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-dom
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The group of nouns ending in the Germanic suffix -dom is quite small. Primarily, the derived nouns can have a nominal base, for instance: kristenChristian > kristendomChristianity or hartochduke > hartochdomduchy. The former example is a collective noun - it refers to a set of people - while the latter refers to the territory related to the base noun. The suffix -dom is still productive in forming collective nouns.

A noun ending in -dom can also have an adjectival base: rykrich > rykdomwealth or wiiswise > wysdomwisdom. Here, the suffix is not productive anymore.

There is one example in which the derivation in -dom has a verbal base: waakseto grow > waaksdomgrowth.

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[+] Noun as input

The suffix -dom can be attached to a noun. Examples are given below, divided into two categories:

Table 1
Base form Derivation
Collective noun derivations kristenChristian kristendomChristianity
heidenpagan heidendompaganism
minskhuman minskdomhumanity
prysterpriest prysterdompriesthood
goadengod goadendompantheon
adelnobility adeldomnobility (all the noble people together)
Territory noun derivations hartochduke hartochdomduchy
biskopbishop bisdomdiocese
prinsprince prinsdomprincedom
The first category consists of collective nouns referring to a set of people or a group: kristendomChristianity refers to all the kristensChristians. The suffix -dom is still productive in forming such collective nouns. For all of these, it is the case that they do not have a plural form since they already have an inherent plural, collective element: heidendompaganism > *heidendommenpaganisms and minskdomhumanity > *minskdommenhumanities.

The second category consists of nouns referring to a territory related to the base noun: the hartochdomduchy is the territory of the hartochduke. Here, the suffix -dom is not productive anymore. The territorial nouns can have a plural: hartochdomduchy > hartochdommenduchies.

For all derivations applies that they are neuter, with the exception of adeldomnobility (all the noble people together), which has common gender.

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x goadendompantheon and bisdomdiocese

In case of goadendompantheon the base form seems to be the plural goadengods, instead of single godgod.

The base form of bisdomdiocese is biskopbishop. In Dutch, where the base form is bisschopbishop, the derivations bisdomdiocese and bisschopdomdiocese both exist, but in Frisian *biskopdomdiocese is not possible. Therefore, -kop has to be truncated before -dom.

[+] Adjective as input

There are only a few nouns ending in -dom that have an adjectival base:


Table 2
Base form Derivation
wiiswise wiisdom/wysdomwisdom
rykrich rykdomwealth
frijfree frijdomfreedom
âlderage, antiquity âlderdomage, antiquity
hillichholy hillichdomsanctuary

The first four derivations are everyday words with a rather abstract character. The noun âlderdomage, antiquity is exceptional in that it is the comparative form of the adjective that forms the base of the noun. Hillichdomsanctuary is a somewhat deviating item since it is a neuter word that refers, like the second category of the nouns with a nominal base, to something concrete; a hillichdom is a holy object. If a derivation can be interpreted as a count noun, then it allows plural formation, i.e. rykdommenriches or hillichdommensanctuaries.

[+] Phonological properties

The suffix -dom does not alter the stress pattern of the base word. It can follow a stressed syllable (RYKdomrichness, BISdomdiocese) or an unstressed syllable (HEIdendompaganism, HILlichdomsanctuary). In wysdomwisdom it brings about shortening of the long vowel /i:/ to /i/ of the base wiis/vi:s/wise.

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x Literature

This topic is based on Hoekstra (1998:115), De Haan (2001:108) and De Haas and Trommelen (1993:253-254).

References:
  • Haan, Germen J. de2001Grammar of Modern West-FrisianUniversity of Groningen
  • Haas, Wim de & Trommelen, Mieke1993Morfologisch handboek van het Nederlands. Een overzicht van de woordvormingSDU Uitgeverij
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
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