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Deverbal nouns

This section deals with the derivation of deverbal nouns. starts with a discussion of the formation of infinitival nominalization by means of conversion (zero-derivation), as illustrated in the first two rows of Table 7. Two types of conversion are distinguished depending on whether the infinitival nominal is preceded by a determiner or not, and they will be referred to as det-inf and bare-inf nominalization, respectively. Conversion results in nouns that denote the same state of affairs as denoted by the input verb. The process of deriving deverbal nouns by means of affixation is far more productive than the derivation of infinitival nominals by conversion. Affixation typically derives nouns denoting state of affairs or (mostly human) objects. In to the following affixes are discussed: the suffix -ing, which typically derives nouns denoting states of affairs or person nouns; the prefix ge-, which derives nouns denoting durative or iterative states of affairs; the suffix -er/-aar, which derives either person nouns or nouns denoting non-human agents/instruments.

Table 1: Table 7: Nominalization
Type Example Section
bare-inf nominalization Boeklees is pret.books read is funTo read books is fun.
det-inf nominalization Die lees van boeke is pret.the read of books is funThe reading of books is fun.
ing-nominalization Die behandeling van die pasiënt was suksesvol.The treatment of the patient was successful.

ge-nominalization Die gekerm oor sy ouers word vervelig.The nagging about his parents becomes annoying.

er-nominalization Die werker is gearresteer.The worker was arrested.

There are other suffixes that can be used to derive nouns from verbs, such as –sel (e.g. baksel) (baking) and –ery (e.g. laggery) (laughing). These are, however, less productive than the suffixes discussed here, and typically (though not necessarily) appear without arguments. A discussion of equivalent suffixes in Dutch can be found in, e.g., (De Haas and Trommelen 1993), (Haeseryn et al. 1997), and (Knopper 1984) and those in Afrikaans in Combrink en Kempen.

  • Haas, Wim de & Trommelen, Mieke1993Morfologisch handboek van het Nederlands. Een overzicht van de woordvormingSDU Uitgeverij
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