• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents

The Latinate suffix –iter /itər/ is used to form adverbs from non-native (Latinate) adjectives, as illustrated by (1):

Example 1

Wij eten normal-iter om 12 uur
we eat normal-SUFF at 12 o’clock
Normally, we eat at 12 o’clock

Adverbs with this suffix are experienced as ‘learned’, and hence only occur in more formal language use, with the exception of the frequently used adverbs normaliter normally and idealiter ideally.


Adverbs with the suffix –iter can be used interchangeably with suffixless adverbs. The latter is often the preferred choice, as in (2):

Example 2

We zijn het globaal / ?global-iter eens
we are it globally one
We agree globally

The suffix's productivity is low due to its being restricted to Latinate bases and its formal style flavour. Adverbs with this suffix carry main stress on the last syllable of the base word, as in normaliter /nɔrˈmalitər/. This is an exceptional stress pattern for non-native complex words (in Latin a word carries antepenultimate stress if the vowel of the penultimate syllable is a short [i], as in geranium /xəˈraniʏm/ geranium). Hence, many speakers of Dutch now (mis)pronounce this relatively frequently used adverb as /nɔrmaˈlitər/, with the default, penultimate stress.

Adverbs in -iter cannot be input for further derivation.

For more information and discussion, see Diepeveen (2012, chapter 12,online version).

  • Diepeveen, Ariane2012Modifying words. Dutch adverbial morphology in contrast.FU BerlinThesis