• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
Segment frequencies of consonants per syllable position
quickinfo

The following lists of segmental frequencies were 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). Subsequently, each syllable was parsed into a positional syllable template differentiating onset, nucleus and coda positions. The numbers in the following tables are based on the number of entities per syllable position.

Please note that ambisyllabic consonants are not tagged as such in the Celex database. They are consistently classified as onset consonants, which means that B-class vowels in polysyllabic words appear in open syllables in the Celex transcriptions. As a result, the numbers presented for coda consonants in polysyllabic words and in all words combined may be skewed.

Furthermore, the Celex (word) frequency count of 486 cases (out of 5380) is specified as zero - although these words are present in the Celex database. The frequency count of zero was taken over for the syllable counts.

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.

readmore
[+] Applied syllable template

Each syllable specified in the Celex database was classified as being part of a monosyllabic or polysyllabic word and as being stressed or unstressed. As a second step, each syllable was parsed into a ten-position syllable template distinguishing not only onset, nucleus and coda positions but also more specific positions within onsets and codas.

In case a different syllable approach is applied, the reader is referred to the searchable xls-file with the raw Celex count data . With the help of the provided filters (available `blank' option in filter if empty position is required), positional frequency data for most syllable models should be obtainable.

Onsets
All singleton onset consonants such as the /p/ in paard[part]horse were assigned the head position. In onset consonant clusters of three segments such as in streep/strep/line, the /s/ was assigned the appendix position (called leftApp in the table below), the second obstruent (i.e. the /t/ in the example streep) was assigned the head position and the rhotic consonant was assigned the dependent position. Since consonant clusters of two segments containing /s/ can behave differently from other clusters, e.g. in the acquisition and attrition of language, onset consonant clusters consisting of two segments were divided into clusters with and without /s/. In onset clusters without /s/ such as in plak/plɑk/slice, the obstruent (i.e. /p/) was assigned the head position of the onset and the sonorant (i.e. /l/) was assigned the dependent position.

Onset clusters of two segments containing an /s/ were further subdivided into /s/+sonorant clusters and /s/+obstruent clusters. /s/+obstruent clusters such as in speel/spel/game were treated in accordance with /sCC-/ clusters, i.e. that the /s/ was assigned the appendix position and the obstruent was assigned the head position. In contrast, /s/+sonorant clusters as in slaap/slap/sleep were counted separately in that the /s/ was assigned the s-position and the sonorant the sonorant-position (see table below). If a phonological approach is followed in which /s/+sonorant clusters are identical to other /CC-/ clusters, the /s/-position should be collapsed with the head position and the sonorant-position should be collapsed with the dependent position. In case an approach is followed that identifies the /s/ in /s/+sonorant clusters with other /sC(C)/ clusters, the /s/-position should be collapsed with the appendix position and the sonorant-position should be collapsed with the head or dependent position.

Codas
Post-nuclear consonants were assigned to one of the four available coda positions. For this, the syllable account presented in the topic on codas was followed (see also Van Oostendorp 1995, 2000, see also references there).

In addition to the two appendix positions / extra-prosodic consonants (e.g. the two final coronal consonants in herfst/hɛrfst/autumn, fall), a distinction was made between the obligatory coda consonant following B-class vowels (as the /t/ in kat/kɑt/cat) and the optional consonant following either an A-class vowel or a B-class vowel + consonant - sequence (e.g. the final obstruents in the examples taak/tak/task or hulp/hʏlp/help). What these consonants have in common is that they do not need to be coronals and, therefore, differ from appendix consonants. Van Oostendorp claims that these optional consonants do not actually belong to the coda / rhyme of the syllable but get assigned to a following degenerate syllable instead. These optional consonants are, therefore, called extra-syllabic consonants. Notice that for some loanwords, non-coronal consonants of final complex consonant clusters had to be assigned the appendix positions.

[+] Consonants in onsets of monosyllabic words

The following table summarizes the type and token frequencies of which each Dutch segment occurs in different onset syllable positions in monosyllabic words based on the Celex frequency data. See Applied syllable template for an explanation of the treatment of /CC-/ clusters.


Figure 1

[click image to enlarge]

[+] Consonants in onsets of stressed syllables in polysyllabic words

The following table summarizes the type and token frequencies of which each Dutch segment occurs in different onset syllable positions in stressed syllables of polysyllabic words based on the Celex frequency data. See Applied syllable template for an explanation of the treatment of /CC-/ clusters.


Figure 2

[click image to enlarge]

[+] Consonants in onsets of unstressed syllables in polysyllabic words

The following table summarizes the type and token frequencies of which each Dutch segment occurs in different onset syllable positions in unstressed syllables of polysyllabic words based on the Celex frequency data. See Applied syllable template for an explanation of the treatment of /CC-/ clusters.


Figure 3

[click image to enlarge]

[+] Consonants in codas of monosyllabic words

The following table summarizes the type and token frequencies of which each Dutch segment occurs in different coda syllable positions in monosyllabic words based on the Celex frequency data. See Applied syllable template for an explanation of the treatment of /-CC(C)/ clusters.


Figure 4

[click image to enlarge]

[+] Consonants in codas of stressed syllables in polysyllabic words

The following table summarizes the type and token frequencies of which each Dutch segment occurs in different coda syllable positions in stressed syllables of polysyllabic words based on the Celex frequency data. See Applied syllable template for an explanation of the treatment of /-CC(C)/ clusters.


Figure 5

[click image to enlarge]

[+] Consonants in codas of unstressed syllables in polysyllabic words

The following table summarizes the type and token frequencies of which each Dutch segment occurs in different coda syllable positions in unstressed syllables of polysyllabic words based on the Celex frequency data. See Applied syllable template for an explanation of the treatment of /-CC(C)/ clusters.


Figure 6

[click image to enlarge]

[show extra information]
x

Segmental frequency data are also available for all Dutch segments combined, as well as separately for vowels and consonants.

References:
  • Baayen, R. Harald, Piepenbrock, Richard & Gulikers, L1995The CELEX Lexical Database (CD-ROM), Release 2, Dutch Version 3.1
  • Oostendorp, Marc van1995Vowel Quality and Phonological ProjectionTilburg UniversityThesis
  • Oostendorp, Marc van2000Phonological ProjectionNiemeyer
Suggestions for further reading ▼
phonology
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show more ▼
morphology
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show more ▼
syntax
  • Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show more ▼
cite
print