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-ist
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-ist (/ɪst/) is a stress-bearing non-native productive cohering suffix found in nouns of common gender denoting male persons, based on words and bound forms of foreign origin.

On semantic grounds, two groups of nouns in -ist can be distinguished: jobs or function names, e.g. journalistjournalist and telefonisttelephone operator, and follower of a certain conviction or movement, e.g. boeddhistBuddhist and staliniststalinist. For the second type of -ist derivations, there usually is a corresponding noun in -ism denoting ideology, movement, etc., e.g. boeddhismeBuddhism, stalinismestalinism.

On formal grounds, three types of derivations can be distinguished, viz. those on nominal bases (e.g. journalist, cf. journaal), those with a bound form as basis (e.g. componistcomposer, cf. componerento compose), and those on adjectival bases (e.g. modernistmodernist).

There is also an unproductive variant -ast, as in cineastcinematographer (a loan) and gymnasiasthigh school student (< gymnasium). Various forms in -ist (and in -ast) are loans.

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-ist (/ɪst/) is an international productive suffix found in nouns denoting male persons (also in gender-neutral usage), ultimately going back to Greek (etymologiebank, affixes.org). Bases are both words and bound forms, usually of foreign origin.

On semantic grounds, De Haas and Trommelen (1993: 224) distinguish two groups of nouns in -ist: jobs or function names, e.g. journalistjournalist and telefonisttelephonist, and follower of a certain conviction or movement, e.g. boeddhistBuddhist and staliniststalinist. For the second type of -ist derivations, there usually is a corresponding noun in -isme denoting ideology, movement, etc., e.g. boeddhismeBuddhism, stalinismestalinism.

On formal grounds, on the other hand, (De Haas and Trommelen 1993) distinguish three types of derivations in -ist, viz. those on nominal bases, those with a bound form as basis, and those on adjectival bases. More on these subtypes below.

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Verbal bases do not occur, with one possible exception mentioned by De Haas and Trommelen (1993: 224), viz. typisttypist, which may very well be a loan from English (Etymologiebank).

  • denominal -ist derivations take as their base simplex or complex nouns, usually belonging to the non-native lexical stock. Cases in point are job or function names like journalistjournalist (cf. journaaljournal), lokettistclerk (cf. loketcounter), parachutistparachutist (cf. parachuteparachute), bloemistflorist (cf. bloemflower), cartoonistcartoonist (< cartoon), as well as nouns denoting followers of a certain conviction or movement such as symbolistsymbolist (< symboolsymbol) and fetisjistfetishist (< fetisjfetish). Proper names, especially foreign ones, are popular as bases as well, and then the semantics is typically follower of a certain conviction or movement, e.g. staliniststalinist (< Stalin), leninistleninist (< Lenin), boeddhistBuddhist (< Boeddha), poujadistPoujadist (< Poujade), CarlistCarlist (< Carlos), calvinistCalvinist (< Calvijn). The suffix is very productive in the area of musicians' jobs names: violistviolinist (cf. vioolviolin), pianistpiano player (cf. pianopiano), saxofonistsaxophone player (cf. saxofoonsaxophone), tenoristtenor (saxophone) player, vocalistvocalist, tubaisttuba player, harpistharp player, klavecinistharpsichord player (cf. klavecimbelharpsichord and Fr. clavecinharpsichord).
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    Nouns like fluitistflutist and (recent) toetsenistkeyboard player are noteworthy in having bases (fluitflute and toetskey) that are not recognisably non-native. Ultimately, however, they derive from French, cf. Etymologiebank here and here. hoornisthorn player may be based on a genuine native stem hoornhorn (Etymologiebank), but given that comparable forms are found in the neighboring languages, borrowing cannot be excluded as a possibility; paukenisttimpanist is noteworthy because of the link morpheme -en that may be explainable from the fact that paukentimpani is almost always used in plural, that is, it is almost a plurale tantum; the same link morpheme -en is found in the aforementioned toetsenistkeyboard player, possible with the same type of explanation.

    Native bases as in bloemistflorist (< bloemflower) are even rarer than they are in English (cf. Bauer et al. (2013: 223) who list forms like duckist, fattist, keyboardist, landscapist, womanist whose Dutch counterparts are all ungrammatical).

  • A number of -ist formations has a bound form (root) as basis, that is, the base does not occur independently, although it is found in other derived words (cf. non-native derivation), e.g. componistcomposer (cf. componerento compose), juristlegal expert (cf. juridischlegal), drogistdruggist (< Fr. droguisteseller of medicine and herbs < Du. droogdry, see Etymologiebank), nudistnudist (cf. nudismenudism).
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    De Haas and Trommelen (1993: 225) suggest we find affix allomorphy in cases like comparatistcomparatist (-atist) and congreganistcongreganist (-anist), where -atist in turn may be built from -ist and a suffix -at that can never function as a closing suffix (cf. discussion on -ateur in -eur). An analysis in terms of stem allomorphy, finding its roots in intricacies of Romance morphology, therefore seems at least as viable. A comparable explanation is available for forms such as PlatonistPlatonist < Plato: in classical Greek, this name ended in /n/.

  • A smaller number of -ist formations has a (non-native) adjective as base, e.g. modernistmodernist, specialistspecialist, activistactivist. If the base adjectives are formed with the (foreign) suffixes -eel or -air, these change into -aal and -aar, respectively, just as in the case of suffixes like -iteit and -isme.
    Table 1
    adjective -ist formation -isme formation -iteit formation
    rationeelrational rationalistrationalist rationalismerationalism rationaliteitrationality
    functioneelfunctional functionalistfunctionalist functionalismefunctionalism functionaliteitfunctionality
    militairmilitary militaristmilitarist militarismemilitarisme militariteitmilitarity
    These are instances of learned vowel backing (Dell and Selkirk 1978, Booij 1995: 77, cf. suffix allomorphy).

The suffix -ist is stress-bearing: stress is on the suffix: modernistmodern-ist/mo.dɛr.'nɪst/ (< modern/mo.'dɛrn/), dadaist/da.da.'ɪst/dadaist (< Da'da). As the phonological representation shows, the suffix is cohering: syllabification does not respect the morphological structure.

If the base ends in schwa, this is deleted (per the rule of prevocalic schwa deletion), as in methodistmethodist (cf. methodemethod). In stems ending in /-i/, there is usually vowel deletion (marconistwireless operator, cf. Marconi, alchemistalchemist, cf. alchemiealchemy, anarchistanarchist, cf. anar'chieanarchy, kolonistsettler, cf. ko'loniecolony). If the base word ends in another full vowel, it is unpredictable whether or not it is deleted (De Haas and Trommelen 1993: 225), cf.:

Table 2
no vowel deletion vowel deletion
dadaistdadaist < DadaDada boeddhistBuddhist < BoeddhaBuddha
prozaistprose writer < prozaprose spinozistspinozist < SpinozaSpinoza
egoistegoist < (Lat.) egoI cellistcello player < (violin)celloviolincello
hoboistoboist < hobooboe solistsoloist < solosolo
kopiistcopyist < kopiecopy bigamistbigamist < bigamiebigamy

In several cases where the base is itself derived bij means of the unstressed suffix -ie there is stem allomorphy, e.g. illusionistillusionist (cf. illusieillusion) and perfectionistperfectionist (cf. perfectieperfection). Stem allomorphy also occurs in stems ending in Greek -ma (dogmatistdogmatist, cf. dogmadogma), and in cases like stalinist/sta.li.'nɪst/stalinist (< Stalin/'sta.lɪn/Stalin), calvinist/kɑl.vi.'nɪst/Calvinist (< Calvijn/kɑl.'vɛɪn/Calvin) and afgodist/ɑf.γo.'dɪst/idolator (< afgod/'ɑf.γɔt/idol, demigod).

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De Haas and Trommelen (1993: 225) analyze -onist in derivations such as illusionistillusionist (cf. illusieillusion) and perfectionist (cf. perfectieperfection) as cases of affix allomorphy rather than stem allomorphy. The fact, however, that the part -on occurs in other types of derivation as well (e.g. perfectionerento (make) perfect) may be taken as an argument in favor of an analysis in terms of stem allomorphy.

Bauer et al. (2013: 223) note that "[o]f all the agentive suffixes, -ist has the greatest propensity to appear on already derived bases'', quoting examples such as adoptionist (< adoption, -ist combining with a derivation in -on), marriagist (< marriage), movementist (< movement, -ist combining with a derivation in -ment), etc. This does not seem to hold for Dutch to the same extent, but note cases such as receptionist (< receptie), afrikanist (< Afrikaan). and objectivist < objectief.

The jocular arbeideristproletarianist (< arbeiderworker) is the only case of the suffix -ist after the suffix -er. Note that the attested infanterist < infanterie and cavalerist < cavelerie are irrelevant, as is pokeristsomeone who plays poker.

-ist formations have a plural form in -en (journalistenjournalists, telefonistentelephone operators, boeddhistenBuddhists, stalinistenstalinists, componistencomposers, modernistenmodernists). Female counterparts are formed with the suffix -e, e.g. journalistefemale journalist, telefonistefemale telephone operator, boeddhistefemale Buddhist, stalinistefemale stalinist, componistefemale composer, modernistefemale modernist. Diminutives are regularly formed with the suffix allomorph -je (journalistje telefonistje boeddhistje stalinistje) and typically get a depreciatory interpretation. -ist formations can also enter into nominal compounding, both as left-hand parts (terroristenleiderterrorist leader, cursistenbegeleidsterstudents companion, toeristenwinkelstourist shops) (note the linking morpheme-en) and as right-hand head parts (fietsenspecialistbicycle specialist, sportjournalistsports journalist)

There is a paradigmatic relation of -ist with the nominal suffix isme (English ism) and the verbal suffix -iseer (English -ize), "suggesting a pocket of [...] derivatives with a paradigmatic flavour", just as in English (Bauer et al. 2013:22).

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[This] type of paradigmatic relationship, a correlation between two sets of words of the same degree of morphological complexity, can also be observed in cases where there is no base word that is shared by the word pairs. Consider the following word pairs in -isme and -ist:

Table 3
altru-ismealtruism altru-istaltruist
aut-ismeautism aut-istautist
bapt-ismebaptism bapt-istbaptist
commun-ismecommunism commun-istcommunist
pacif-ismepacifism pacif-istpacifist
Even though they have no corresponding base word, the meaning of one member of a pair can be defined in terms of that of the other member. In particular, the meaning of the word in -ist can often be paraphrased as person with the ability, disposition, or ideology denoted by the word in -ism.

The paradigmatic relationship between these two schemas may lead to the coining of new words. For instance, if we know what determinisme is, we can easily coin the word determinist, and then we know that this word denotes a person believing in determinism. The same holds for nouns in -ist with a lexeme as their base, such as Marxist and socialist. A Marxist is an adherent of Marxism and not necessarily a follower of Marx, since Marxism as a doctrine encompasses more than the ideas of Marx (in fact, Marx himself declared that he was not a Marxist. Similarly, a socialist is not necessarily a social person but an adherent of the ideology of socialism.

References:
  • Bauer, Laurie, Lieber, Rochelle & Plag, Ingo2013The Oxford Reference Guide to English MorphologyOxford University Press
  • Bauer, Laurie, Lieber, Rochelle & Plag, Ingo2013The Oxford Reference Guide to English MorphologyOxford University Press
  • Bauer, Laurie, Lieber, Rochelle & Plag, Ingo2013The Oxford Reference Guide to English MorphologyOxford University Press
  • Booij, Geert1995The phonology of DutchOxfordOxford University Press
  • Dell, François & Selkirk, Elisabeth1978On a morphologically governed vowel alternation in FrenchRecent transformational studies in European languagesCambridge Mass.MITPress1-52
  • 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
  • Haas, Wim de & Trommelen, Mieke1993Morfologisch handboek van het Nederlands. Een overzicht van de woordvormingSDU Uitgeverij
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