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-st /st/ is an unproductive cohering stress-neutral suffix found in nouns of common gender based on Germanic verb stems, e.g. dienst dinst service, favour (< dien to serve) and aankomst /kɔmst/ coming (< kom to come). Nouns in -st usually refer to actions or events, occasionally to the result (e.g. vangst of the dag catch of the day). If applicable, plural forms are in -en (e.g. diensten services, favors).


The suffix -st is found in nouns of common gender, taking the definite singular article de, based on Germanic verb stems that are usually simplex (vangst catch < vang to catch). In most attested cases, the verbal stem ends in a nasal continuant ( /m/, /n/ or /ŋ/). -st derivation are usually action nouns ( the act or event denoted by the verb), sometimes they denote the result of the action (opbrengst output, yield < opbreng to yield).

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Complex forms such as aankomst arrival (cf. aankom to arrive) and opbrengst output, yield (cf. opbreng to yield) can be analyzed either as derived from the pertinent particle verbs, that is, as exceptions to the generalization that -st derivation only takes simplex verbs as inputs, or as compounds of the -st derivations of simplex stems with the particles aan and op, respectively. In the latter case, the parallel semantics between particle verb and compound can be explained by means of an appeal to analogy or in terms of a systematic paradigmatic relationship between compounds of the type Particle + Noun and Particle Verbs (cf. (Booij 2015)).

Forms such as kunst art, trick (< kun can, be able to) and winst profit (win to win) are lexicalized and have a specialized semantics.

vondst finding (< vind find) is the only case of a derivation with -st where the stem does not end in a nasal; the form is also exceptional in that vowel change has occurred (De Haas and Trommelen 1993: 246). Note that the same vowel is found in the past tense form vond found and in the past participle gevonden found.

The existence of a form in -st (e.g. vangst catch) blocks formation of an -ing derivation (*vanging); the nominalization of the infinitive, however, is not blocked (het vangen van garnalen the catching of shrimps).

The suffix -st is cohering: it combines with the segments of the last syllable stem to form one syllable. Some -st formations have a plural form in -en (opbrengsten profits), others not, probably due to the semantics. Countable -st formations have a diminutive form in -je (winstje small profit, dienstje small service, small job, kunstje trick).

  • Booij, Geert2015The nominalization of Dutch particle verbs: schema unification and second order schemas
  • Haas, Wim de & Trommelen, Mieke1993Morfologisch handboek van het Nederlands. Een overzicht van de woordvormingSDU Uitgeverij