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The suffix -earje productively derives verbs from nouns and adjectives. Examples are koade code > koadearje to (en)code, torpedo torpedo > torpedearje to torpedo and parfum perfume > parfumearje to scent. The suffix is mainly used in words that do not belong to the Germanic stock.The suffix has three variants, partly broken, which can be inflected along both classes of Frisian weak verbs. After /l/, /n/ and /r/ we see the linking element -is-, for example in kanaal canal > kanalisearje to canalize. The stress is always on the element -ear, i.e. as in kanalisEARje.

[+]General properties

The suffix -ear derives verbs from non-native nouns and adjectives. There are also formations in which no clear existing base form can be recognized. Examples are avansearje to advance, iggewearje to object and obstreweaje to observe.

The suffix comes in three variants. The form -earje, which is inflected according to the weak verbs of class II (the so-called -je-verbs), has a broken and a non-broken variant. The infinitival forms are pronounced as ( [jɛrjə] and [I.ərjə], respectively. The variant that is inflected along the lines of the weak verbs of class I is not broken. Its infinitival form is -eare ( [I.ərə]. As broken -earje is most distant from Dutch -eren, this form tends to be preferred as the norm.

Obligatoriness with a foreign base

Hoekstra (1998:154) argues that -ear- is obligatory in verbs derived from non-native base forms. It is doubtful whether this is fully correct, however, because we can also find verbs from non-native bases that do not show the suffix. Examples are mail mail > e-maile to e-mail (*e-mailearje), dûs shower > dûse to shower (*dûsearje) and faks fax > fakse to fax (the Frisian verb faksearje to press has a different base). Nevertheless, for most bases originating in Romance languages (French, Latin) the generalization will apply. Note that the suffix -ear can be related etymologically to the French infinitival ending -er.

[+]Nominal base

The suffix -earje derives verbs from nouns that have a non-native base. Examples are given in the table below:

Table 1
Base form Derivation
publyk public publisearje to publish
fabryk factory fabrisearje to manufacture
muzyk music musisearje to make music
kanaal canal kanalisearje to canalize
kristal crystal kristallisearje to crystallize
evangeelje gospel evangelisearje to evangelize
tiran tyrant tirannisearje to tyrannize
karakter character karakterisearje to characterize
adres address adressearje to address
argyf archive argivearje to put into the archives
advys advice advisearje to advise
budzjet budget budzjettearje to budget
ekskús apology ekskusearje to excuse
Next to musisearje and fabrisearje one can find the forms muzykje and fabrykje, which have (almost) the same semantics: to make music and to knock together.

Interestingly, there are some cases in which the base is a native form. Examples are grûn ground > grûndearje to lay the foundations of (with -d- inserted) and broek trouser > broekerearje to shit (ironically) (with a linking -er-).

In words like avesearje to make haste, obstrewearje to observe and iggewearje to object, the base form cannot be recognized anymore.

[+]Adjectival base

The suffix -earje derives verbs from non-native adjectives. Examples are given in the table below:

Table 2
Base form Derivation
aktyf active akivearje to activate
kursyf italic kursivearje italicize
blond blond blondearje to bleach
bankerot bankrupt bankerottearje to go bankrupt
egaal even egalisearje to level
steryl sterile sterilisearje to sterilize
modern modern modernisearje to modernize
There are some cases in which the base form is a native word, or is no longer felt as foreign. Examples are blyn blind > blyndearje to armour and sober austere > soberearje to live austerely.

[+]Phonological properties

If the base form ends in /-yk/, the final /k/ is replaced by /s/ before -earje: publyk public > publisearje to publish and fabryk factory > fabrisearje to manufacture. Next to the forms publisearje and fabrisearje, one can find the forms publikaasje publication and fabrikaazje manufacture, where the /k/ is retained.

If the base form ends in /l/, /n/ or /r/, it is mostly extended with the linking element -is- before -ear: kanaal canal > kanalisearje to canalize and egaal even > egalisearje to level. In evangeelje gospel > evangelisearje to evangelize, /-je/ is also truncated.

In derivations with -ear, the stress always falls on the suffix, so there is stress-shift. For example ALfabet alphabet > alfabetiSEARje, kompliMINT compliment > kompliminTEARje to compliment and teleFOAN telephone > telefoNEARje to call.


This topic is primarily based on Hoekstra (1998:154) and Hoekstra (1991). For an overview of native bases, including some idiosyncratic linking elements, see Visser (2000:180-181).

  • Hoekstra, Jarich1991Argewaasje en strideraasjeFriesch Dagblad04-05Taalsnipels 183
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
  • Visser, Willem2000Frjemd wurdt eigener. Oer de âlde Frânske lienwurden yn it FryskIt Beaken62141-218
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