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Historical processes involving consonants
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In comparison with Dutch, that forms the broad basis of Afrikaans, its consonants underwent a number of processes with respect to the deletion or insertion of consonants. In this topic an overview of these processes with be given. I shall concentrate two types of processes that are the most frequently occurring instances of consonant deletion, viz. a) /t/ deletion in word-final position (also called apocope), as well as b) /x/ and /d/ deletion in intervocalic position (also called syncope). Another type of d deletion is handled in d-deletion. r deletion is a separate type of this kind, see r-deletion elsewhere.

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[+]Consonant deletion

Most Germanic languages have complex word-final coda clusters. Coda clusters consisting of non-obstruent + obstruent consonants are common, also in Afrikaans, as in words like hand hand, perd horse and wild wild. This is not the case in Afrikaans regarding obstruent + obstruent codas. Compare Afrikaans aspek, konsep and mas with English and Dutch words aspect, concept and mast respectively, and the German equivalents Aspekt, Konzept and Mast. This reduction in complexity of codas in Afrikaans is known as t apocope. Van Oostendorp ) mentions morphologically still more complex forms in other Germanic languages other than Afrikaans:

Table 1
Language
English helped, waltzed, parks, boxed
German glaubst lächelnd
Dutch erftdenkt
Icelandic hests
Faroese manst

In (2) some more examples of t apocope in Afrikaans are listed.

Table 2
Examples of t apocope in coda clusters
lig cf. ligte lights; nag cf. nagte nights; wag cf. wagte guards
gees cf. geeste ghosts; oes cf. oeste harvests; mas cf. maste masts
amp cf. ampte functions; resepcf. resepte recipes; verlep cf. verlepte withered
insek cf. insekte insects; mark cf. markte markets; resep cf. resepte recipes
In general /t/ ( d or t does not occur codas in adverbs or adjectives in predicative positions. Thus, Die afgestelde wedstryd, but Die wedstryd is afgestel, or Die verligte kamer, but Die kamer is verlig. For more on this topic, see Conradie (2014).

Baumann and Wissing (2018) found that the development of t deletion follow a systematic and articulatorily as well as perceptually motivated trend rather than occurring just by coincidence.

/t/does appear regularly after coda clusters containing non-obstruent + obstruent consonants in Germanic languages, also in Afrikaans,. Examples are hand hand, perd horse and wild wild. This is not the case in Afrikaans regarding obstruent + obstruent codas. Compare Afrikaans aspek, konsep and mas with English and Dutch words aspect, concept and mast respectively, and the German equivalents Aspekt, Konzept and Mast.

[+]Deletion of intervocalic /x/ and /d/

Afrikaans is characterised by the systematic deletion of /x/when preceded by a stressed syllable and followedby an unstressed vowel, specifically schwa. This process is called syncope. Frequently observed examples are dae, plural of dag day, from Dutch dagen, also daeliks daily, and reën rain, from Dutch regen, and , from oog eyes.

/d/also gets deleted is some instances when occurring in the same phonetic environment: saal saddle < Dutch zadel and broer brother from broeder and are well-known examples.

A special case of d deletion is present in a number of Afrikaans words, like paaie roads from pad, where /d/ id deleted and substituted with /j/ in original Dutch paden. A clear example of this process is to be seen in uitnooi invite and uitnodiging invitation, both present in current Afrikaans.

[+]Consonant insertion
This type of historical process includes the phenomena of prothesis, epenthesis and epithesis.

Prothesis
Rear cases of this process are saans in the evening < Dutch ’s avonds < Dutch des avonds and soggens in the morning < Dutch ’s ochtends < Dutch des ochtends.

Epenthesis
This process is also rarely found, mostly in informal spoken usage, or in some regional variations of Afrikaans. Van der Merwe et al (1970) mention cases like eenders similar from eners. Ponelis (1990) mentions examples like paster fitter from passer, renoster rhinoceros and waster washer < wasser.

Epithesis
This phenomenon is also rarely found, as inoond oven < Dutch oven.

References:
  • Conradie, J2014Taalverandering in Afrikaans.Bundels
  • Ponelis, F.A1990Historiese klankleer van Afrikaans.ReeksUniversiteit van Stellenbosch
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