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-sk
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Adjectives derived from geographical names normally have the same form as the name of the inhabitant of that place. That means that most adjectival derivations from geographical names end in -er. However, if the geographical name which is referred to is not situated in the province of FryslânFriesland, the adjectival derivation of the geographical name often gets the suffix -sk or its variant -ysk. This contrast is shown in the example below, where (a) is a geographical name in the province of FryslânFriesland, and (b) and (c) are not:

Example 1

a. De Skylger ljochttoer
The lighthouse of Skylge
b. De Yslânske bank
The Icelandic bank
c. De Russyske kampioen
The Russian champion

It should be noted that the suffix -sk also derives adjectives from nouns, other adjectives and verbs. This is dealt with separately in a topic on -sk with a noun as base.

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[+] General properties

If the geographical name which is referred to is not situated in the province of FryslânFriesland, the name of the inhabitant and the derived adjective usually get the suffix -er. However, if the geographical name is not located in the province, the adjectival derivation of the geographical name then usually takes the suffix -sk or -ysk. Thus in these cases, the name of the inhabitant and the adjectival derivation differ from each other. Examples for -sk are given in the table below:

Table 1
Geographical name Inhabitant Adjectival derivation
Stienwyk Stienwikerinhabitant of Stienwyk Stienwykskrelated to Stienwyk
Grinslân Grinslannerinhabitant of Grinslân Grinslânskrelated to the province of Grins
EastenrykAustria Eastenrikerinhabitant of Austria EastenrykskAustrian
LúksemboarchLuxembourg Lúksemboargerinhabitant of Luxembourg Lúksemboarchskrelated to Luxembourg
Brabân Brabanderinhabitant of Brabân Brabânskrelated to the province of Brabân
Amsterdam Amsterdammerinhabitant of Amsterdam Amsterdamskrelated to the city of Amsterdam
If the name of the inhabitant does not end in -er, then the geographical adjective is often formed on the base of the inhabitant name and not on the geographical name. This is shown in the table below:
Table 2
Geographical name Inhabitant Adjectival derivation
NoarwegenNorway NoarNorwegian NoarskNorwegian (not *Noarwegensk)
GrikelânGreece GrykGreek GrykskGreek (not *Grikelânsk)
PortugalPortugal PortugeesPortuguese PortugeeskPortuguese (not *Portugalsk)
BulgarijeBulgaria BulgaarBulgarian BulgaarskBulgarian (not *Bulgarijsk)
TurkijeTurkey TurkTurk TurkskTurkish (not *Turkijsk)
AmearikaAmerica AmerikaanAmerican AmerikaanskAmerican (not *Amerikaask
If the name of the inhabitant ends in -s, or -aat, -yt, -oat, the geographical adjective gets the variant -ysk: RusRussian > RussyskRussian, KroaatCroat > KroatyskCroation, SemytSemite > SemityskSemitic, GoatGoth > GoatyskGothic.

[show extra information]
x FryskFrisian as an exception

An exception to the rule that adjectives derived from geographical names within the province of Fryslân end in the sequence -er is the name of the province itself. That is, the adjective gets the suffix -sk, i.e. in FryskFrisian.

[+] Truncation

When the geographical name ends in -en, this ending undergoes truncation before -sk: WenenVienna > Weensktypical for Vienna, BeierenBavaria > Beiersktypical for Bavaria, LitouwenLithuania > Litouskrelated to Lithuania.

In case the geographical name ends in -ië, the final -e is truncated: NormandiëNormandy > NormandyskNorman, AustraliëAustralia > AustralyskAustralian, LibiëLibya > Libyskrelated to Libya.

[+] The suffix -sk as a last resort

As can be seen in the topic about -er, -er derivations cannot be inflected, they cannot get the prefix ûn- and cannot be used predicatively. If one nevertheless wants to use such geographical adjectives predicatively or with the prefix ûn-, the suffix -sk has to be added:

Example 2

a. In ûn-Ljouwerterske hâlding
An attitude that's not typical for an inhabitant of Ljouwert
b. Dat is typysk Ljouwertersk
That is typical for an inhabitant of Ljouwert

In this way, geographical adjectives from names within the province can end in -sk, notwithstanding the unmarked rule which requires -er.

[+] Morphological potential

The geographical adjectives ending in -sk or -ysk form the basis of designations of languages. This is done by way of conversion. So, from the adjective SweedskSwedish one can form the name of the language Sweedsk, and the language RussyskRussian is converted from the adjective Russysk. Such nouns have neuter gender, hence it Sweedsk, with the definite article it. This pattern also applies to geographical adjectives ending in -er that take -sk as a last resort, as described in the section above. The dialect of the town of Ljouwert, for example, is called Ljouwertersk.

[show extra information]
x

This topic is based on Hoekstra (1998:138-139).

References:
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
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