• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
Deverbal nouns

Nouns corresponding to verbs form another subclass of nouns. The noun bakker baker corresponds to the verb bakke bake, and the noun geëamel complaining to the verb eamelje complain.


Deverbal nouns are nouns which may be related to a corresponding verb because of their similarity in form. So the noun behanneling treatment may be related to the verb behannelje treat. Three morphological types of deverbal nouns can be distinguished.

  1. -er nominalisations involve a nominalisation of one of the elements of the event denoted by the verb. This nominalisation generally targets the participant expressed as subject in a simple active sentence, as is shown by the two pairs of examples below:
    Example 1

    a. Bjinse bakt bôle
    Bjinse bakes bread
    Bjinse bakes bread
    b. Bjinse is in bakker fan bôle
    Bjinse is a baker of bread
    Bjinse is a baker
    c. Dat falt ta
    that falls to
    That turns out better than expected
    d. Dat is in tafaller
    that is a pleasant.surprise
    that is a pleasant surprise
  2. -ing nominalisations involve an event nominalisation. In case a ditransitive verb is nominalised, all three participants may be expressed as Adposition Phrase (PPs), as shown in the example below:
    Example 2

    a. De plysje draacht de smjunten oan it Fryske Buro foar Ynformaasje oer
    the police handed the villains to the Frisian Bureau for Information over
    The police transfers the villains to the Frisian Bureau for Information
    b. De oerdracht fan 'e smjunten oan 'e FBY troch de plysje
    the conveyance of the villains to the FBI by the police
    The conveyance of the villains to the FBI by the police
  3. ge-nominalisations involve an event nominalisation. Ge- nominalisations seem to be more restricted in Frisian than in Dutch. They are mainly found with intransitives. Verbal particles may be incorporated, as in the example below:
    Example 3

    a. De jonges dangelje yn 'e kroech om
    the boys hang in the pub around
    The boys hang around in the pub
    b. Dat geomdangel fan 'e jonges yn 'e kroech
    that hanging.around of the boys in the pub
    That hanging around of the boys in the pub

There is a fourth type of nominalisation, the so-called infinitival nominalisations, which are similar to gerunds in English. They differ from the deverbal nouns listed above, in that these realise all their arguments as nouns do, that is, as PPs occurring to their right. Infinitival nominalisations realise their arguments as Noun Phrases (NPs) occurring to the left. Infinitival nominalisations may realise their complements partly as verbs do (as NPs occurring to their left), partly as nouns do (as PPs occurring to their right). Infinitival nominalisations are discussed in this topic.