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A rare, and certainly unproductive, pattern in a nominal compound is the combination of a noun and a verb, in that order. These compounds have an exocentric interpretation. An example is feintsjelok boyfriend-tempt, a now obsolete word for Cologne water. These formations possibly have their origin in the syntax: the order NV parallels the OV order of Frisian syntax. The main stress is on the noun, whereas it is on the object in syntax.


Frisian has a few compounds with a noun as first member and a verb as second. The curious thing about these NV compounds is that they refer to a noun. Hence, this is essentially different from verbal NV compounds. The latter are endocentric, where these nominal NV compounds have an exocentric interpretation. They can denote both things and persons. The latter have a preference for common gender, the former for neuter, all according to the animacy hierarchy. The verbal part is represented by the stem. Here are the relevant examples:

Table 1
noun verb NV compound
al all bestelle to ordain al-bestel busybody
al all begeare desire al-begear vulture
minske human being pleagje to plague minskepleach mistreater of people
feintsje boyfriend lokje to tempt feintsjelok Cologne water
puntsje small piece bedekke to cover puntsjebedek pinch (lit.: what covers the point of a knife)
puntsje small piece brekke to break puntsjebrek small piece (lit.: what can be broken off by the point of a knife)

These seem to be the main cases; the pattern is therefore unproductive. Its origin might be phrasal, i.e. it is a reflection of the underlying OV order of Frisian. The stress is on the nominal part, i.e. feintsjelok, which would be in accordance with the stress proportions in a phrasal context with a finite verb and an object NP. It is doubtful, however, whether we have real univerbations here, since this process occurs mainly with frequent combinations, which is questionable with respect to the cases above.


These nominal NV compounds have been treated shortly by Hoekstra (1998:49).

  • Hoekstra, Jarich1998Fryske wurdfoarmingLjouwertFryske Akademy
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