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-iet
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-iet/i:t/ is a non-native unproductive stress-bearing cohering suffix found in various classes of nouns (e.g. IsraëlietIsraelite, JemenietYemenite, meteorietmeteorite, grafietgraphite, chlorietchlorite) and a few adjectives (e.g. explicietexplicit). Nouns in -iet are usually of common gender, except those from chemical terminology, which are usually neuter.

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The suffix -iet/i:t/ is found in a number of nouns and a few adjectives based on bases from French or Latin, or they are loans from these languages. Various subcategories can be distinguished (cf. De Haas and Trommelen (1993: 200-1), Philippa (2003-2009), affixes.org ):

  • Proper nouns of common gender based on proper names, denoting follower, offspring of, e.g. islamietmuslim, KanaänietCanaanite. In cases such as Jezuïetjesuit (< JezusJesus) and JacobietJacobite (< JacobusJames) the base is truncated; MennonietMennonite (< Menno) has a variant -niet. The plural is in -en (e.g. MennonietenMennonites, Jezuïetenjesuits).
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    In metropolietarchbishop, the base is possibly not a proper name (metropoolmetropolis or Metropolius?) and the semantics is different. De Haas and Trommelen (1993: 200) suggest that words like bandietbandit, travestiettransvestite and heremiethermit might also contain this suffix, although they admit that these words have a different type of semantics.

  • Inhabitant names of common gender based on geographical names such as Adenietsomeone from Aden and Jemenietsomeone from Yemen. In Addis-Abebietsomeone from Addis-Abeba and Samnietsomeone from Samnium we see truncation of the stem, in Moskovietsomeone from Moscow (< Moskou) we see stem allomorphy. The plural form is in -en (e.g. JemenietenYemenites). These nouns can be input to adjective formation by means of the suffix -isch, e.g. Moskovitischfrom or related to Moscow (next to Moskousfrom or related to Moscow and MoskovischMuscovite as in Moskovisch gebaksponge cake). Feminine forms are usually not based on the iet derivation but on the adjective instead, e.g. Moskovitischewoman from Moscow (next to Moskousewoman from Moscow).
  • Proper nouns of common gender denoting minerals, fossils, etc., such as meteorietmeteorite, stalactietstalactite, trilobiettrilobite. The plural is in -en (e.g. meteorietenmeteorites).
  • Proper nouns of neuter gender, usually mass nouns, that function as names of chemical substances. Subgroups: salts of acids whith English names ending in -ous like kaliumchlorietKClO2, potassium chlorite, minerals and ores like wolframietwolframite, and chemical products like bakelietbakelite and dynamietdynamite. As mass nouns, there is hardly any use for the plural form of these formations (which would be in -en).

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Nominal -iet ultimately derives from Greek -itès via Latin -ita, ites and French -ite ( ). Adjectival -iet derives from Latin -itus, the past participial suffix for verbs in -ire or -ere ( )

References:
  • 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
  • Philippa, Marlies, Debrabandere, Frans, Quak, Arend, Schoonheim, Tanneke & Sijs, Nicoline van der2003-2009Etymologisch Woordenboek van het NederlandsAmsterdam University Press
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