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The suffix -yt derives (mostly) personal nouns from nouns. This unproductive, non-Germanic suffix only occurs in a few words, nearly always with a non-Germanic base. An example is kosmopolis cosmopolis > kosmopolyt cosmopolitan.

[+]General input

The list of derivations of -yt is limited. Examples are given in the table below:

Table 1
Base form Derivation
Israël Israel Israelyt Israelite
Kanaän Canaan Kanaänyt Canaanite
Levy Levi Levyt Levite
Islam Islam Islamyt Islamite
Jezus Jesus jezuyt Jesuit
kosmopolis cosmopolis kosmopolyt cosmopolitan
meteoar meteor meteoryt meteorite
hypokrisy hypocritics hypokryt hypocrite
hermafroditisme hermafroditism hermafrodyt hermafrodite

All derivations have common gender. Their meaning is primarily "follower of {base noun}". The suffix also figures in scientific terminology, for example meteoaryt meteorite or gloaryt chlorite.

The derivations have a non-native base. An exception is Harrekyt, a name for an inhabitant of the village De Harkema, in Dutch Harkema-Opeinde. The exceptionality of this formation is underscored by its humoristic character; the neutral inhabitant name is Harkemaster (read more about this suffix in -er with geographical name as base).

As can be seen from the table above, in some cases the suffix -yt has just been added (Israël Israel > Israelyt Israelite), while in other cases the final part of the base has been elided.

[+]Phonological properties

The suffix -yt [it] bears the main stress of the word, which results in a stress shift: ISraël > israëLYT, isLAM > islaMYT, etcetera.

[+]Morphological potentials

The derivations can be the first part of a compound if a linking element -e- has been added: kosmopolyt cosmopolitan > kosmopolit-e-bestean existence as a cosmopolitan. They can be input for other suffixes as well, like -(y)sk in Islamyt Islamite > Islamytysk Islamic.

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This topic is based on Hoekstra (1998:101) and, for comparable Dutch data, De Haas and Trommelen (1993:200-201).

  • Haas, Wim de & Trommelen, Mieke1993Morfologisch handboek van het Nederlands. Een overzicht van de woordvormingSDU Uitgeverij
  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy