• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
Segment frequency of vowels in Dutch
quickinfo

The following lists of vowel frequencies was extracted from the phonetically transcribed part of the Dutch Celex database (Baayen et al. 1995). The syllable boundaries provided in Celex were used. All syllables were classified as either being monosyllables (originating from monosyllabic words), stressed polysyllables or unstressed polysyllables (i.e. the stressed or unstressed syllable of a polysyllabic word). The numbers in the following tables are based on the number of entities per syllable class.

A searchable xls-file with the raw Celex count data can be found here. Examples are provided for each syllable type. Moreover, the data set can be filtered with respect to word type (monosyllabic or polysyllabic word), stress type (stressed or unstressed syllable), each syllable position and all combinations of these elements. Celex token and type frequencies of the filtered data are given in the top left corner of the xls-file.

Table (1) lists the relative type and token frequencies of each vocalic segment given in the (phonetically transcribed part of the) Celex database. Notice that no distinction has been made between lexical and function words.


Table 1
Segment Type frequency Segment Token frequency
[ɑ] 14.5% [ə] 23.2%
[ɛ] 11.0% [ɑ] 12.7%
[ɔ] 10.7% [ɛ] 11.5%
[ɪ] 9.1% [ɛi] 9.1%
[a] 7.7% [a] 7.6%
[e] 6.7% [ɔ] 7.3%
[i] 6.0% [ɪ] 7.0%
[o] 6.0% [o] 5.3%
[ʏ] 5.9% [e] 5.0%
[u] 5.7% [i] 5.0%
[ɛi] 4.4% [u] 2.4%
[œy] 3.1% [ʏ] 1.2%
[ə] 2.6% [œy] 1.1%
[ø] 2.3% [y] 0.8%
[y] 1.9% [ɑu] 0.6%
[ɑu] 1.7% [ø] 0.3%
[ɛː] 0.7% [ɛː] <0.1%
[ɔː] 0.1% [ɔː] <0.1%
[œː] 0.1% [œː] <0.1%

readmore
[+] Vowels in monosyllabic words (lexical and function words)

Table (2) lists the relative type and token frequencies of each vocalic segment in monosyllabic words given in the (phonetically transcribed part of the) Celex database. Notice that no distinction has been made between lexical and function words.


Table 2
Segment Type frequency Segment Token frequency
[ɑ] 13.2% [ə] 21.1%
[ɛ] 11.4% [ɑ] 13.7%
[ɔ] 10.8% [ɛ] 12.8%
[ɪ] 9.2% [ɛi] 10.2%
[a] 8.0% [ɪ] 7.7%
[e] 7.4% [ɔ] 7.5%
[ʏ] 6.4% [a] 7.5%
[o] 6.2% [o] 4.7%
[u] 6.0% [i] 4.6%
[i] 5.6% [e] 4.0%
[ɛi] 5.2% [u] 2.6%
[œy] 4.0% [œy] 1.1%
[ø] 2.6% [ʏ] 1.0%
[ɑu] 1.9% [y] 0.7%
[y] 1.4% [ɑu] 0.6%
[ɛː] 0.4% [ø] 0.2%
[ə] 0.4% [ɛː] <0.1%
[ɔː] 0.1% [ɔː] <0.1%

[+] Vowels in stressed syllables of polysyllabic words (lexical and function words)

Table (3) lists the relative type and token frequencies of each vocalic segment in stressed syllables of polysyllabic words given in the (phonetically transcribed part of the) Celex database. Notice that no distinction has been made between lexical and function words.


Table 3
Segment Type frequency Segment Token frequency
[ɑ] 15.3% [e] 20.8%
[ɛ] 11.6% [o] 12.4%
[ɔ] 11.3% [a] 10.5%
[ɪ] 9.3% [ɑ] 9.1%
[a] 7.2% [ɔ] 8.8%
[i] 6.6% [ɛ] 7.6%
[e] 6.5% [i] 7.0%
[o] 5.7% [ɛi] 5.8%
[u] 5.5% [ɪ] 4.9%
[ʏ] 5.3% [ʏ] 4.4%
[ɛi] 4.1% [u] 2.3%
[y] 2.6% [œy] 2.2%
[ø] 2.6% [y] 1.8%
[œy] 2.5% [ø] 1.0%
[ɛː] 1.7% [ɑu] 0.9%
[ɑu] 1.6% [ɔː] 0.2%
[ɔː] 0.5% [ɛː] 0.2%
[œː] 0.2% [œː] <0.1%
[ə] <0.1% [ə] <0.1%

[+] Vowels in unstressed syllables of polysyllabic words (lexical and function words)

Table (4) lists the relative type and token frequencies of each vocalic segment in unstressed syllables of polysyllabic words given in the (phonetically transcribed part of the) Celex database. Notice that no distinction has been made between lexical and function words.


Table 4
Segment Type frequency Segment Token frequency
[ɑ] 19.4% [ə] 67.1%
[ə] 17.5% [i] 7.2%
[ɔ] 9.3% [a] 5.7%
[ɛ] 8.2% [o] 5.6%
[ɪ] 8.1% [ɑ] 4.7%
[i] 7.2% [ɔ] 2.8%
[a] 7.1% [ɪ] 1.9%
[o] 5.4% [e] 1.8%
[u] 4.6% [ɛ] 1.1%
[ʏ] 4.4% [y] 0.8%
[e] 3.3% [ʏ] 0.6%
[y] 3.1% [u] 0.3%
[ɑu] 1.0% [ɛi] 0.2%
[ɛi] 0.8% [ɑu] <0.1%
[ø] 0.3% [ɛː] <0.1%
[ɛː] 0.3% [ø] <0.1%
[œy] <0.1% [œy] <0.1%

[hide extra information]
x

Segmental frequency data are also available for consonants and for all Dutch segments combined. Furthermore, frequency data for even more fine-grained positions within onsets and codas are given.

References:
  • Baayen, R. Harald, Piepenbrock, Richard & Gulikers, L1995The CELEX Lexical Database (CD-ROM), Release 2, Dutch Version 3.1
Suggestions for further reading ▼
phonology
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show more ▼
morphology
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
  • Derivation
    [67%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation
  • Separable complex verbs (SCVs)
    [66%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation > Compounding
  • -achtig
    [65%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Adjectives > Adjectival suffixes
  • Medical morphology
    [64%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation > Neo-classical word formation
  • -ing
    [64%] Dutch > Morphology > Word formation > Derivation > Nouns > Nominal suffixes
Show more ▼
syntax
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show more ▼
cite
print