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Vegan cake Lowe. What to read next. Is a vote for the SNP really a vote for prime minister Corbyn? My Boris Johnson story Jeremy Vine. Have we learned anything from the fall of the Berlin Wall? BC Mike Williams. In each case, the singular follows a Latin-like stress, while the plural stresses the -on- or -or-. Some examples:. Words borrowed from English or French will generally form their plural in -s , in imitation of the native plural of those languages.
This applies especially to recent borrowings. Many nouns have a diminutive form alongside the normal base form. This form is used to indicate small size, or emphasize a particular endearing quality. Use of diminutives is very common, so much that they could be considered part of the noun's inflectional paradigm.
There are two basic ways to form the diminutive: with -tje or with -ke n. The former is the standard way, while the latter is found in some dialects, mostly in the south Brabantian and Limburgish. The diminutive on -ke n is common in informal Belgian Dutch due to final-n deletion in Dutch, the final -n is often not pronounced.
All diminutives have neuter gender, no matter what the gender of the original noun was. The plural is always formed with -s. The basic suffix -tje is modified in different ways depending on the final sounds of the noun it is attached to.
The -t- is removed from the ending when added to words ending in a fricative or plosive -b, -c, -d, -f, -g, -ch, -k, -p, -q, -s, -sj, -t, -v, -x, -z. When the vowel of the last syllable is both short and stressed, and it is followed by a sonorant , an extra schwa -e- is inserted, giving -etje.
When the final vowel is long, it is doubled accordingly. Final -i , which does not really occur in native Dutch words, is converted into -ie. Final -y gets an apostrophe. In the case of the vowels oe and ie , there is some ambiguity.
While pronounced short in many dialects, they can also be long for some speakers, so forms both with and without the extra -e- can be found. In the south, the ending -ke n is often used instead. It also has different forms depending on the preceding sounds, with rules very similar to those for the -tje ending. An older form of this ending was -ken , which is more like its German cognate -chen. This form is not used much today, due to final n-deletion which is common in Dutch, but it is still found in older texts and names. A famous example is Manneken Pis. When the word ends in a velar consonant -g, -ch, -k, -ng , an extra dissimilative -s- is inserted, giving -ske n.
Standard Dutch, as well as most dialects, do not use umlaut as a grammatical marker. However, some eastern dialects East Brabantian , Limburgish and many Low Saxon areas have regular umlaut of the preceding vowel in diminutives. As this is not a standard feature, it is rare in the written language except when used to evoke a local feeling.
It can be more common in the spoken language. Nouns with irregular plurals tend to have the same irregularity in the diminutive as well. This is not a rule, however, and both forms can often be found. For some nouns, the irregularity is more common in the plural of the diminutive, and only rarely appears in the singular. Noun cases were still prescribed in the formal written standard up until the s, but were abolished then because they had long disappeared from the spoken language.
Because of this, they are nowadays restricted mostly to set phrases and are archaic. The former Dutch case system resembled that of modern German , and distinguished four cases: nominative subject , genitive possession or relation , dative indirect object, object of preposition and accusative direct object, object of preposition.
Only the nominative and genitive are productive, with the genitive seldom used and only surviving in the margins of the language. Some examples of the three non-nominative cases in fixed expressions:. The role of cases has been taken over by prepositions and word order in modern Dutch.
For example, the distinction between direct and indirect object is now made by placing the indirect object before the direct object, or by using the preposition aan "to" with the indirect object. The genitive is replaced with the preposition van "of". Usage of cases with prepositions has disappeared as well.
Cases are still occasionally used productively, which are often calques of existing phrases. This is particularly true of the genitive case,  which is still used occasionally to evoke a formal style. Speakers' awareness of how the cases were originally used is generally low.
Dutch has both a definite article "the" and an indefinite article "a" or "an". They may sometimes also be contracted in spelling to reflect this: 't , 'n. There is no indefinite article in the plural, the noun is just used on its own. However, there is a negative indefinite article geen "no, not a, not any". Similarly to een it is invariable, showing no inflection for gender or number. The articles formerly had forms for the different cases as well.
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See Archaic Dutch declension for more information. Within the Dutch noun phrase , adjectives are placed in front of the noun and after the article if present. The inflection of adjectives follows the gender and number of the following noun. They also inflect for definiteness , like in many other Germanic languages. When preceded by a definite article, demonstrative determiner, possessive determiner or any other kind of word that acts to distinguish one particular thing from another, the definite form of the adjective is used.
In other cases, such as with an indefinite article, indefinite determiner like veel "many" or alle "all" , the indefinite form is used. Despite the many different aspects that determine the inflection of an adjective, the adjective only occurs in two main forms. The uninflected form or base form is the adjective without any endings. The inflected form has the ending -e.
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