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-ief
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-ief/iv/ is a stress-bearing cohering non-native suffix found in adjectives and nouns based on non-native stems and bound forms. The adjectival semantics is relational (e.g. explosiefexplosive). Most nouns in -ief appear to be cases of conversion and denote something that is A. Most nouns in -ief are of neuter gender, but common gender occurs as well. Adjectives in -ief show standard adjectival inflection (explosieve stoffenexplosive.e substances), nouns have a plural in -en (explosievenexplosives).

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[+] General information

-ief/iv/ is a stress-bearing cohering non-native suffix. It is found in adjectives and nouns based on non-native stems and bound forms.

[+] Adjectives

The suffix -ief is found in adjectives, based on non-native bound forms, that often correspond to nouns ending in non-stress-bearing -ie: explosiefexplosive (cf. explosieexplosion), informatiefinformative (cf. informatieinformation). Other forms relate to other types of nouns (e.g. abortiefabortive cf. abortusabortion, ultimatiefultimative cf. ultimatumultimatum) or to none at all (e.g. naïefnaive). According to De Haas and Trommelen (1993: 338), the process is productive. Occasionally the base is a noun, e.g. in instinctiefinstinctive (< instinct) and sportiefsportsmanlike (< sport). The semantics of adjectives in -ief is often relational, i.e., rather vague related to the base(Booij 2002: 108).

Adjectives in -ief show standard adjectival inflection: een naïeve jongena naive boy. When semantically appropriate, comparative (deze jongen is nog naïeverthis boy is even more naive) and superlative forms (maar dit is the naïefstebut this one is the most naive) are possible.

Adjectives in -ief can be input to further derivation: abstract nouns can be formed with the native suffix -heid (passiefheidpassivity) and (more often) non-native -iteit (passiviteitpassivity), agentive nouns can be constructed with -ist (activistactivist, recidivistrecidivist), abstract nouns can be formed with -isme (activismeactivism), and occasionally a new causative verb is formed with the suffix -eerrelativerento relativize.

[+] Nouns

Noun formation with -ief is less productive than adjective formation; many cases seem to involve conversion of the pertinent adjective. De Haas and Trommelen (1993: 362-3) distinguish two groups of nouns in -ief: neuter nouns such as explosiefexplosive and nouns of common gender such as occlusiefocclusive. For formations of the first group, the semantics of the suffix is hard to characterize: De Haas and Trommelen (1993: 362) mention the semantic subgroups drug (e.g. laxatieflaxative and preservatiefcondom), photographic equipment (e.g. statieftripod, objectieflens) and collective (e.g. collectiefcollective, massiefmassif). The common nouns in -ief usually belong to the terminology of linguistics, e.g. fricatieffricative and optatiefoptative.

All nouns in -ief have a plural form in -en: preservatievencondoms, statieventripods, occlusievenocclusives. Nouns in -ief can be basis for diminutive formation with -je (statiefjesmall tripod) and enter easily into compounding, both as a right-hand part (overheidsinitiatiefinitiative taken by the government) and as a left-hand one (initiatiefwetsontwerpprivate member's bill).

[+] Allomorphs

Sometimes there appears to be extra material between the bound form and the suffix, e.g. in facultatiefoptional, sensitiefsensitive and directiefdirective. For De Haas and Trommelen (1993: 338) this is reason to suggest that there are three allomorphs -atief, -itief and -tief.

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x

De Haas and Trommelen (1993: 338) hypothesize that these allomorphs might be a merger of -ief and suffixes -at, -it and -t, but they remain silent as to the semantics of these elements (but cf. (Booij 2002: 128)). An alternative approach would be to assume one suffix -ief combining with stem allomorphs (facultat-, sensit-direct-, respectively).

[+] Phonological properties

In -ief formations, the suffix bears the main stress: ac'tiefactive, objec'tieflens, The suffix is cohering: syllabification does not respect the morphological structure: explosiefexplos.ief[εks-plo-'siv].

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
  • Haas, Wim de & Trommelen, Mieke1993Morfologisch handboek van het Nederlands. Een overzicht van de woordvormingSDU Uitgeverij
  • Haas, Wim de & Trommelen, Mieke1993Morfologisch handboek van het Nederlands. Een overzicht van de woordvormingSDU Uitgeverij
  • Haas, Wim de & Trommelen, Mieke1993Morfologisch handboek van het Nederlands. Een overzicht van de woordvormingSDU Uitgeverij
  • Haas, Wim de & Trommelen, Mieke1993Morfologisch handboek van het Nederlands. Een overzicht van de woordvormingSDU Uitgeverij
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