• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Saterfrisian
  • Afrikaans
Show all
2.1.1 Number

Saterland Frisian nouns bear the grammatical feature number. This feature has two values, singular and plural. Number on nouns is an instance of inherent (i.e. context free) inflection. The word Boom ‘tree’ simply symbolises one tree, the word Bome refers to multiple trees. The singular is usually morphologically unmarked: the bare stem and the singular of most nouns have the same form. The plural is mostly expressed by suffixation but somettimes (also) by stem alternation.

Table 1
Singular plural
die Appel ‘the apple’ do Appele ‘the appels’
die Boolke ‘the beam’ do Boolken ‘the beams’
dät Wucht ‘the girl’ do Wuchtere ‘the girls’
ju Ate ‘the pea’ do Ate ‘the peas’
die Student ‘the student’ do Studenten ‘the sudents’
dät Färtieko ‘the cupboard’ do Färtikos ‘the cupboards’
dät Lid ‘the limb, member’ do Lede ‘the limbs,members’
die Fout ‘the foot’ do Fäite ‘the feet’

Some words only occur in the singular (singularia tantum) or in the plural (pluralia tantum). Read more on pluralia tantum and Singularia tantum.

Singularia tantum are often about abstract concepts (e.g. dät Gluck ‘happiness’), mass nouns (e.g. dät Woater ‘water’) or proper names (e.g. dät Seelterlound ‘Saterland’).

Pluralia tantum are often about (i) collective concepts, (ii) particular plants, trees or recipes (often univerbations with a noun-adjective structure), (iii) pains, diseases and illnesses, or (iv) strange or funny habits and gesticulations.

Table 2
collective concepts Ächteljude, Bräidljude ‘married couple’, Burenljude(ne) ‘countrymen’, Bupperste ‘authorities’, Bäidensjiere ‘childhood’, Bukänterjiere ‘early years’, Bakkebiezen ‘belongings’, Boarthiere beard hair’, Fenstergardinen ‘a certain type of curtains’
particular plants, trees or recipes Blaue Odenwälder (a particular kind of potatoes), Breekbonen (‘a particular kind of beans’), brune Kluntjes(‘candy lumps’), dulle Huunde ‘ilex’
pains, diseases and illnesses Bäidefloagen, Bäideturen ‘labour pains’, do Dege ‘menstruation period’, Pokken ‘smallpox’ (but: die Mezel, singular: ‘measles’)
habits and gesticulations Allüren ‘strange gesticulations’, Ammöären ‘strange habits’, Bukänterstöäge, Bukketöäge ‘a knave’s pranks’
    printreport errorcite