This article deals with present participles in Frisian such as glûpende, opfallend(e) or skitende, used as adverbs of degree with a strongly intensifying meaning. Most of these adverbs can be reduced to an original literal meaning, which may be summarized as: something is so intensive that it leads to a physical action or produces a physical or mental effect. The nature of this action or effect is strong or unfavourable. In fact, many of these adverbs are linked to words with a negative emotional value, but there are also looser combinations, in which the original meaning of the verb does not play a role anymore. In the latter case, the adverbs are merely intensifiers; they have been completely grammaticalized.
The question arises as to whether using present participles as intensifying adverbs is a typically Frisian phenomenon. The answer must be negative, because such adverbs appear in other languages too. Nevertheless, in Frisian the number of these adverbs is relatively high in comparison with Standard Dutch. This may be explained by the Frisian emphatic -e. This -e, added to intensifying adverbs, links up perfectly with the final -e of the participial ending -ende. Furthermore, we can see that Frisian prefers intensifying adverbs that are reducible to an original literal meaning in which an unfavourable physical aspect plays a role. Possibly this is due to the fact that the effects of standardization and civilization have had less of an impact on Frisian than on Dutch.