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General constraints on the combination of falling diphthongs and glides and centring diphthongs and schwa

There are two more general constraints on vowel sequences, which are the topic of this section.


There are two additional, general constraints on vowel sequences:

  • The vowel sequences underlying falling diphthongs cannot be followed by a glide. This means that the sequences /ajw/, /ɛjw/, /ɔwj/, and /ojw/ do not occur. The sequences /ajj/, /ɛjj/, /ɔww/, and /ojj/ are also out for violating the OCP.
  • The vowel sequences underlying centring diphthongs cannot be followed by schwa or a sequence of schwa + consonant. While there are words like trije /trɛjə/ three, Hijum /hɛjəm/ place name, touwel /tɔwəl/ rhizome; reed root and fjouwer /fjɔwər/ four, with a falling diphthong, there are none like snieër /sniəər/, heael /hɪəəl/, stoeëm /stuəəm/, and kloaer /kloəər/, with a centring diphthong. In the latter, the sequence of schwas would violate the OCP.

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