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The prefix skoan- derives nouns from other nouns. It refers to family relations that have come into existence by marriage. An example is suster sister > skoansuster sister-in-law. The number of derivations with skoan- is highly limited.

[+]General properties

The prefix skoan- derives nouns on the basis of other nouns. It is used to denote persons who originally do not belong to one's family, but become related by marriage. As a result, the prefix is highly restricted in its use and not productive. All occurrences of derivations with skoan- are listed below:

Table 1
Base form Derivation
âlden parents skoanâlden parents-in-law
folk skoanfolk in-laws
famylje family skoanfamylje in-laws
heit father skoanheit father-in-law
mem mother skoanmem mother-in-law
soan son skoansoan son-in-law
dochter daughter skoandochter daughter-in-law
suster sister skoansuster sister-in-law
For a brother-in-law the noun sweager is used, instead of the derivation broer brother > *skoanbroer brother-in-law. Besides skoansuster sister-in-law and skoandochter daughter-in-law the now obsolete forms snoar or snoarske can be found. These words could therefore have two meanings, i.e. sister-in-law or daughter-in-law.

[+]Phonological properties

The prefix is mostly pronounced with a broken diphthong as [skwan], in the south, however, also unbroken as [sko.ən]. In derivations the stress is on the prefix, for example in SKOANmem mother-in-law.


This topic is based on Hoekstra (1998:65).

  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
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