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1.2.3 Prefixation

Most derivations are either prefixed or suffixed. Prefixation will be discussed here. Suffixation will be discussed in [1.2.4].

As a rule, prefixes do not affect the categorial status of their base, e.g. fjuntelk (‘friendly’, adjective), uunfjuntelk (‘unfriendly’, adjective). The verbal prefixes be- and fer- pose an exception to this rule.

[+]Nominal prefixes

There are two kinds of nominal prefixes.

Most of them select a noun as input and create a noun as output (type 1: category neutral nominal prefixes).

Some others just create a noun as output (type 2: category changing nominal prefixes).

Type 1: category neutral nominal prefixes

Nominal prefixes of type 1 are used in limited sets of semantically related words.

For example, in words denoting family relations. Here, it should be noted that the Low German loan half- (in Halfbruur, ‘half-brother’) cannot be replaced by holich- (*Holichbruur), whereas holichslieten and halfslieten (‘almost worn off’) are both correct in Saterland Frisian.

Bääsjemäme, Bäästemäme (‘grandmother’), Grootfoar (‘granddad’), Halfbruur (‘half-brother’), Oankemäme (‘great-grandmother’), Ooldmäme (‘grandmother’), Stäifsuster (‘step-sister’), Uurgrootfoar (‘great-grandfather’), Uurbäästemäme (‘great-grandmother’)

In some words denoting occupations or ranks. It should be noted that haud- (‘head-‘) is not very productive and has a somewhat puristic ring (cf. Haudseke, ‘main issue’, alongside Hauptseke and Hööftseke).

Aartsängel (‘archangel’), Grootknäächt (‘a farmer’s main assistant’), Haudmon (‘leader’)

In some evaluative or negative words.

Misdäid (‘crime’), Misklöär (‘wrong colour’), Uundiert (‘monster’, lit. ‘un-animal’), Wondäid (‘outrage’)

Some nominal prefixes (like groot-, oold- etc.) can be considered prefixoids, just like skiet(e)- (‘shit-‘) in Skietkäärdel (‘coward, lousy man’) (see [], affixoids].

The words Oanter and Twinter mean ‘a one year old horse’ and ‘a two year old horse’ respectively. Historically, these words derive from nominal prefixes (literally: ‘one-winter-’ and ‘two-winter-’), cf. West Frisian inter- and twinter- in (e.g.) interbolle (‘one year old bull’). So, diachronically, Inter is short for Inter-hoangst, but synchronically it is a lexical item in its own right. An Interstaal is a stable for one-year-old horses.

Type 2: category changing nominal prefixes

A typical example of a type 2 nominal prefix is ge- in Gedou ‘ado’ or Gekoakel ‘cackle’.

The input is usually a verb. The word Uutgekiek in ’n roar Uutgekiek ‘an ugly face’ is from a separable complex verb uutkiekje. The prefix -ge- comes right before the verbal part (-kiek) and after the original modifier part (uut-).

In some of these words, a suffix -sel or -te follows, see also [1.2.5] on circumfixes.

abstract concepts (e.g. Gemoak, ‘income’, Gedou, ‘ado’).

Table 1
ge- (...) –te Gedoute, Gedwoonte (‘gestures, attitude’),
ge- (...) sel dät Gefunsel (‘mess’), dät Gemoaksel (‘device’, pejorative), dät Gebreeksel (‘a lot of broken pieces of wood’), dät Geriemsel (‘bad poem’)
ge- (...) sel, ge- (...) –else dät Geskrieuwsel, dät Geskrieuwelse (‘uninterpretable writing’)

Many nouns begin with prefixes, e.g. die/dät Fernul ‘intelligence’. Those prefixes are not nominal prefixes, however. They do not nominalise their input.

[+]Adjectival prefixes

The negative elements uun- and won- can be considered adjectival prefixes. Uun- combines with all kinds of adjectives, both simplex and composed. Won- combines with adjectival past or present participles.

The prefixes uun- and won- have a dismissive meaning in the adjectives uunmis (‘completely wrong’, lit. ‘un-wrong’) and wonskepen (‘crooked’).

uungesuund (‘unhealthy’), uunbehauen (‘uncultivated’), uunbegrieplik (‘uninterpretable’), uunmis, umis (‘completely wrong’); wonwieten (‘insane’), wonskepen (‘disfigured’)

The adjectival prefix aller- only appears in combination with superlatives, e.g. allerhoochst ‘highest of all’.

The prefix truch- (unstressed) is only combined with pseudo-participles (see [1.2.7]).

truchdroankt (‘imbued’), truchdrieuwen (‘clever’), truchfäärzen (‘freezing from cold’)

The element mis- in miswoaksen (‘crooked’) has the same meaning and use as the prefix won-. Mis- combines with participles (woaksen means ‘grown’). Maybe mis- should be considered a prefix, just like won-, and just like the verbal prefix mis- (e.g. misglukke ‘to fail’).

However, the element mis(-) also features as an adjective, meaning ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’. So, mis- may possibly be viewed as an element participating in a compounding or (more likely) a prefixoid (see: [] Affixoids). The same can be said about the element holich- in holichriep (‘semi-ripe’) and holichslieten (‘half-worn’), see [1.2.3].

Elative elements like dood- and steen- are discussed in [] Elative Compoundings.

[+]Verbal prefixes

Unlike most other prefixes, verbal prefixes may change the category of the input. The verb befläkke ‘to stain’ may count as an example. It contains the prefix be- and the noun Fläk ‘a stain’. The verbal prefixes be- and fer- combine with nouns (e.g. befläkke), adjectives (e.g. feräärmje ‘to impoverish’) and verbs (e.g. ferbreke ‘to break’).

The unstressed elements be-, fer-, ge-, mis-, truch-, und-, unner-, uum- and uur- function as verbal prefixes. Prefixed verbs are unseparable, contrary to separable complex verbs (cf. [] Separable Complex Verbs).

Some prefixed verbs are literally prefixed verbs (prefix plus verb), e.g. bedäkke ‘to cover’. Other prefixed verbs are based on nominal or adjectival stems or even meaningless stems, e.g. beäkkerje ‘to cultivate a field’, bekuutje ‘to shorten’ and beledigje ‘to insult’.

Most, but not all, prefixed denominal and de-adjectival verbs are je-verbs (see: inflection). (Befläkke might be influenced by German beflecken.) This (near-) correspondence between derived verbs and the inflectional -je class patterns with converted verbs like diekje ‘to dyke’ and apdiekje ‘to grease abundantly’ (see [1.2.6] on conversion).

Saterland Frisian is creative at forming verbs prefixed with fer-: ferdumdjuwelje ‘to gag sb (metonymically)’, ferklootfeegje ‘to handle, manage’, ferklootfiedelje ‘to explain clearly’, ferloaiwamzje ‘to omit’.

The High German prefix er- shows up in loan words like in ärbarmje ‘to pity’ and ärgötsje ‘relish’, cf. German erbarmen and ergötzen respectively. The High German prefix änt- does not appear in the dictionary, but it is rather frequent in the sources (e.g. änthoolde ‘remember’, instead of undhoolde, and äntwasserje (!) ‘to dehydrate’).

Table 2
be- (aff-V:) belope ‘to keep track’, bedwo ‘to add’ (aff-N-je:) beäkkerje ‘to cultivate a field’, beëdigje ‘to swear sb’ (aff-A-je:) bekuutje ‘to shorten’, befräije ‘to free’ (aff-X:) beduurje ‘to regret’, beledigje ‘to insult’
fer- (aff-V:) ferbaanje ‘to burn sth’, (aff-N-je:) ferboazje ‘to amaze’, ferbuurje ‘to become a farmer-like person’, fersoundje ‘to silt’ (aff-A-je:) feräärmje ‘to impoverish’, ferbiesterje ‘to bewilder, ferbeterje ‘to improve’, (aff-X-je:) ferdägenje ‘to defend’
ge- (aff-V:) gelustje ‘to please (impers.)’, genöigje ‘to satisfy’, (aff-X: ) genjote ‘to enjoy’
mis- (aff-V:) misdwo ‘to harm sb’, mishondelje ‘to abuse’, misgonne ‘to envy’
truch- (aff-V:) truchöile ‘to toss and turn’, truchstriedje ‘to cross’[allinnich ptc.pf.?]
und- (aff-V:) undfange ‘receive’, undhoolde ‘to remember’, unstounde ‘arise, emerge’
unner- (aff-V:) unnerhoolde ‘maintain’, unnernieme ‘to commence’, unnerskede ‘to distinguish’
uum- (aff-V:) uumgunge ‘circumvent’, uumslo ‘to envelop’, (aff-N-je:) uumsingelje ‘to surround’
uur- (aff-V:) uurkume ‘to quell’, uurläite ‘to leave sth to sb’, (aff-N:) uurkloodje ‘to cover’, uurkootje ‘to sprain’, uurwinterje ‘to hibernate’
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