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-dom
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-dom/dɔm/ is a non-cohering Germanic unproductive suffix found in nouns. Three groups of -dom formations can be distinguished: nouns of neuter gender denoting collections or groups of people, e.g. mensdommankind < menshuman, nouns of neuter gender denoting realm, e.g. prinsdomprincipality < prinsprince, and abstract nouns of common gender derived from adjectives denoting the property of A, e.g. rijkdomwealth < rijkrich. The suffix carries secondary stress; if appliccable, -dom formations have a plural in -en.

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-dom/dɔm/ is a Germanic suffix found in nouns. Following De Haas and Trommelen (1993: 253-4), three groups of -dom formations can be distinguished:

  • nouns of neuter gender, taking the singular definite article het, denoting collections or groups of people, e.g. mensdommankind < menshuman. After stems ending in a stressed syllable before a plosive, a linking morpheme-en often occurs: regentendomregents; the latter forms are often have a slight bookish and pejorative feeling (Haeseryn et al. 1997: 674). Given the collective semantics of these formations, there is no plural form.
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    x

    adeldomnobility (from the collective noun adelnobility) is of common gender, taking the singular definite article de.

  • nouns of neuter gender, taking the singular definite article het, denoting a territory or jurisdiction, e.g. prinsdomprincipality < prinsprince, vorstendomprincipality < vorstmonarch.
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    x

    bisdomdiocese is the result of shorting of an older form bisschopdombishop.SUF (Etymologiebank); heiligdomsanctuary is exceptional in having an adjectival base heiligholy.

  • abstract nouns of common gender, taking the singular definite article de, derived from adjectives denoting property of A or state of e.g. rijkdomwealth and eigendomproperty < eigenown.
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    x

    eigendomproperty is most often used as a neuter noun, taking the singular definite article het, but neuter use is found as well, but then it restricted to formal writing; in informal prose, it sounds archaic. The noun ouderdomold age is derived from an allomorph of the stem oudold; the same form ouder also occurs as the comparative form (and as a noun meaning parent), which may be taken as problematic for the split morphology hypothesis(Booij 2002: 84), which entails that derivation and inflection are distinct, and belong to separate components of the grammar (Perlmutter 1988).

New forms with -dom are impossible, apart from pejorative names of groups of people with a plural base form such as journalistendomjournalists.

The suffix carries secondary stress (Booij 2002: 31). It is non-cohering: it forms a prosodic word on its own and allows for prosodic gapping: christen- en heidendomChristianity and heathendom.

-dom formations with a concrete meaning can have a plural form, which is formed with -en, e.g. eigendommenproperties, hertogdommenduchies. Diminutive forms are formed with the allomorph -etje because -dom carries secondary stress: vorstendommetjesmall principalitiy, hertogdommetjessmall duchies. Rarely, formations with -dom are input to further derivation, e.g with adjectival -elijk, as in eigendommelijkpertaining to property, excentric and chrstendommelijkpertaining to Christianity, christian.

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
  • Haeseryn, Walter, Romijn, Kirsten, Geerts, Guido, Rooij, Jaap de & Toorn, Maarten C. van den1997Algemene Nederlandse spraakkunstGroningenNijhoff
  • Perlmutter, David M1988The split morphology hypothesis: evidence from YiddishTheoretical morphology: approaches in modern linguisticsSan DiegoAcademic Press79-100
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