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A > V
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Conversion of adjectives to verbs is very productive in Frisian. An example is wytwhite > wytsjeto whiten. In principle, three different meaning classes can be distinguished: ''to make {adjective}, 'to become {adjective}' and 'to be {adjective}'. In practice, however, one of these readings is dominant. As with other verbal conversions, the resulting verbs belong to class II of the weak verbs.

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Conversion of A to V is fairly productive. Three different meaning classes can be distinguished: 'to make {adjective}', 'to become {adjective}' or 'to be {adjective}'. At first sight, all verbs converted from an adjective can have these three meanings. Compare the following sentences with the verb grienje, from the adjective griengreen:

Example 1

a. to make {adjective}
De ferve griene it wetter
The paint made the water green
b. to become {adjective}
De beammen grienje al wer
The trees become green again
c. to be {adjective}
Wat in gers, it grienet deroer
What a lot of grass, it is so green outside

However, in most cases one of the meanings is lexicalized, cf. deadzjeto murder (= to make one dead), rypjeto ripen (= to become ripe), slûgjeto slumber (= to be sleepy). More examples are given in the table below:


Table 1
Meaning Base Adjective Resulting Verb
to make A suverpure suverjeto purify
iepenbierpublic iepenbierjeto reveal
waarmwarm waarmjeto warm
folfull foljeto fill (up)
deadead deadzjeto murder
sêdsatisfied sêdzjeto satisfy
wiidwide wiidzjeto widen
koelcool kuoljeto cool down
lotterpure lotterjeto purify
iepenopen iepenjeto open
to become A rotrotten rotsjeto rot
soersour suorjeto turn sour
griengreen grienjeto become green
rypripe rypjeto ripen
to be A slûchtired slûgjeto slumber
sunichstingy sunigjeto be stingy

The stem vowel of some verbs may undergo breaking, as already can be detected from the spelling of koelcool > kuolje and soersour > suorje.

In a few cases, the base adjective must be interpreted adverbially, according to the meaning of the derived verb . The best way to describe this meaning is 'to do {adjective}'. Examples are healwiisfoolish > healwiizjeto act foolishly, wyldwild > wyldzjeto be on the go and gekcrazy > gekjeto act crazy.

As can be observed above, adjectives convert to weak verbs that belong to class II, i.e. verbs that take an infinitive ending in -je. Exceptions are nominal stems ending in the glide [j] that occurs as the final element of some diphthongs. A relevant example is rampoaieto destroy (from the adjective rampoaibroken down).

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x Linking elements or suffixes

Hoekstra (1998:153-154) argues that the adjectival base that is to be converted may be extended with a linking element. However, we have decided here to treat these elements as suffixes, as they consist of overt linguistic material. Moreover, subsuming such derivations under the heading of conversion would go against the spirit of the idea of conversion as it is usually understood, i.e. derivation without adding extra material. The relevant suffixes (or "augments", as Hoekstra calls them) for the derivation of verbs on the basis of adjectives are -ear, -ig and -k.

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x Literature

This topic is based on Hoekstra (1998:152).

References:
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
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