We are happy to announce a talk by Fenna Bergsma (Fryske Akademy) in the Historical Linguistics Colloquium.

Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Room: IG 2.301

Time: 2 pm – 4 pm ct

Title: „At least three infinitives in Frisian“


Frisian has two morphologically distinct infinitives: one ending in -e (pronounced as [ə]) and one ending in -en (pronounced as [n]). It has been argued (cf. Visser 1989, Hoekstra 1997, Bergstra 2020) that they follow the noun-verb distinction and that infinitives on -e are verbal infinitives and infinitives on -en are nominal infinitives. In some cases, the forms neatly fit their contexts: the verbal suffix -e appears in a verbal context and the nominal suffix -en appears in a nominal context. However, this is not always the case: there are infinitives on -en that appear in a verbal context and not in a nominal one (which has also been signaled by Hoekstra 1997). This means that a description with two infinitives does not fully capture the distribution of the infinitives. I argue that Frisian has at least three different types of infinitives.