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Short /ɔ/ in monomorphemes

Short /ɔ/ occurs freely, and stressed as well, in all positions other than open syllables, word-finally, as in offer /'ɔ.fər/do., wonder /'vɔn.dər/do. and karton /kɑr.'tɔn/cardboard.. In fact, /ɔ/ is found in only a small number of polysyllabic monomorphemes in word-final, open syllables, most of them place and persons' names adopted from indigenous South African languages, for example in Limpopo place name and Renamo (one of several possible pronunciations of this name).

In all instances of short vowels, the following topics should be taken into account as important background information:

As an orientation with respect to all topics concerning stress placement in Afrikaans monomorphemes, the following reference list should be consulted:

(De Stadler, L.G. 1981); (Combrink, J.G.H.; De Stadler, L.G. 1987); (De Stadler, L.G. 1991); (De Villiers, M. 1965); (De Villiers, M.; Ponelis, F.A. 1992); (Lee, A.S. 1963); (Le Roux, J.J. 1936); (Le Roux, T.H.; Pienaar, P. de V. 1927); (Lubbe, H.J. 1993); (Lubbe, H.J. 1993); (Lubbe, H.J. 1993); (Lubbe, H.J. 1993); (Wissing, D.P. 1971); (Wissing, D. 1987); (Wissing, D.P. 1988); (Wissing, D.P. 1988); (Wissing, D. 1989); (Wissing, D.P. 1989); (Wissing, D. 1991); (Wissing 2017)


    In the following Extra, polysyllabic monomorphemes with /ɔ/ as the nucleus in closed final syllable position are listed, with indications of stress patterns. Examples of words with /ɔ/, with /n/ as coda, are taken as representative of the sononant consonants /m, n, r, l, ŋ/ in coda position. Cases with obstruent codas are very limited and mainly restricted to /s/ and /t/. Rare examples are kompos, kosmos, Rhodos – all with penultimate stress -, and boikot, Hotnot – also with penultimate stress. The unfamiliar word skavot has word-final stress.

    It is significant that, despite the fact that /ɔ/ is classified as phonemically short, with regard to stress behaviour it behaves similarly to long vowels in the same contexts. As such, stress patterns cannot function as classifying criteria for whether vowels are phonemically short or long.

    In the Extra below, bisyllabic and multisyllabic monomorphemes with /ɔ/ as nucleus and with /n/ as coda, in closed final syllable position, are listed.

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    Figure 1: /ɔ/

    [click image to enlarge]

    1. Almost every word under these three types is bisyllabic.
    2. Final syllables are stressed in the majority of cases, but quite a number do have penultimate stress. All words with penultimate stress are bisyllabic as well, bar elektron.
    3. Cases of antepenultimate stress are, except in the case of maraton (also written as marathon), of the structure <-i-> plus a consonant plus <on>, which forms a subcategory of the monomorphemes. maraton is frequently heard with final stress too.
    4. /ɔ/ also carries stress in final position a few words with a closed syllable and with /l/ as coda: fenol, katrol, kasserol, kastrol, parasol constitute most of these words. Non-final stress is found in a small number of instances, like: alkohol, boggerol, kiepersol, metonol, petrol, Sasol.
    5. In a resticted number of monomorphemes, the final syllable with /ɔ/ is closed by a complex (dual) coda, one constituent of which is always a sonorant, e.g. skedonk, spelonk, terstond, horisont, bedons, renons, respons, with final syllable stress. vabond exhibits penultimate stress, a remnant of the original compound stress (<vagebond).
    6. This vowel never gets stressed in the pseudo-suffix <-or>, as in motor, doktor, professor – it is always derounded to schwa [ə], even in formal speech. That it is underlyingly not /ə/ is corroborated by the existence of plural forms, resp. motore, doktore, professore – all with long /o/.

    • Combrink, J.G.H. & De Stadler, L.G1987Afrikaanse fonologie.Macmillan
    • De Stadler, L.G1981Die klemkontoere van die simplekse selfstandige naamwoord in Afrikaans: 'n NGF-siening.Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe21285-295
    • De Stadler, L.G1991Oor die klemtoon van Afrikaanse simplekse: re Wissing.South African Journal of Linguistics941-46
    • De Villiers, M1965Aspekte van woordaksent.
    • De Villiers, M. & Ponelis, F.A1992Afrikaanse klankleer.Tafelberg
    • Le Roux, J.J1936Die uitspraak van Afrikaans.Huisgenoot2031
    • Le Roux, T.H. & Pienaar, P. de V1927Afrikaanse fonetiek.Juta
    • Lee, A.S1963Klem in Afrikaans.Thesis
    • Lubbe, H.J1993Oor die klemtoon van Afrikaanse simplekse: re Wissing én De Stadler.South African Journal of Linguistics118-17
    • Lubbe, H.J1993Die klempatrone van Afrikaans.South African Journal of Linguistics1149-59
    • Lubbe, H.J1993Klem in Afrikaans en die superswaar rym.South African Journal of Linguistics78-99
    • Lubbe, H.J1993Inleiding tot die algemene en Afrikaanse metriese fonologieReeksUOVS
    • Wissing, D1987Klemtoon en tweesillabige Afrikaanse simplekse: eksperiment.South African Journal of Linguistics5105-139
    • Wissing, D1989Die klempatrone van Afrikaanse en Nederlandse simplekse: 'n vergelyking.Literator1050-65
    • Wissing, D1991Is Afrikaans 'n inisiëleklemtoontaal?South African Journal of Linguistics947-57
    • Wissing, D.P1971Fonologie en morfologie van die simplekse selfstandige naamwoord in Afrikaans: 'n transformasioneel-generatiewe beskrywing.Buijten & Schipperheijn. Vrije Universiteit.Thesis
    • Wissing, D.P1988Die Afrikaanse en Nederlandse verkleiningsisteme: 'n vergelyking in metries-fonologiese kader.Literator962-75
    • Wissing, D.P1988Abrakadabra: die klem van multisillabige Afrikaanse simplekse.South African Journal of Linguistics613-40
    • Wissing, D.P1989Twee- en multisillabige Afrikaanse simplekse: twee klemtoonreëls of net een?South African Journal of Linguistics7116-124
    • Wissing, Daan2017FonologieVan Schaik
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