• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
-in
quickinfo

-in[ɪn] is a native, stressed, unproductive, cohering suffix that is found nouns of common gender denoting female persons out of (usually Germanic) nouns denoting male persons (vrien'din(female) friend < vriendfriend) or animals (leeu'winlioness < leeuwlion). Being of common gender, -in derivations take the definite singular article de. Plural of -in formations is in -(e)n (vriendinnen, leeuwinnen).

Schema:
[[N]in](N)

Meaning: ‘female N’.

Table 1
derivation base
vriendinfemale friend < vriend.Nfriend
keizerinempress < keizer.Nemperor
apinfemale monkey < aap.Nmonkey

readmore
[+] Morphosyntactic properties

The suffix -in[In] is a nominalizing Germanic suffix (Etymologiebank) that is found in nouns of common gender that denote female names or animals. It is not productive.

[show extra information]
x

In Belgium, the suffix is slightly productive (again), witness the recent appearance of studentinfemale student; it cannot be excluded that this form is a loan from German.

[+] Phonological properties

The suffix -in bears stress. It is cohering, syllabification does not line up with the morphological boundary, e.g. ezelin[e.zə.lIn]female donkey < ezel[e.zəl]donkey.

[show extra information]
x

Sometimes phonological processes are active in -in formation: vowel lengthening in godin[ɣo-'dIn]goddess (< god[ɣɔt]god, PL goden[ɣo-'dən]gods), truncation in heidinfemale heathen (< heidenheathen).

[+] Inflectional properties

Plurals of -in formations are in –en, e.g. vriendinnenfriends, leeuwinnenlionesses, keizerinnenempresses.

[+] Input restrictions

The base words in -in formations are usually simplex Germanic nouns, either monosyllabic (e.g. bazinfemale boss < baasboss) or bisyllabic with a second syllable with schwa (e.g. ezelin[e.zə.lIn]female donkey < ezel[e.zəl]donkey). Stems ending in nasal are extremely rare.

[show extra information]
x

(De Haas and Trommelen 1993: 192) mention cheffinfemale boss as a monosyllabic exception to the rule that the basis should be Germanic, and markiezinmarquise and zigeunerinfemale gypsy as polysyllabic ones. Complex base words are found in forms such as molenarinfemale miller, kartuizerinfemale Carthusian, gemalinspouse, gezellinfemale companion and vijandinfemale enemy. They also point at zottinfool and gekkinfool as potential cases of adjectival input. They note, however, that gekcrazy, foolish and zotcrazy, foolish can be used as nouns as well (probably as the result of conversion, so analysis as nominal bases is equally viable.

The only cases of -in formations on the basis of a stem in a nasal are koninginqueen < koningking (oldest attestation Cuenighinne, see WNT) and (obsolete, biblical) manninwoman < manman.

The suffix -in competes with Germanic -ster and -se, and with foreign -es, among others. It has been claimed (Van Marle 1985) that -e is the default feminizing suffix; (Booij 2002: 103) argues that this claim is too strong. (Booij 2002: 103): "The choice between -es and -in is not governed by specific conditions, but they are unproductive anyway."

[+] Semantic properties

Formations with the suffix -in denote female function names or animal names: a vriendinfemale friend is the counterpart of vriendfriend, a tijgerintigress is a female tijgertigre.

[show extra information]
x

In some cases, -in can also mean 'spouse of', so a word like koninginqueen is ambiguous or vague between 'highest ruler of a kingdom, who happens to be female' and 'wife of highest ruler of a kingdom'. Until April 30th, 2013, Beatrix van Oranje was koningin of the Netherlands in the first sense, since then, Máxima (née Zorreguieta) is it in the second sense.

[+] Morphological potential

-in derivations are input to regular diminutive formation in -etje: vriendinnetjesmall female friend, girlfriend, leeuwinnetjesmall/cute lioness, keizerinnetjesmall/young empress. Apart from diminutive formation, -in formations cannot be input to derivational processes: abstract noun formation with suffixes -heid or -schap is impossible (no *koninginschapqueenship or *heldinheidheroinehood, for instance). In compounds, they can, in principle, function both as lefthand and righthand part as illustrated by heldinnenbriefheroine.en.letterheroic epistle and bijenkoninginbee.en.queenqueen bee, respectively.

References:
  • Booij, Geert2002The morphology of DutchOxfordOxford University Press
  • Booij, Geert2002The morphology of DutchOxfordOxford University Press
  • Haas, Wim de & Trommelen, Mieke1993Morfologisch handboek van het Nederlands. Een overzicht van de woordvormingSDU Uitgeverij
  • Marle, Jaap van1985On the paradigmatic dimension of morphological creativityDordrechtForis
Suggestions for further reading ▼
phonology
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show more ▼
morphology
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
  • -es
    [80%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Nouns > Nominal suffixes
  • -er (nominal)
    [80%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Nouns > Nominal suffixes
  • -erd
    [80%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Nouns > Nominal suffixes
  • -aal and -eel
    [79%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Nouns > Nominal suffixes
  • -ling
    [79%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Nouns > Nominal suffixes
  • Cardinal numbers
    [75%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Numerals
  • Ellipsis
    [74%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Adjectives
  • In prenominal position
    [74%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Adjectives
  • Quantifiers
    [73%] Frisian > Morphology > Inflection > Numerals
  • -en
    [73%] Frisian > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Suffixation > Adjectival suffixes > Noun as base
Show more ▼
syntax
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
  • 1.3.2. Deadjectival nouns
    [73%] Dutch > Syntax > Nouns and Noun Phrases > 1 Characterization and classification > 1.3. Derivation of nouns
  • 1.3.1.4. Ge-nominalization
    [72%] Dutch > Syntax > Nouns and Noun Phrases > 1 Characterization and classification > 1.3. Derivation of nouns > 1.3.1. Deverbal nouns
  • 1.2.2.1. Concrete nouns
    [72%] Dutch > Syntax > Nouns and Noun Phrases > 1 Characterization and classification > 1.2. Classification > 1.2.1. Proper nouns
  • 6.2.3. Existential quantifiers
    [72%] Dutch > Syntax > Nouns and Noun Phrases > 6 Numerals and quantifiers > 6.2. Quantifiers
  • 1.3.3. Non-spatial/temporal prepositions
    [72%] Dutch > Syntax > Adpositions and adpositional phrases > 1 Characteristics and classification > 1.3. A semantic classification of adpositional phrases
Show more ▼
cite
print