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Verb to noun: Suffixation

Verb-to-noun suffixation is the combination of a verb stem and a suffix to form a new noun stem. There are different types of verb-to-noun suffixation:

No umlaut

This is the most frequent type of verb-to-noun suffixation. Examples:

pfeifen + e = Pfeife
rauchen + er = Raucher
erleben + nis = Erlebnis
dichten + er Dichter
heulen + erei = Heulerei
erleben + nis Erlebnis
rechnen + ung = Rechnung

German suffixes that can form new nouns without umlaut:

 e  el  er  (er)ei
 ling  nis  sal  schaft
 sel  ung    

With umlaut

Some suffixes cause the stressed vowel a, o or u of the verb stem to be umlauted:

schlagen + el = Schlägel
tanzen + er = Tänzer
ankommen + ling = Ankömmling
besaufen + nis = Besäufnis
hacken + sel = Häcksel

All suffixes causing umlaut are German:

 el  er ling  nis

With ablaut

In some cases, the stem of the verb undergoes ablaut when it is combined with a suffix. This stem usually corresponds to the preterite stem of an irregular verb (more rarely to the perfect stem or an old preterite stem).

stechen stach + el = Stachel
vergeben  vergab + e = Vergabe
einnehmen einnahm + e = Einnahme
singen sang + er = Sänger
reiten ritt + er = Ritter

This type of suffixation is unproductive, i.e. no new words are formed in this way.

Suffixes with ablaut stem:

 e  el  er

 Foreign suffixes

Apart from a few exceptions, foreign suffixes are only added to verbs ending in ieren. The ier of the verb stem is deleted.

repräsentieren + ant = Repräsentant
dekorieren + ation = Dekoration
ventilieren + ator = Ventilator
konsumieren + ent = Konsument
transportieren + eur = Transporteur
spedieren + iteur = Spediteur
schraffieren + ur = Schraffur

All foreign verb-to-noun suffixes:

ade age ament and
ans ant anz ar
at ate ateur ation
ator atur ee/ée/é ement
end ens ent enz
erie eur euse iment
ion ist it iteur
ition itor itur ium
or ur

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