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-el
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-el/əl/ is one of the four verbalizing suffixes in Dutch. The others are -eer, -er and -ig. Verbs with -el are, for example:

Example 1

a. trappelen
kick-SUFF-INF
to kick
b. duikelen
dive-SUFF-INF
to tumble
c. brokkelen
chunk-SUFF-INF
to crumble

Verbs with this suffix often have an iterative meaning. In many cases, the action denoted occurs on a smaller scale compared to an equivalent verb without the suffix. See, for example prikkento prick - prikkelento prickle. The function of the suffix could be described as a verbal diminutive (-el has also been used as a nominal diminutive).

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Verbalization by means of suffixes is not a common procedure in Dutch. Of the four verbalizing suffixes -el, -er, -ig and -eer, only -eer is productive. The unproductive -el occurs, however, in a substantial number of verbs. The bases to which the affix attaches are nominal, as in nestnest > nestelento nestle, or verbal, as in hinkento limp > hinkelento hop. Often there is ambiguity between the two categories: duikelento tumble could be derived from the noun duikdive or the homophonous verb stem duikdive. In some cases, there is even a third option: some -el verbs can be conversions from an -el nominal. A case in point is kreukelento rumple, which could be derived from the verb stem kreukcrease, the simplex noun kreukcrease or the suffixed noun kreukelcrease. Other verbs are clearly conversions rather than the result of verbal suffixation, e.g. winkelshop > winkelento shop. In yet other cases, the base is not an independent word, see smikkelento enjoy one's food or struikelento stumble.

References:
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