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Word-final sequences of a liquid and an obstruent

Due to the Word Constraint, words ending in a sequence of a liquid and an obstruent must contain a short vowel, hence the well-formedness of skulp/skølp/shell and the ill-formedness of skeulp/skø:lp/. This topic gives an overview of these sequences and comments on some problematic cases.


An overview of the word-final sequences of a liquid and an obstruent is provided in the table below.

Table 1
With /l/ -lp skulp/skølp/shell, gjalp/ɡjɔlp/gush, spurt; cry, shout, help(e)/hɛlp/to help
-lb alb/ɔlb/alb, (mass) vestment (only example)
-lt alt/ɔlt/alto, jelt/jɛlt/handle, haft (of spade, shovel, hoe, weeder), bult/bølt/hunch, hump; heap, pile
-ld jild/jɪld/money, wyld/vild/wild, geld/ɡɛld/infertile, barren; unfertilized
-lk wolk/volk/cloud, skelk/skɛlk/apron, pylk/pilk/arrow
-lv skelf/skɛlv/warped, crooked, kalf/kɔlv/with young, in calf, wolf/volv/wolf
-lz hals/hɔlz/neck, fels/fɛlz/bog ore, pols/polz/wrist; pulse; fenpole
-lɣ wylch/vilɣ/willow, swolch/swolɣ/draught, gulp, felch/fɛlɣ/rim
With /r/ -rp sjerp/sjɛrp/syrup, skerp/skɛrp/sharp, doarp/dwarp/village
-rb (not attested)
-rt sport/spɔrt/sport(s), snert/snɛrt/pea soup, konsert/konsɛrt/concert
-rd miljard/mɪljard/billion, bard/bard/bard
-rk wurk/vørk/work, ark/ark/tools, perk/pɛrk/court, pitch
-rv werf/vɛrv/shipyard, turf/tørv/peat, skurf/skørv/shabby, scruffy
-rs mars/mars/march
-rz (not attested)
-rɣ boarch/bwarɣ/surety, guarantee; security, guaranty, murch/mørɣ/(bone) marrow; pith, wurch/vørɣ/tired
Since they have a short vowel, the above words are only in conformity with the Word Constraint.

No doubt, the non-occurrence of the sequence /-rb/ has to do with the low frequency of word-final /-b/ in general. There is just one word ending in /-lb/, which is a loanword.

Because /r/ may not precede a coronal consonant in Frisian (see /r/-deletion in simplex words), the sequences /-rt/, /-rd/, /-rs/, and /-rz/ are expected to be impossible. This holds true for /-rz/, which is not attested. The sequences /-rt/, /-rd/, and /-rs/ do occur, be it in loanwords only.

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