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-ing
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-ing is an unstressed, productive, Germanic cohering suffix that derives nouns from verbs. In a few cases, nouns can also function as base. Adjectives are even rarer (a possible case is festingfortress from fêstfixed), and there is only one example with an adverbial base. Verbal bases create action nouns, but some -ing formations (only or also) acquire a more concrete meaning as a result of a secondary shift. A few examples are lêzeto read > lêzinglecture, feroarjeto change > feroaringchange and oersetteto translate > oersettingtranslation. The derived nouns have common gender. Other nominalizations may block derivation with -ing, for example *komming due to the existence of komstcoming. Derivations with -ing are special in that they are wavering in their choice of the plural suffix -en or -s.

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[+] General properties

The suffix -ing is pronounced as [Iŋ], but sometimes also weakened to [əŋ]. The suffix does not bear stress. All -ing derivations have common gender, and hence take the definite article de.

[+] Verb as base

Derivation of nouns with a verbal base is productive. Examples are given in the table below:


Table 1
Base form Derivation
boarjeto bore boarringboring
driigjeto threaten drigingthreat
fieleto feel fielingfeeling
mislearjeto fail mislearringfailure
betiizjeto confuse betizingconfusion
ûntheisterjeto upset ûntheisteringdesperation
oanbiedeto offer oanbiedingspecial offer
ôfwiketo deviate (from) ôfwikingdeviation
útwreidzjeto expand útwreidingexpansion
[+] Semantic properties

With respect to verbal bases, derivations in -ing may often be strict action nouns, just like the nominal infinitives in -en. However, in order to derive action nouns Frisian has a very strong preference for the nominal infinitive. This is in contrast to Dutch, in which this preference is much weaker, if it exists at all. Compare the following sentences in which Dutch and Frisian examples are given:

Example 1

a. het veranderen / de verandering van het klimaat
the changing / the changement of the climate
climate change
Dutch
a.' it feroarjen / *?de feroaring fan it klimaat
the changing / the changement of the climate
the change of the climate
Frisian
b. de bespreking / het bespreken van de problemen
the discussion / the discussing of the problems
the discussion of the problems
Dutch
b.' it besprekken / *?de besprekking fan 'e swierrichheden
the discussing / the discussion of the problems
the discussion of the problems
Frisian
c. het verbreken / de verbreking van de diplomatieke betrekkingen
the break.up / the breaking of the diplomatic relations
the breaking up of the diplomatic relations
Dutch
c.' it ferbrekken / *?de ferbrekking fan 'e diplomatike ferbiningen
the break.up / the breaking of the diplomatic relations
the breaking up of the diplomatic relations
Frisian
d. het vertalen / de vertaling van kinderboeken
the translating / the translation of children.books
the translation of children's books
Dutch
d.' it oersetten / *?de oersetting fan berneboeken
the translating / the translation of children.books
the translation of children's books
Frisian

In contrast to nominal infinitives in -en, derivations in -ing undergo semantic specialisation on a large scale. In Frisian this is even clearer than in Dutch, due to the fact that the portion of Frisian -ing-derivations that is used as absolute action nouns is limited. So, next to the -ing-derivations which express an action noun proper, one can find derivations which denote the agent of the action, for example as in bewegingmovement, betsjinningservice or ferieningsociety. Examples of derivations denoting the patient an action are uteringutterance, oersettingtranslation and útstallingexhibition. Instrument names are fredingfence, fuorringlining or ferwaarmingheater.

[+] Noun as base

In a few cases, the suffix -ing can derive nouns on the basis of other nouns. The most important examples are the following:


Table 2
Base Derivation
hûshouse huzinghousing
hiemyard hiemingyard
lûdsound lûdingsound
tiidtime tidingmessage
bêdbed bêdingbed(ding)
keatlink keattingchain
iesbait iezingschool (of fishes)

Although this is not quite clear in all the existing cases, the semantic contribution seems to be something like collectiveness. The words huzinghousing and hiemingyard are used especially in a legal context.

[+] Adjective as base

Derivation of -ing from an adjectival base is even rarer. The clearest example is fêstfixed > fêstingfortress, although it is questionable whether this derivation is transparant for all speakers. An example in the same semantic vein is feiligingprotection from feilichsave. Alternatively, it could also be argued that such formations are derived from the verbs fêstjeto fix and feiligjeto protect. Such verbs could have been derived by way of conversion from the adjectives fêstfixed and feilichsave, respectively.

[+] Adverb as base

There is only one example in which we see an adverb functioning as base: deldown > dellingvalley.

[+] Opaque bases

In a number of cases, the base form of the derivation is opaque. Examples are huninghoney, keningking, hjerringherring, gadingtaste and fellingrim.

[+] Allomorphy

The suffix -ing has a variant -inge, which, however, will now be obsolete in the spoken language. In the written language the variant -inge belongs to the elevated style. Next to for example wijingconsecration (< wijeto consecrate), haaiïnghaymaking (< haaieto make hay) and huzinghousing (< hûshouse) one can find the forms wijingeconsecration, haaiïngehaymaking and huzingehousing. In a few cases, the variant -inge is lexicalized and therefore has survived, for example rispingeharvest, from rispjeto harvest (but also rispingharvest exists) and printingeprinting, from the verb printsjeto print. The noun tyngenews is a shortening (with deletion of medial /d/) of tidingenews.

In some derivations in which the base form ends in /k/ or /g/, the suffix -ing is replaced by, or possibly reanalyzed as -en, possibly as a result of dissimilation. Thus next to bokkingkipper we can find bokkenkipper, next to sigingbreeze we have sigenbreeze (< siigjeto breeze) and instead of *hantrekking we find hantrekkenhelping hand.

[+] Blocking

It seems that derivations in -ing can be blocked by other action nouns. One could argue that words like *komming, *dwaning and *farring are unacceptable because of the existence of formations like komstarrival, diedaction and feartspeed, respectively.

The fact that -ing derivations undergo competition from such lexicalized action nouns might be a consequence of their inherent tendency towards lexicalization. If contrastive pairs of -ing derivations with a different lexicalized action noun are found, then there is often a semantic or stylistic difference. Compare for example ropcall with roppingvocation, brekbreak with brekkingbreaking, winstprofit with winningextraction and ferjeffenisforgiveness with ferjouwingforgiveness.

[+] Morphological properties

Nouns ending in -ing regularly take the allomorph -kje as their diminutive suffix, e.g. hjerringherring > hjerrinkje. As to pluralization, both plural suffixes, i.e. -en and -s, are possible. More information on this issue, with additional literature, can be found variation of -en and -s.

[hide extra information]
x Literature

This topic is mainly based on Hoekstra (1998:117-118).

References:
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
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