Middle High German
Often taken to derive from earlier -ech, -ehe (etc), from the Old High German collective suffix -ahi (German -ach, -ich, as in Kräuterich), with the origin of the -l- being unclear (some instances seem to be attested as early as Old High German, e.g. chrūtelīh, whence krûtelech). The suffix is found on singular as well as plural nouns, often with collective meaning but sometimes with diminutive meaning; in various dialects and descendants, it came to be treated as a plural of the diminutive suffix -l. Sometimes connected to Old High German -līh (whence German -lich) instead.
- (dialectal) suffix used to form singular and plural nouns with collective and diminutive meaning
- (via one or more dialects) Yiddish: ־לעך (-lekh)
- Fritz Hastenpflug, Das Diminutiv in der deutschen Originalliteratur des 12. und 13. Jahrhunderts (1914)
- Gertraud Winkler, Die Wortbildung mit "-lich" im Alt-, Mittel- und Frühneuhochdeutschen (1995)
- ^ Peter O. Müller, Substantiv-Derivation in den Schriften Albrecht Dürers, §II.1.4.21 (p. 378)