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The suffix -en occurs with adverbs. Its main function seems to be to mark the adverbial status of the derivation. An example is dalikimmediately next to dalikenimmediately. Besides adverbial bases, phrasal bases are possible as well, often consisting of a preposition plus noun, as in fanneden[[fan](P)[need](N)]]enof-need-ennecessarily. The suffix is unproductive and infrequent when compared to its cognate -s. Nevertheless, one can find some cases of stacking of these two adverbial suffixes.

[+] General properties

Bases can be adverbs, but also phrases. This is more or less parallel to the suffix -s. In addition, -en also seems to have the same function, which is to mark or strengthen the adverbial status of the word. With phrasal bases, the suffix also marks the transition of phrase to word. The latter is often reflected in the orthography, which is without spaces.

The suffix is not productive, and often there is not a transparent base available. The existence of the suffix can then be shown on historical and/or comparative grounds. An example is harrenhither, related to hjirhere and the German cognate her.

[+] Adverb as base

If the base is an adverb, the addition of the suffix is basically optional. There is no semantic effect. Here are some examples:

Table 1
Base Derivation
altydalways altitenalways
dalikimmedialtely dalikenimmediately
einlikactually einlikenactually
faakoften fakenoften
obsternaatobstinately obsternatenobstinately
omraakheavily omrakenheavily
It appears that the suffix is relatively easily attached to bases ending in the suffix -lik; other examples are feitlikenin fact or winlikenactually.

[+] Phrase as base

There are also bases that can be considered phrases. This is mostly an adposition phrase (PP), mainly a rudimentac one in that it only consists of a preposition and a noun. Articles or adjectives do not occur, although we do sometimes find an adjective instead of a noun, as in ynkoarten, with the adjective koartshort. If the phrase is a noun phrase (NP), than the noun is usually preceded by a quantifier, as in iderkearenevery time. Here are some examples:

Table 2
Derivation Phrase Gloss
binnendoarreninside (the house) [[binnen](P) [doar](N)](PP) inside door
fannedennecessarily [[fan](P) [need](N)](PP) of need
iderkearenevery time [[idere](Q) [kear](N)](NP) every time
ynkoartensoon [[yn](P) [koart](A)](PP) in short
ûnderwilenmeanwhile [[ûnder](P) [wyl](N)](PP) under while
Mostly, the attachment of -en to phrases is obligatory, but this is not always the case. For example, next to binnendoarreninside (the house), also binnendoar exists. It is not a priori excluded that in such a case -en could also represent the regular plural morpheme.

It should be noted that Dutch lacks this suffix -en. Dutch, on the other hand, often shows an ending -e in similar phrasal expressions. Examples are fan fierrenfrom afar, where Dutch has van verre, and fan hertenheartily which is Dutch van harte. However, we see a suffix -en in Dutch after cardinal numbers in some prepositional constructions. The Frisian counterparts are dealt with in the topic on cardinal numbers, to be precise in the sections on cardinals as clocktimes, cardinals as persons and cardinals as parts.

[+] Use

When compared to non-derived variants, the formations ending in -en are often infrequent. Those after the suffix -lik, like dalikensoon or winlikenactually, seem to have a bias in the northeast of the language area. In the written language, variants with -en are often used in an elevated style. An example is fakenoften next to common faak.

[+] The suffix -s and stacking

As stated above, the adverbial suffix -s has mainly the same function as -en. The impression exists that -s is more widespread, i.e. it is attached to far more bases. Where we do find -en, -s is often also available, and if the two are competing then -s is mostly more common. For example, the form daliksimmediately is more frequent than daliken.

Even rarer is the phenomenon that the two suffixes are stacked, although it must be said that there are cases in which the stacked variant is the only one possible. An example of the latter is the expression om ut-en-saround out-SUFF-SUFFabroad, i.e. outside Friesland. Neither *om uten nor *om úts exists.

In stacking, both orders may be found. The order -en-s, for example, can be seen in ûnderwil-en-smeanwhile, omheg-en-supward, út 'en read-en-sreddish, and probably also in mei gauw-en-ssoon, although Veen (1984-2011) analyzes this as a single attachment of the nominalizing suffix -ens. The other order, i.e. -s-en, is really rare. We find it in ein-s-enactually, (net) ien-s-en(not) only, and also in jin-s-enover there, with a historical demonstrative stem jin (cf. German jen-).

[+] Phonological properties

The suffix is pronounced as [ən], with all its inherent possibilities, as for instance sonantization. The suffix is cohering, with a possible exception in altitenalways and hyltitenalways, which is formed from tiidtime. This might lead one to expect an intermediate /d/. However, the base has probably become opaque, since the long /i:/ of tiid has also become shortened in the base altyd and hyltyd (also reflected in the spelling y). As a result, the surface final segment [t], a result of final devoicing, will also have become voiceless inherently.

[hide extra information]

The existence of this ending has briefly been noticed in Hoekstra (1990). The possibility of stacking is pointed out in Hoekstra (1993).

  • Hoekstra, Jarich1990Fan hertenFriesch Dagblad04-08Taalsnipels 194
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1993Om utensFriesch Dagblad06-02Taalsnipels 248
  • Veen, Klaas F. van der et al1984-2011Wurdboek fan de Fryske taal - Woordenboek der Friese taalFryske Akademy
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