• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
Final Devoicing and neutralization
quickinfo

A word-final underlying contrast between a voiceless and a voiced plosive is erased by Final Devoicing. Though the nouns leat/lɪət/(off)shoot and lead/lɪəd/lead are a minimal pair ‒ they only differ with respect to their final segments, /t/ vs /d/, respectively ‒ they have the same realization, viz. [lɪət] (with final [t]). The neutralizing effect of the operation of Final Devoicing is the subject of this topic.

readmore

In word-initial position, all pairs of voiceless and voiced plosives stand in phonological opposition, examples of which are given in the following table:


Table 1: Examples of minimal pairs with word-initial voiceless and voiced plosives
With a voiceless plosive With a voiced plosive Translation
pân/pɔ:n/ bân/bɔ:n/ pawn - band; tyre
tún/tyn/ dún/dyn/ garden - dune
kêst/kɛ:st/ gêst/ɡɛ:st/ article (in a statute) - yeast

The plosives can have distinctive voice values in word-final position as well. Examples of minimal pairs with the word-final oppositions /t/ - /d/ and /p/ - /b/ are shown in the table below:


Table 2: Examples of minimal pairs with the word-final oppositions /t/ - /d/ and /p/ - /b/
With the opposition /t/ - /d/ With the opposition /p/ - /b/
haathatred, hate - haadhead flapflap; thud, clap - flabalgae in fresh water
freetgob, trap - freedfriday rapquick - rab(je)to gossip
litt(e)to let; to cause - lidmember kraptight - krabcrab
bitbit; hole (in the ice) - bidd(e)to pray sipglum, sour, sullen - sibfamiliar
leat(off)shoot - leadlead skipship - skibchip, sliver
graatfishbone - graaddegree slipskid - slibsilt; sludge
kâltconfabulation - kâldcold kopcup - kob(sea) gull
akkoartagreement - akkoardchord ropp(e)to call, to shout - robseal

The contrast between the voiceless and voiced plosives comes to light in pairs of the simplex word versus inflected and/or derived forms, as in leaten(off)shoots - leadenlead (made of lead) and koppencups - kobben(sea) gulls. It is, however, neutralized in word-final position, where only voiceless obstruents are allowed.

[hide extra information]
x

The fricatives have a fundamentally asymmetrical distribution. In word-medial and word-final position, the voiced fricatives ‒ /v/, /z/, and /ɣ/ ‒ show a preference for being preceded by a long sequence, viz. a long monophthong, a falling or centring diphthong or a short vowel + l/r, whereas the voiceless fricatives ‒ /f/, /s/, and /x/ ‒ prefer to follow a short sequence, i.e. a short monophhong or a (short) rising diphthong (see the obstruents: the fricatives). Consequently, there are hardly any minimal pairs with the word-final opposition voiceless fricative - voiced fricative.

References:
    Suggestions for further reading ▼
    phonology
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    Show more ▼
    morphology
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    Show more ▼
    syntax
    • Dutch
    • Frisian
    • Afrikaans
    • 1.3. Inflection
      [72%] Dutch > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 1 Characterization and classification
    • 1.3.1.6. Appendix: alternative means of expressing spatial relations
      [71%] Dutch > Syntax > Adpositions and adpositional phrases > 1 Characteristics and classification > 1.3. A semantic classification of adpositional phrases > 1.3.1. Spatial adpositions
    • 6.2.1. Introduction
      [70%] Dutch > Syntax > Nouns and Noun Phrases > 6 Numerals and quantifiers > 6.2. Quantifiers
    • Introduction
      [70%] Dutch > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases
    • 2.2.3.2. Inf-nominalizations
      [70%] Dutch > Syntax > Nouns and Noun Phrases > 2 Projection of noun phrases I: complementation > 2.2. Prepositional and nominal complements > 2.2.3. Deverbal nouns
    • Mood
      [73%] Afrikaans > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 1. Characterization and classification
    • Tense
      [72%] Afrikaans > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 1. Characterization and classification > 1.5. Tense, modality and aspect
    • Root semantics
      [72%] Afrikaans > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 1. Characterization and classification > 1.5. Tense, modality and aspect > 1.5.2. Modality
    • Finite declarative complement clauses: Construction forms
      [71%] Afrikaans > Syntax > Verbs and Verb Phrases > 5. Complement Clauses > 5.1. Finite declarative complement clauses
    • Inf-nominalization (Infinitival nominals)
      [70%] Afrikaans > Syntax > Nouns and Noun Phrases > 1. Characterization and classification > 1.3 Derivation of nouns > 1.3.1. Deverbal nouns
    Show more ▼
    cite
    print