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The place of the fricatives in the syllable rhyme
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This section deals with the overall distribution of the voiced and voiceless fricatives in the syllable rhyme. The former show a preference for being preceded by something long, whereas the latter prefer to follow something short. This pattern, however, has many exceptions.

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Underlyingly, the voiced fricatives — /v/, /z/, and /ɣ/ — show a preference for being preceded by something long, viz. a long monophthong, a falling or centring diphthong or the sequence of a short vowel + a liquid (/l/ or /r/), while the voiceless fricatives — /f/, /s/, and /x/ — prefer to follow something short, i.e. a short monophthong or a (short) rising diphthong. This is illustrated in the table below:

Table 1
With a voiced fricative preceded by 'something long' With a voiceless fricative preceded by 'something short'
/v/ fiif/fi:v/five (cf. mei ús fiven[fi:vən]the five of us)
huver/hy:vər/shiver
kúf/ky:v/crest, tuft (cf. kuven[ky:vən]crests, tufts)
skroef/skru:v/screw (cf. skroeven[skru:vən]screws)
sleef/sle:v/wooden spoon (cf. sleven[sle:vən]wooden spoons)
gleuf/ɡlø:v/groove (cf. gleuven[ɡlø:vən]grooves)
sloof/slo:v/drudge, skivvy (cf. sloven[slo:vən]drudges, skivvies)
grêf/ɡrɛ:v/grave (cf. grêven[ɡrɛ:vən]graves)
hôf/hɔ:v/orchard; churchyard (cf. hôven[hɔ:vən]orchards; churchyards)
skaaf/ska:v/plane, shredder (cf. skaven[ska:vən]planes, shredders)
salve/sɔlvə/ointment, salve
ferve/fɛrvə/paint
/z/ priis/pri:z/price; prize (cf. prizen[pri:zn̩]prices; prizes)
slûs/slu:z/lock, sluice (cf. slûzen[slu:zn̩]locks; sluices)
slús/sly:z/lock, sluice (cf. sluzen[sly:zn̩]/locks; sluices/)
wees/ve:z/orphan (cf. wezen[ve:zn̩]orphans)
reus/rø:z/giant (cf. reuzen[rö:zn̩]giants)
noas[noəz]nose (cf. noazen[no.əzn̩]noses)
rôs/rɔ:z/pink (cf. rôze[rɔ:zə]pink (inflected form))
glês/ɡlɛ:z/glass (cf. glêzen[ɡlɛ:zn̩]glasses)
baas/ba:z/boss (cf. bazen[ba:zn̩]bosses)
hals/hɔlz/neck (cf. halzen[hɔlzn̩]necks)
/ɣ/ sig(e)/si:ɣ/to be draughty
túch/ty:ɣ/harness (cf. tuge[ty:ɣə]to harness)
sûch/su:ɣ/sow (cf. sûgen[su:ɣən]sows)
heech/he:ɣ/high (cf. hege[he:ɣə]high (inflected form))
teugel/tø:ɣəl/the roots of reed
dog(e)/do:ɣ/to be right
rêch/rɛ:ɣ/back (cf. rêgen[rɛ:ɣən]backs)
nôch/nɔ:ɣ/done, cooked (cf. nôge[nɔ:ɣə]done, cooked (inflected form))
galge/ɡɔlɣə/gallows
herberge/hɛrbɛrɣə/inn, tavern
/f/ wif/vɪf/unstable (cf. wiffe[vɪfə]unstable (inflected form))
huff(e)/høf/to strike, to beat
stûf/stuf/surly (cf. stûfe[stufə]surly (inflected form))
tûfe/tufə/crest, tuft
twifel/twifəl/doubt
(út e) rifels (wêze)/rifəls/(to be) tattered, damaged; worn out
sifer/sifər/figure
wifel(je)/vifəl/to waver, to hesitate
túf/tyf/crest, tuft (cf. tufen[tyfən]crest, tufts)
poff(e)/pof/to pop, to bang; to roast
bef/bɛf/jabot (cf. beffen[bɛfən]jabots)
stof/stɔf/material, cloth, fabric (cf. stoffen[stɔfən]materials, cloths, fabrics)
straf/straf/punishment; penalty (cf. straffen[strafən]punishments; penalties)
/s/ grys/ɡris/grey (cf. grise[ɡrisə]grey (inflected form))
fisel/fisəl/mortar
krús/krys/cross (cf. krusen[krysn̩]crosses)
bûse/busə/pocket
wis/vɪs/certain, sure (cf. wisse[vɪsə]certain, sure (inflected form))
bus/bøs/bus; tin; box (cf. bussen[bøsn̩]busses; tins; boxes)
kloss(e)/klos/to clump; to build
les/lɛs/lesson (cf. lessen[lɛsn̩]lessons)
tas/tɔs/bag (cf. tassen[tɔsn̩]bags)
harnas/harnɔs/armour (cf. harnassen[harnɔsn̩]armours)
/x/ richel/rɪxəl/ledge, ridge
buchel/bøxəl/hump, hunch
bochel/boxəl/hump, hunch
ychel/ixəl/hedgehog
nei gychem gean/ɡixəm/go to ruin
gûchel(je)/ɡuxəl/to conjure; to juggle (with)
ochel/oxəl/dope, fathead
kachel/kaxəl/stove, heater, fire
The fairly strong connection between 'something short' and a voiceless fricative and between 'something long' and a voiced fricative is also shown by the pairs of words in the table below. These words — with or without the same meaning — only differ from each other with respect to the above.
Table 2
With the same meaning With different meanings
rif/rɪf/ - reef/re:v/reef (cf. reven[re:vən]reefs) kich/kɪx/cough - keech/ke:ɣ/ (cf. kegen[ke:ɣən] (plural)) somewhat elevated land outside the dikes which no longer overflows when it is high tide)
tûfe/tufə/ - tûve/tu:və/crest, tuft richel/rɪxəl/ridge - regel/re:ɣəl/rule
twifel/twifəl/ - twivel/twi:vəl/ doubt klif/klɪf/cliff - klev(e)/kle:v/to stick (to)
snaffel/snafəl/ - snavel/sna:vəl/bill, beak wif/vɪf/unstable - wev(e)/ve:v/to weave
grys/ɡris/grey - griis/ɡri:z/ (cf. the inflected forms grise[ɡrisə] and grize[ɡri:zə]) fris/frɪs/fresh - frees/fre:z/fear (cf. freezje[fre:zjə]to fear)
bisel(je)/bisəl/ - bizel(je)/bi:zəl/ to twaddle pis/pɪs/piss - pees/pe:z/tendon, sinew (cf. pezen[pe:zən]tendons, sinews
fisel/fisəl/ - fizel/fi:zəl/mortar wis/vɪs/certain, sure - wees/ve:z/orphan (cf. wezen/ve:zn̩/orphans
tichel/tɪxəl/ - tegel/te:ɣəl/tile
It is noteworthy that it is only the vowel pair /ɪ - e:/ which is involved in the different meanings in the table above (see the relation between short /ɪ/and long /e:/), a fact for which there does not seem to be an explanation.

This preference of voiceless and voiced fricatives implies that they cannot, in principle, stand in phonological opposition to each other in postvocalic position, i.e. neither stem-finally nor stem-internally. Minimal pairs, therefore, are hard to come by. The only ones are those in the table below:

Table 3
The minimal pairs with voiced and voiceless fricatives in postvocalic position
húz(je)/hyz/to live, to stay - hús(je)/hys/to egg on, to stir up
fyzje/fizjə/(point of) view - fysje/fisjə/index card
staazje/sta:zjə/work placement - staasje/sta:sjə/splendour; procession
heww(e)/hɛv/to have - heffe/hɛf/to lift, to raise
The fricatives in húz(je)/hyz/, fyzje/fizjə/, heww(e)/hɛv/, and staasje/sta:sjə/ show up in an uncommon phonological configuration, since voiced fricatives are generally preceded by 'something long'. The pattern at hand, however, is not that uncommon. See the table below for more forms with a voiced fricative preceded by 'something short', and also ones with a voiceless fricative preceded by 'something long':
Table 4
a. Words with a voiced fricative preceded by 'something short' b. The words with a voiceless fricative preceded by 'something long'
haww(e)/hav/to have goochem/ɡo:xəm/smart; sly, cunning
argyf/argif/archives (cf. argiven[argivən](plural)) sjofel/sjo:fəl/shabby
taryf/tariv/tariff (cf. tariven[tarivən]tariffs) tafel/ta:fəl/table
motyf/mo:tiv/motive; motif (cf. motiven[mo:tivən]motives; motifs) rimfel/rɪmfəl/wrinkle
haze/hazə/hare (sk)romfel/(sk)romfəl/wrinkle
dizze/dɪzə/this; these (sk)ronfel/(sk)ronfəl/wrinkle
lizz(e)/lɪz/to lay; to lie ka(a)mfer/ka(:)mfər/camphor
sizz(e)/sɪz/to say ka(a)nfer/ka(:)nfər/camphor
muoz(je)/mwoz/to make a mess alsem/ɔlsəm/absinthe
(oan) gruzels/ɡryzəls/to pieces balsem/bɔlsəm/balm, balsam
poes/puz/(pussy)cat (cf. poezen[puzn̩](pussy)cats) halsem/hɔlsəm/collar, neck
presys/prəsiz/precise (cf. presize[prəsizə]precise (inflected form)) Jelsum/jɛlsəm/village name
fluch/fløɣ/quick, fast (cf. flugge[fløɣə]quick, fast (inflected form) Skalsum/skɔlsəm/village name
mich/mɪɣ/fly (cf. miggen[mɪɣən]flies) Wolsum/volsəm/village name
diggels/dɪɣəls/shards, potsherds Ealsum/ɪəlsəm/village name
doch/doɣ/do (present tense stem of dwaanto do; cf. (wy) dogge[doɣə](we) do)
mogge/moɣə/mug
moggel/moɣəl/fat woman
oarloch/oərlɔɣ/war (cf. oarloggen[oəlɔɣən]wars)
bedrach/bədraɣ/amount (cf. bedraggen[bədraɣən]amounts)
slach/slaɣ/blow, stroke (cf. slaggen[slaɣən]blows, strokes)
gaggel/ɡaɣəl/gums, gingiva (obsolete)
krigel/kriɣəl/diligent, energetic
drûch/druɣ/dry (cf. drûge[druɣə]dry (inflected form))
It is noteworthy that there are many more instances of words with a voiced fricative preceded by 'something short', as exemplified in (a) in the table above, than with a voiceless fricative preceded by 'something long', of which (b) in the table above, as far as is known, offers an exhaustive list.

The latter words deserve some comment. First, the fricative /x/ does not show up in these forms (with the exception of goochem). Second, the remaining fricatives, /f/ and /s/, are never in word-final position, since they are always followed by the sequence of schwa plus a sonorant consonant (a liquid or a nasal). Third, the words rimfel, (sk)romfel, (sk)ronfel, kamfer, and kanfer have a short vowel followed by one of the nasal consonants /m/ or /n/ (the latter has developed out of the former) and they end in a liquid, viz. /l/. With the words alsem, balsem, halsem, Jelsum, Skalsum, and Wolsum it is the other way around: they end in a nasal, viz. /m/, and their short vowel is followed by the liquid /l/. There is, thus, a neat division of labour between the liquids and the nasals here. Fourth, the nasal and the fricative in rimfel, (sk)romfel, (sk)ronfel, kamfer, and kanfer are heterorganic, which is quite uncommon for sequences of nasal plus obstruent (see word-final clusters of a nasal and an obstruent). All in all then the words in (b) in the above table show a combination of uncommon features, which links up with the uncommonness of the voiceless fricative they contain.

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x

In the words dizze/dɪzə/this; these, lizz(e)/lɪz/to lay; to lie, and sizz(e)/sɪz/to say, (voiced) /z/ is preceded by a short vowel. In the northern part of the language area, these forms have the long vowel /e://de:zə/, /le:z/, /se:z/ —, which makes for the regular pattern.

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x

Loan words ending in -aaf and -oof, like paragraafparagraph; section, oktaafoctave, and filosoofphilosopher used to have plural forms ending in [-fən], as in Dutch: paragrafen[paraɡra:fən], oktafen[ɔkta:fən], filosofen[filo:so:fən]. It is, however, not uncommon for these plurals forms to be pronounced with final [-vən], hence as [paraɡra:vən], [ɔkta:vən], and [filo:so:vən]. There appears to be a tendency to bring these loan words in line with Frisian phonotactics.

Loan words ending in -looch, like bioloochbiologist and filoloochphilologist, end in /-ɣ/, cf. the plural forms biologen[bijo:lo:ɣən] and filologen[filo:lo:ɣən].

Voiceless /s/ is preceded by a long monophthong in the non-native word endings -aasje/-a:sjə/-ation, -eesje/-e:sjə/-etion, and -oasje/-oəsjə/-otion, as in nominaasje[no:mina:sjə]nomination, suppleesje[søple:sjə]suppletion, and emoasje[e:moəsjə]emotion.

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x

Due to Final Devoicing (see final devoicing: the process), obstruents always show up as voiceless in word-final position, irrespective of the length of what precedes them. So, a verb stem like draav/dra:v/to run (cf. the infinitive drave[dra:və]to run), an adjective like kreaz/krɪəz/attractive, good-looking (cf. the inflected form kreaze[krɪəzə]), and a noun like each/ɪəɣ/eye (cf. the plural form eagen[ɪəɣən]) have final [-f/s/x] when undeclined or uninflected: [dra:f], [krɪəs], and [ɪəx], respectively. It is therefore only in the onset of an unstressed word-medial syllable (a schwa syllable) that a fricative can show up as voiced (provided that it is preceded by 'something long').

Due to Regressive Voice Assimilation (see regressive voice assimilation: type 2), a fricative ends up as voiced when followed by a voiced segment, provided that the two are separated by a word boundary. This assimilation may obscure the effects of Final Devoicing. One of its side-effects is also that a voiced fricative may end up after a short sequence. Some examples of this are: in wif bestean/ən vɪf bə+stɪən/[ə̃ vɪv bəstɪən]an unstable life, beflyster/bɛf#listər/[bɛvlistr̩]ring ouzel, miswoeksen/mɪs#vuksən/[mɪzvuksn̩]deformed, in wach baaske/ən vax ba:z+kə/[ə̃ vaɣ ba:skə]a watchful, vigilant chap, fellow.

The effects of both Final Devoicing and Regressive Voice Assimilation point to the fact that the fricative generalization — preferably, voiced fricatives are preceded by a long sequence, voiceless ones by a short one — holds at the underlying level, viz. that it is a Morpheme Structure Constraint.

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x

Simplex words ending in -ns, like glâns/ɡlɔ:nz/glow; splendour, kâns/kɔ:ns/chance, dûns/du:nz/down, fuzz, dûns/du:ns/dance, grins/ɡre:nz/border, prins/pre:ns/prince, lins/le:nz/lens, ûns/u:nz/hectogramme, Wyns/vi:nz/name of a Frisian village, Turns/tø:nz/name of a Frisian village, and Wûns/vu:nz/name of a Frisian village, systematically have a long vowel (which surfaces as a long nasalized vowel, see nasal vowels and vowel length. The fricative, thus, follows a 'superlong' sequence here. This means that it is not covered by the fricative generalization, which only relates to the quality of a fricative after a long vowel, a falling or centring diphthong or the sequence of a short vowel plus a liquid, i.e. it pertains to a fricative in the third rhyme position. As a result of this, the above words may have final /s/ or /z/ in their underlying representations, as indicated above. Thus, glâns, grins, lins, Wyns, Turns, ûns, and Wûns have /z/, which shows up in derived and/or inflected forms, like glânzich[ɡlɔ̃:zəx]shiny, grinzen[ɡrẽ:zn̩]borders, linzen[lẽ:zn̩]lenses, ûnzen[ũ:zn̩]hectogrammes, Wynzer[vĩ:zr̩]from Wyns (adjective); inhabitant of Wyns (noun), Turnzer[tø̃:zr̩]from Turns (adjective); inhabitant of Turns (noun), and Wûnzer[vũ:zr̩]from Wûns (adjective); inhabitant of Wûns (noun). But kâns and prins have /s/, see kânsen[kɔ̃:sn̩]chances and prinsen/prinsesse[prẽ:sn̩/prẽ:sɛsə]princes/princess. The word dûns has /s/ or /z/ according to its meaning, see dûnzen[dũ:zn̩]down(-filled) and dûnzich[dũ:zəx]downy versus dûnsen[dũ:sn̩]dances and dûnsje[dũ:sjə]to dance.

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x

One of the phonological features of the by now unproductive suffix -lik/-lək/like (see -lik) is that it is only preceded by voiceless fricatives, whether or not the stem it has been attached to ends in a voiced or voiceless fricative. Some examples of derivatives with -lik are erflik[ɛrflək]hereditary (from the verb stem erv/ɛrv/to inherit, cf. the infinitive erve[ɛrvə]to inherit), freeslik[fre:slək]terrible, awful (from the verb stem freez/fre:z/to fear, cf. the infinitive freezje[fre:zjə]to fear), and eachlik[ɪəxlək]attractive (from the verb stem eag/ɪəɣ/to look nice/good/well, cf. the infinitive eagje[ɪəɣjə]to look nice/good/well). The voiceless fricative here is preceded by 'something long' or, put differently, the quantity of the underlying vowel remains intact. This is not uncommon for surface forms (see also the Extra above on the effects of Final Devoicing).

There are, however, also derivatives with -lik where the fricative is preceded by a short vowel, which derives from a long one, as in geryflik[ɡəriflək]comfortable (from the verb stem geriiv/ɡəri:v/to suit the convenience of, cf. the infinitive gerive[ɡəri:və]to suit the convenience of), húslik[hyslək]domestic; homey (from the noun hûs/hu:z/house, cf. the plural form huzen[hyzn̩]), ôfgryslik[ɔ:ɡrislək]horrible, horrid (from the noun ôfgriis/ɔ:ɡri:z/horror, cf. the variant form ôfgrizen/ɔ:ɡri:zən/horror), pryslik[prislək]praiseworthy (from the verb stem priiz/pri:z/to praise, cf. the infinitive priizje[pri:zjə]to praise), wyslik[vislək]wisely (from wiiz/vi:z/wise, cf. the inflected form wize[vi:zə]), yslik[islək]hideous, dreadful (from the verb stem iiz/i:z/to shudder, to shiver, cf. the infinitive iizje[i:zjə]to shudder, to shiver). Here, the short vowel and the voiceless fricative 'match'.

Some remarks are in order. First, it is mainly the close front vowel pair /i://-i/ which figures in this shortening pattern. It should be noted that the close vowels are the shortest vowels of all. Second, due to the fact that -lik is an unproductive suffix, the words which have been formed with it are likely to develop unpredictable, non-compositional meanings, which may diminish the morphophonological pressure to keep vowel length in stem and derivative alike. Third, the words deeglik[de:ɣlək]reliable; solid, sound, mooglik[mo:ɣlək]possible, and daagliks[da:ɣləks]daily are exceptional in that the fricative preceding -lik is voiced. It can hardly be coincidental that they all have a long vowel.

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