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Onset: singleton consonants
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This section is about syllables with a single initial consonant, of which a list of examples is provided. In principle, an initial single consonant may precede any diphthong, vowel and vowel combination, though there are a few exceptions. Any singleton consonant of the Afrikaans segment inventory can constitute an onset.

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All singleton consonants may occupy an onset position, either word-initially or word-medially, independent of whether the syllable is stressed or unstressed. Co-occurrence restrictions between segments in the onset and the nucleus are not likely to exist, because the onset and the nucleus are different constituents of the syllable. Therefore, if the combination of an initial consonant with some vowel (type) is not attested, it is considered to be an accidental gap. /ŋ/ is not allowed in word onset position; in syllable onset positon it is (providing that the notion of ambisyllabicity is not adhered to, as in Afrikaans.


Table 1: Examples of initial consonant in three different word positions; stressed and unstressed:
segment word-initial & monosyllable word-medial & stressed syllable word-medial & unstressed syllable
stops:
/p/ pen/pɛn/id. trompet/trɔm.ˈpɛt/trumpet wimper/ˈvəm.pər/lash
/b/ boer/bur/farmer kabouter/kɑ.ˈbœu.tər/gnome album/ˈɑl.bœm/id.
/t/ tas/tɑs/bag patat/pɑ.ˈtɑt/potato chips rektor/ˈrɛk.tɔr/id.
/d/ dag/dɑx/day radys/rɑ.ˈdəis/radish saldo/ˈsɑl.du/balance
/k/ kool/kol/cabbage orkes/ɔr.ˈkɛs/orchestra iemker/ˈim.kər/beekeeper
/g/ (only in loan words) ghries/gris/id. regatta/re.ˈgɑtɑ/id.
fricatives:
/f/ fiets/fits/bicycle plafon/plɑ.ˈfɔn/ceiling skilfer/ˈskəl.fər/puff
/v/ vas/vɑs/wash ivoor/i.ˈfor/ebony oewer/ˈu.vər/shore
/s/ siek/sik/sick arseen/ɑr.ˈsen/arsenic sesam/ˈse.sɑm/sesame
/z/ (only in loan words) Zulu/zulu/Zoeloe. azalia/ɑ.ˈza.liɑ/Azalia (flower) kadenza/kɑ.ˈdɛn.zɑ/kadenza
/ʃ/ (only in loan words) sjaal/ʃal/scarf artisjok/ɑr.ti.ˈʃɔk/artichoke poncho/ˈpɔn.ʃu/id.
/x/ gom/xɔm/glue figuur/fə.ˈxyr/figure giggel/ˈxə.xəl/giggle
/j/ jaar/jar/year galjoen/xɑl.ˈjun/galleon triljoen/'trəl.ˌjun/trillion
nasals:
/m/ maan/man/moon kameel/kɑ.ˈmel/camel kermis/ˈkɛr.məs/fair
/n/ neus/nøs/nose planeet/plɑ.ˈnet/planet koning/ˈko.nəŋ/king
/ŋ/ - - engel/ˈɛ.ŋəl/angel
liquids:
/l/ lak/lɑk/varnish piloot/pi.ˈlot/pilot eland/ˈe.lɑnd/elk
/r/ rot/rɔt/rat paraat/pɑ.ˈrat/ready wêreld/ˈvæ.rəld/world
glides:

Note that the rejection of the notion of ambisyllabicity in the case of Afrikaans permits the syllabifiction of engel as/ˈɛ.ŋəl/. Furthermore, devoicing of final obstruents, as in eland/ˈe.lɑnd/ and wêreld/ˈvæ.rəld/was not applied here too.. Finally, /j/ sometimes is defined as a fricative. The glottal plosive /Ɂ/ could, in principle, have been included here too, see The Onset.

[+] Examples of singleton onsets plus nuclei

Table 2: Examples of singleton onsets plus nuclei
stops: i e y ø u o a ə ʏ ɛ ɑ ɔ
/p/ pier peer puur peul poel pool paal pit put pet pad pot
/b/ bier beer buur beul boet boot baat bid buk bek bak bok
/t/ tier teer tuur teug toets toon taal tik tulp tel tak tol
/d/ dier deel duur deur doel doof daal dik dun dek dal dol
/k/ kier keer kuur keur koer koor kaas kis kus ken kan kon
fricatives:
/f/ fier fees vuur - voet voor faam fiks furk fel vat fop
/v/ wier weer - - woes woord waar wil wulps wel wal wol
/s/ sier seer suur seun soet soos saag sip suf sent sap sop
/x/ gier geel guur geur goed goor gaas gil gul geld gal gom
/h/ hier heer huur heul hoed hoog haar hik huls hel hal hol
/j/ - jeens ju(weel) jeuk joel jool jaar jig juk - jas jok
nasals:
/m/ mier meer muur meul moet moot maat mik muf meld mal mol
/n/ nier neef nuut neus noem nood naad nis nut net nat nok
liquids:
/l/ lied leed luur leun loep loom laag lig lug les lag log
/r/ riet reep ru reuk roet roos raad rib rus res ras rot

Table adapted to Afrikaans from Cohen (Cohen 1972)) via Onset: singleton consonants in Dutch.

References:
  • Cohen, Antonie, Ebeling, C.L., Fokkema, K. & Holk, A.G.F. van1972Fonologie van het Nederlands en het Fries. Inleiding tot de moderne klankleerMartinus Nijhoff
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