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-iteit
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The non-native suffix -iteit can be attached to non-native adjectival bases to derive nouns. Examples are agressyfaggressive > agressiviteitaggression and yllegaalillegal > yllegaliteitillegality. Opaque bases exist as well, like *ident > identiteitidentity. Exceptionally, a native base can be observed in stommiteitstupidity.

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[+] Stratum

The suffix -iteit can be attached to non-native bases and primarily creates nouns on an adjectival basis. The suffix is related to French -ité and English -ity. Examples are listed below:


Table 1
Base form Derivation
muzikaalmusical muzikaliteitmusicality
agressyfaggressive agressiviteitaggression
futyltrifling futiliteitfutility
mentaalmental mentaliteitmentality
nerveusnervous nervositeitnervousness
orizjineeloriginal orizjinaliteitoriginality
spesjaalspecial spesjaliteitspeciality

Adjectives ending in the suffix -abel are also likely to be followed by -iteit: akseptabelacceptable > akseptabiliteitacceptability. In kapabelcapable > kapasiteitcapability, part of the suffix -abel may been truncated. Alternatively, one might assume an opaque base.

Opaque bases do indeed occur, as in: identiteitidentity (*ident) or affiniteitaffinity (*affin). For the derivation moraliteitmorality the base form could be the adjective moralistyskmoralistic, but also the noun (as an exception) moraalmoral.

In one case a native adjective may function as the base, i.e. stomstupid, resulting in stommiteitstupidity.

[+] Comparison with -ens

The Frisian suffix -ens has a comparable function and is an alternative for -iteit:


Table 2
Base form Derivation in -iteit Derivation in -ens
nerveusnervous nervositeittension nerveuzenstension
nayfnaïve naïviteitnaïveté naïvensnaïveté
modernmodern moderniteitmodernity modernensmodernity
passyfpassive passiviteitpassivity passivenspassivity
populêrpopular populariteitpopularity populêrenspopularity
progressyfprogressive progressiviteitprogression progressivensprogressiveness
monumentaalmonumental monumentaliteitmonumentality monumentalensmonumentality

Sometimes the meaning of these two forms can differ, as derivations in -ens are restricted to nominalization of a property, whereas those in -iteit also may refer to individual applications. For example, antykantique can become antikiteitobject from ancient times or antikensantiquity. The same applies to the native base stommiteit, which denotes a stupid action, whereas stommens refers to the general property of being stupid.

There are also derivations that do not have a counterpart in -ens: mentaalmental cannot become *mentalensmentality, for instance.

It should further be noted that that other nominalizing suffix, i.e. -heid, is not a real rival, as the basic adjectives of foreign origin usually end in a stressed syllable, to which -heid may not be attached; for this property of -heid, see input restrictions in -heid, -ens and -ichheid.

[+] Phonological properties

The suffix is pronounced as [itɛi ̯t]. The stress in the derivation is on the suffix, more in particular on the last syllable. We thus see a shift of stress from the base word to the suffix: muzikAALmusical > muzikaliTEITmusicality.

Additionally, there is a shortening of long final vowels of base words. An example is mentaal[mɛnta:l]mental > mentaliteit[mɛntalitɛi ̯t]mentality in which [a:] has been shortened. The same applies to muzikaal[mʏzika:l]musical > muzikaliteit[mʏzikalitɛi ̯t]musicality and spesjaal[spe:sja:l]special > spesjaliteit[spe:sjalitɛi ̯t]speciality.

Furthermore, some unexpected vowel changes occur in nerveus[nɛrfö:s]nervous > nervositeit[nɛrfo:zitɛi ̯t]nervousness and orizjineel[ɔrisine:l]original > orizjinaliteit[ɔrisinalitɛi ̯t]originality. These changes can be attributed directly to the source language French. Therefore, one has to conclude that these derivations are basically loaned in their entirety, in all likelihood from Dutch as the mediating language.

[+] Morphological potentials

Derivations in -iteit with an individual meaning can be input for pluralization with the suffix -en: spesjaliteitspeciality > spesjaliteitenspecialities, or identiteitidentity > identiteitenidentities. Many derivations, however, have an abstract character and do not have a plural: naïviteitnaïveté > ?naïviteitennaïvetés. Diminutive forms are not used.

If the derivations are used as the first member of a nominal compound, they always take a linking element -s-. An example is identiteitskrisisidentity crisis.

References:
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