellibben. IBoalsertA.J. Osinga
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