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-sma and -stra
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In the province of Fryslân many people have a surname ending in -sma or -stra. Examples are Hoekstra, Dykstra, Beetsma and Riemersma. One can also use -sma or -stra as suffixes after adjectives in order to describe a person in a negative way. Examples are the nouns aakliksmadreadful person (coming from aaklikawful) and typstrastrange person coming from typyskstrange.

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[+] General properties

If one dislikes a person, one can say for example hy is ûnnoazelhe is stupid, but one can also describe this person by means of a noun which is built from an adjective denoting an unfavourable property + -sma or -stra. Examples are given below:


Table 1
Base form Derivation
nuverstrange nuversmastrange person
ûnnoazelstupid ûnnoazelsmastupid person
misliknauseous misliksmadreadful person
nijsgjirrichcurious nijsgjirrichsmanosey parker

There is only one noun ending in -stra: typstrastrange person, which comes from typyskstrange (where -ysk has been truncated). In the following example the derivations are put in a context:

Example 1

a. Hy is wol sa'n nuversma, want hy hat nea in jas oan
he is well such.a strange.SUFF, because he has never a jacket on
He is such a strange person who never wears a jacket
b. Wat moat dy aakliksma hjir yn 'e goedichheid?
what must that awful.SUFF here in the goodness
What on earth is that dreadful person doing here?
c. Frou Bosma? Dy nijsgjirrichsma moat altyd alles witte
lady Bosma? that curious.SUFF must always everything know.INF
Mrs. Bosma? That nosey parker always has to know everything
d. Dy man is wol sa'n typstra! Hy pankoeket altyd mei syn trompet om
that man is well such.a typical.SUFF! he pancakes always with a trumpet around
That man is such a strange person! He is always busy with his trumpet

These derivations in -sma or -stra are often used for properties which are not temporary, but describe someone's personality. As stated above, the suffixes can be only used after negative adjectives. Positive adjectives like moaibeautiful and aardichkind cannot be input for -sma or -stra: *moaismabeautiful person or *aardichsmakind person.

It is remarkable that -sma only follows adjectives without stress on the final syllable: AAKliksmadreadful person and NUversmastrange person. For -stra the final stress is no problem: TYPstrastrange person.

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x Literature

This topic is based on Hoekstra (1998:105-106), Hoekstra and Tiersma (1994:519) and Hoekstra (1990).

References:
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1990AakliksmaFriesch Dagblad18-08Taalsnipels 156
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
  • Hoekstra, Jarich & Tiersma, Peter Meijes1994FrisianKönig, Ekkehard & Auwera, Johan van der (eds.)The Germanic LanguagesRoutledge505-531
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