• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Saterfrisian
  • Afrikaans
Show all Non-productive plurals

Some frequent nouns feature non-productive plural forms.

Table 1
sg. (n.), pl. -ere dät Bloud, do Bloudere ‘poor devil(s)’, dät Farich, do Färgere ‘piglet(s)’, dät Foulk, do Foulkere ‘people(s)’, dät Wucht, do Wuchtere ‘girl(s)’
sg. -e, pl. –e ju Ate, do Ate ‘pea(s)’, ju Tuwwelke, do Tuwwelke ‘potato(es)’, ju Fauene, do Fauene ‘girl(s)’
pl. –ene die Moanske, do Moanskene ‘human being(s)’, dät Ooch, do Ogene ‘eye(s)’
  1. The Bloudere-type of neuter nouns probably shows a diachronically combined plural ending -er plus -e. Saterland Frisian Klodere ‘clothes’ is from Old Frisian klāthar, for example. The original plural form reappears in compounds like Kloderbäärsel ‘clothes brush’ (cf. Dutch eieren, eierkoek). (Read more on the plural suffix -ere.)

    A list of nouns with plurals ending in -ere follows here.

    Table 1
    dät Bloud, do Bloudere ‘poor devil(s)’
    dät Farich, do Faargere ‘piglet(s)’
    dät Foulk, do Foulkere ‘people(s)’
    dät Gezicht, die Gezichtere ‘face(s)’
    dät Klood, do Klodere ‘piece(s) of clothing’
    dät Kolich, do Koolwere ‘calf, calves’
    dät Läid, do Läidere ‘song(s)’
    dät Loum, do Loumere ‘lamb(s)’
    dät Oai, do Oaiere ‘egg(s)’
    dät Wucht, do Wuchtere ‘girl(s)’
  2. The Ate/Ate-type of feminine nouns may well be original and gradually superseded by the more practical Boolke/Boolken-type (cf. Westerlauwers Frisian earte ‘pea’, plural earte, see Versloot 2008: 245, n. 138). Saterland Frisian Fauene ‘girl’ is from Old Frisian famne (pl. famna). A text from 1849 reads: Wuchtere mäd rode Soke ‘girls with red cheeks’ (with Soke instead of Soken). Also today, words like ju Seke ‘matter, issue’ sometimes show unchanged plurals (e.g. do Seke) along with synchronically regular plurals (e.g. do Seken).

  3. Moanske/Moanskene and Ooch/Ogene are originally weak nouns (with genitive plural ending in -ena).

  • Versloot 2008: Versloot, Arianus Pieter. Mechanisms of Language Change. Diss. RU Groningen.
    printreport errorcite