Frisian Reference Grammar (Second Edition, 1999)


    Pieter Meijes Tiersma's Frisian Reference Grammar, originally published in 1985, is again available in a second edition.  It is the only grammar of West Frisian currently available in English. This most recent version of the book was published by the Fryske Akademy (Frisian Academy).  It is hoped that--along with a Frisian-English dictionary, which the Fryske Akademy will also publish in the near future--the book will provide a useful source of information for those interested in the Frisian language.

    Frisian Reference Grammar begins with an introduction that places West Frisian in its historical and geographical context, briefly discussing its relationship to closely related Germanic languages like English, as well as dialectal variation within Frisian itself and the current sociolinguistic status of the language.  Chapter 2 introduces the sounds of Frisian and the phonetic and phonological rules that govern its pronunciation, including the well-known phenomenon of breaking.  Sound files illustrating the pronunciation of Frisian are now available on this website.  Chapter 3 explains the Frisian spelling system.  The topic of chapter 4 is morphology, which covers areas like the creation of noun plurals and diminutives, the forms of adjectives and pronouns, and the conjugation of verbs.  Chapter 5 explores Frisian syntax.  The book concludes with a selection of Frisian texts (accompanied by English translations), a bibliography, and an index.

    Major changes in the second edition are an updated bibliography that includes references to all major recent work on Frisian, as well as revised textual notes, which also have been modified to reflect research on Frisian since the publication of the original grammar.  Most updating was done by Jarich Hoekstra, formerly of the Fryske Akademy and now professor of Frisian at the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany.  Only minor changes, such as the elimination of typographical and other errors, were made to the original text and examples.

Tiersma, P.M. (2nd ed.) Frisian Reference Grammar. Ljouwert 1999. Fryske Akademy number 886, 147 pp. ISBN  90-6171-886-4


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