DutchEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle Dutch -kijn, from Old Dutch *-kīn, which is also the ancestor of the suffix -ke and Afrikaans -tjie (IPA(key): [ki]). The change from k to tj is the result of a palatalisation of -kijn in North Holland in the 13th or 14th century.[1]

PronunciationEdit

SuffixEdit

-tje n (plural -tjes)

  1. Appended to a noun (or occasionally another part of speech), making it diminutive.

Usage notesEdit

The use of this suffix is very productive in Dutch and has led to the creation of quite a few lexicalized forms, i.e. the diminutive has acquired a meaning of its own.

The suffix takes different variant forms according to the stress and final consonant or vowel of the root it is added to. This is mostly due to assimilation of the suffix to the previous consonant. Note that in each case, the actual sound that the word has matters, not the letter(s). Loanwords that retain a silent -e therefore behave as though they ended with the letter before it.

  • -je is added to words ending in:
    • A fricative or plosive (-b, -c, -d, -f, -g, -ch, -k, -p, -q, -s, -sj, -t, -v, -x, -z)
    • Examples: briefje, hokje, visje, doucheje (final sound is -sj), raceje (final sound is -s)
  • -etje is added to words ending in:
  • -tje is added to words ending in either:
    • A stressed long vowel or diphthong or any unstressed vowel (-a, -e, -i, -j, -o, -r, -u, -w, -y).
    • The above, followed by a sonorant except m (-l, -m, -n, -ng, -r).
    • Examples: maantje, kuiltje, autootje, appeltje, vrouwtje
  • -pje is added to words ending in:
  • -kje is added to words ending in:
    • A stressed long vowel or diphthong or any unstressed vowel followed by ng
    • The -g is removed, so that the resulting word ends in -nkje.
    • Examples: koninkje, houdinkje

Derived termsEdit

Category Dutch diminutives not found

Related termsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ A. van Loey, "Schönfeld's Historische Grammatica van het Nederlands", Zutphen, 8. druk, 1970, ISBN 90-03-21170-1; § 186
Last modified on 26 March 2014, at 20:39