Why "leerlingetje" but not "leerlinkje"?

[zelfstandig naamwoorden en lidwoorden]
Here you can ask anything about Dutch articles ('de', 'het', 'een'), how to make plural nouns, how to make nouns small (diminutives), compound nouns, and everything else related to nouns and articles.
Post Reply
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:57 pm
Country of residence: United Kingdom
Mother tongue: English (Great Britain)
Gender: Male

Why "leerlingetje" but not "leerlinkje"?

Post by radamfi » Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:40 pm

Most nouns ending in "ing" have a diminutive ending in "kje", for example "leninkje", "leidinkje". So why is the diminutive of "leerling" not "leerlinkje" but "leerlingetje"?

Also why "lievelingetje" not "lievelinkje"?

Posts: 1334
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:15 am
Country of residence: United States
Mother tongue: Dutch (Netherlands)
Second language: English
Third language: German
Fourth language: French
Fifth, sixth, seventh, ..., languages: Russisch, Xhosa

Re: Why "leerlingetje" but not "leerlinkje"?

Post by ngonyama » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:20 am

Many words that have an -ing ending and have the stress on the syllable before that ending have -kje

vergróting - vergrótinkje
vertóning - vertóninkje

But if the stress falls earlier this is often not the case

veróvering - veróveringetje

For leerling I am not sure, but I think it comes from the fact that the ending is not -ing but -ling. Most of those words have an earlier stressed syllable like

volgeling - volgelingetje

but some do not and have -ingetje
zaailing - zaailingetje

Post Reply