Dutch phonology

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Dutch phonology is similar to that of other West Germanic languages.


The following table shows the consonant phonemes of Dutch:

Labial Alveolar Post-
Dorsal Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive voiceless p t k (ʔ)
voiced b d (ɡ)
Fricative voiceless f s (ʃ) x
voiced v z (ʒ) ɣ ɦ
Approximant ʋ l j
Rhotic r


  • The glottal stop [ʔ] is inserted before vowel-initial syllables within words after /a/ and /ə/ and often also at the beginning of a word.
  • Apart from /r/, all alveolar consonants are laminal[1][2] and can be realized as denti-alveolar in Belgium.
  • /b/ and /d/ are fully voiced.[1]
  • /ɡ/ is not a native phoneme of Dutch and occurs only in borrowed words, like goal. In native words, [ɡ] occurs as an allophone of /k/ when it undergoes voicing assimilation, like in zakdoek [ˈzɑɡduk].
  • In the north, /ɣ/ often devoices and merges with /x/; the quality of that merged sound has been variously described as:
    • Voiceless post-velar trill fricative [ʀ̝̊˖] which, before /j/, can be fronted to [ç];[3]
    • Voiceless post-velar [] or uvular [χ] fricative.[4]
  • In the south, the distinction between /x/ and /ɣ/ is generally preserved as velar [x ɣ] or post-palatal [ ɣ˖].[4][5][6] Some southern speakers may alternate between the velar and post-palatal articulation, depending on the backness of the preceding or succeeding vowel. Velar, post-velar and uvular variants are called harde g "hard g", while the post-palatal variants are called zachte g "soft g". There is also a third variant called zwakke harde g "weak hard g", in which /ɣ/ is realized as [ɦ] and /x/ is realized as [h] and is used in Zeeland and West Flanders, which are h-dropping areas, so that /ɦ/ does not merge with glottal variants of /ɣ/ and /x/.
  • In the Netherlands, /v/ can devoice and merge with /f/.[4][7] According to Collins & Mees (2003), there are hardly any speakers of what they call “Standard Netherlandic Dutch” who consistently contrast /v/ with /f/.[7] In Frisian accents of Dutch, word-initial /v/ is always realized as [f].
  • In low-prestige varieties of Netherlandic Dutch (such as the Amsterdam accent)[7] also /z/ can devoice and merge with /s/.[4][7] In Frisian accents of Dutch, word-initial /z/ is always realized as [s].
  • Speakers who devoice /v/ and /z/ may also hypercorrectively voice /f/ and /s/: concert "concert" may thus be [kɔnˈzɛrt] compared to the more usual [kɔnˈsɛrt].
  • Some speakers pronounce /ɦ/ as a voiceless [h]. In Frisian accents of Dutch, word-initial /ɦ/ is always realized as [h]. Some dialects, particularly those from the southwest, exhibit h-dropping.
  • In the Netherlands, /s/ and /z/ may have only mid-to-low pitched friction,[1][8] and for many Netherlandic speakers, they are retracted.[8] In Belgium, they are more similar to English /s z/.[8]
  • The sequences /sj/ and /zj/ are often assimilated to palatalised [sʲ zʲ], alveolo-palatal [ɕ ʑ], postalveolar [ʃ ʒ] or similar realisations.
  • The sequence /kj/ is assimilated to a voiceless post-palatal affricate [c̠͡ç̠].[9]
  • /ʃ/ and /ʒ/ are not native phonemes of Dutch and usually occur only in borrowed words, like show and bagage "baggage". Depending on the speaker and the position in the word, they may or may not be distinct from the assimilated realisations of the clusters /sj/ and /zj/. If they are not distinct, they will have the same range of realisations noted above.


  • /m/ and /n/ assimilate their articulation to a following obstruent in many cases:
    • Both become [m] before /p/ and /b/, and [ɱ] before /f/ and /v/.
    • /n/ merges into /ŋ/ before velars (/k ɡ x ɣ/). The realisation of /ŋ/, in turn, depends on how a following velar fricative is realised. For example, it will be uvular [ɴ] for speakers who realise /x/ and /ɣ/ as uvulars.
    • /n/ may be realised as [ɲ] before /j/.[10] That occurs also before /ʃ/ or /ʒ/ and, under assimilation, before /sj/ and /zj/.
  • The exact pronunciation of /l/ varies regionally:
    • In the North, /l/ is 'clear' before vowels and 'dark' before consonants and pauses. Intervocalic /l/ tends to be clear except after the open back vowels /ɔ ɑ/. However, some speakers use the dark variant in all intervocalic contexts.[11]
    • Some accents, such as the Amsterdam and the Rotterdam ones, have dark /l/ in all positions. Conversely, some accents in the eastern regions, along the German border (for example around Nijmegen), as well as some Standard Belgian speakers, have clear /l/ in all contexts.[11]
    • The quality of dark /l/ varies; in the North it is pharyngealized [lˤ], but in a final position, many speakers produce a strongly pharyngealized vocoid with no alveolar contact ([ɤˤ]) instead. In Belgium, it is either velarized [lˠ] or post-palatalized [lʲ̠].[12]
  • The realization of /r/ phoneme varies considerably from dialect to dialect and even between speakers in the same dialect area:
    • The historically original pronunciation is an alveolar trill [r], with the alveolar tap [ɾ] as a common allophone.
    • The uvular trill [ʀ] is a common alternative, found particularly in the central and southern dialect areas. Uvular pronunciations appear to be gaining ground in the Randstad.[13] Syllable-finally, it may be debuccalized to [ɐ], much as in German. This is more common in the (south)eastern areas (Limburg, southeast Brabantian, Overijssel).
    • The coastal dialects of South Holland produce a voiced uvular fricative [ʁ], which causes it to merge with a uvular /ɣ/ and (if devoicing occurs) with /x/. In these dialects, schijven ('discs') and schrijven ('to write') are homophones.
    • The retroflex approximant [ɻ][14] or "bunched approximant" is found at the end of a syllable by some speakers in the Netherlands, especially those from the Randstad, but not in Belgium.[15] Its use has been increasing in recent years.[16] In the traditional Leiden dialect it has been used everywhere in a word.
  • The realization of /ʋ/ also varies somewhat by area and speaker:
    • The main realisation is a labiodental approximant [ʋ], found particularly in the Netherlands.
    • A number of dialects in Belgium[17][18] and the southern Netherlands use a bilabial approximant [β̞], which is like [w] but without strong velarization.
    • In Suriname and among immigrant populations, [w] is usual.

The final 'n' of the ending -en (originally /ən/, with a variety of meanings) is not pronounced in many areas unless when one stresses the word, which makes those words homophonous with forms without the -n. It is dropped both word-finally and word-internally in compound words. The pronunciation can be morphologically sensitive and can distinguish words, as the -n is dropped only when it is part of the distinct ending -en but not when the word has a single stem ending in -en. Thus, the word teken ('I draw') always retains its -n because it is part of an indivisible stem whereas in teken ('ticks') it is dropped because it is a plural ending. These words are, therefore, not homophones in dialects that drop -n despite being spelled identically.

Final -n is retained in the North East (Low Saxon) and the South West (East and West Flemish), where it is the schwa that disappears instead. This creates a syllabic [n] or (after velars) syllabic [ŋ] sounds: laten [ˈlaːtn̩]; maken [ˈmaːkŋ̍]. Some Low Saxon dialects that have uvular pronunciation of /ɣ/ and /x/ (or one of them) also have a syllabic uvular nasal, like in lagen and/or lachen [ˈlaːχɴ̩]

Final devoicing and assimilation

Dutch devoices all obstruents at the ends of words, as is partly reflected in the spelling. The voiced "z" in plural huizen [ˈɦœy̆zə] becomes huis [ɦœy̆s] ('house') in singular. Also, duiven [ˈdœy̆və] becomes duif [dœy̆f] ('dove'). The other cases are always written with the voiced consonant, but a devoiced one is actually pronounced: the "d" in plural baarden [ˈbaːrdə] is retained in singular spelling baard ('beard'), but the pronunciation of the latter is [baːrt], and plural ribben [ˈrɪbə] has singular rib ('rib'), pronounced [rɪp].

Because of assimilation, the initial /v z ɣ/ of the next word is often also devoiced: het vee ('the cattle') is [(ɦ)ət feː]. The opposite may be true for other consonants: ik ben ('I am') [ɪg bɛn].

Example words for consonants

Consonants with example words
Phoneme Phonetic IPA Orthography English translation
p pen 'pen'
b biet 'beetroot'
t tak 'branch'
d dak 'roof'
k kat 'cat'
ɡ goal 'goal'
f fiets 'bicycle'
v vijf 'five'
s sok 'sock'
z zeep 'soap'
ʃ chef 'chief'
ʒ jury 'jury'
x acht (north)
acht (south)
ɣ 's-Hertogenbosch
geeuw (north)
geeuw (Belgium)
ɦ hoed 'hat'
m mens 'human'
n nek 'neck'
ŋ eng 'scary'
l land
r rat
Nederlanders (north)
Geert Bourgeois (Belgium)
'Geert Bourgeois'
ʋ wang (north)
wang (Belgium)
bewering (Belgium)
j jas 'coat'


Dutch has an extensive vowel inventory consisting of at least twelve plain vowels and at least three diphthongs. Vowels can be grouped as back rounded, front unrounded and front rounded. They are also traditionally distinguished by length or tenseness. The vowels /eː øː oː/ are included in the diphthong chart further below because many dialects realize them as diphthongs, but they behave phonologically like the other long monophthongs.


File:Belgian Dutch monophthongs chart.svg
Monophthongs of Standard Belgian Dutch, from Verhoeven (2005:245)
File:Dutch allophones of unrounded monophthongs.svg
Dutch allophones of unrounded monophthongs, from Collins & Mees (2003:92, 130, 132 and 134). Black vowels occur before /r/ in Standard Netherlandic Dutch and Randstad,[19] and the red vowel occurs before the dark /l/.[20]
File:Dutch allophones of rounded monophthongs.svg
Dutch allophones of rounded monophthongs, from Collins & Mees (2003:92, 130, 132 and 134). Black vowels occur before /r/ in Standard Netherlandic Dutch and Randstad,[19] and the blue vowel occurs before /ŋ/.[21]

Vowel length is not always considered a distinctive feature in Dutch phonology, because it normally co-occurs with changes in vowel quality. One feature or the other may be considered redundant, and some phonemic analyses prefer to treat it as an opposition of tenseness. However, even if not considered part of the phonemic opposition, the long/tense vowels are still realised as phonetically longer than their short counterparts. The changes in vowel quality are also not always the same in all dialects, and in so dialects, there may be little difference at all, with length remaining the primary distinguishing feature. Although older words always pair vowel length with a change in vowel quality, new loanwords have reintroduced phonemic oppositions of length. Compare zonne(n) /ˈzɔnə(n)/ ('suns') versus zone /ˈzɔːnə/ ('zone') versus zonen /ˈzoːnə(n)/ ('sons'), or kroes /krus/ ('mug') versus cruise /kruːs/ ('cruise').

Short/lax vowels
Central Back
Close ɪ ʏ
Mid ɛ ə ɔ
Open ɑ
Long/tense vowels
Close i ~ y ~ u ~
Close-mid øː
Open-mid (ɛː) (œː) (ɔː)


  • The distinction between short /i y u/ and long /iː yː uː/ is very slight, and it may be considered allophonic for most purposes. In most environments except before /r/, most dialects realise them as short vowels. However, some recent loanwords have introduced distinctively long /iː yː uː/, making the length distinction marginally phonemic.
  • Notes about the long close-mid vowels /eː øː oː/:
    • They are often realized as narrow diphthongs [eɪ̯ øʏ̯ oʊ̯]. Dialects which use monophthongal pronunciations [eː øː oː] in all or most positions include most eastern and southern Netherlandic ones, Standard Belgian and also many other Belgian accents.
    • Some speakers from Leiden use a very wide pronunciation of /eː/, namely [æɪ̯]. It is not used before /r/ (see below), and it does not merge with /ɛi̯/, which, for these speakers, is realized as [ɛː] instead.
    • Certain dialects of southern Holland have a more central starting position of these diphthongs, tending towards [əɪ̯ əʏ̯ əʊ̯]. The dialect of Antwerp realizes /eː/ as [ɛi̯~ɛə̯~eə̯] instead.[22]
  • The long close and close-mid vowels are often pronounced with different vowel height or as centering diphthongs before an /r/ in the syllable coda:
    • The long close vowels become [iə̯ yə̯ uə̯] or are allophonically lengthened to /iː yː uː/.
    • The long close-mid vowels are commonly raised to near-close [ɪː ʏː ʊː] or converted to centering diphthongs [eə̯ øə̯ oə̯] or [ɪə̯ ʏə̯ ʊə̯], depending on the dialect. Some speakers may not have such allophones at all, and pronounce [eː øː oː] in every position. Some, particularly Netherlandic speakers have similar allophones before coda /l/, while others may maintain a long monophthong or even the usual closing diphthongs before /l/. Certain Netherlandic speakers may also neutralize some of the tense–lax vowel contrasts before coda /l/, similarly to neutralizations found in Cockney. Perhaps the most common neutralization is /ɛl//eːl/: heel [ɦɛɫ], [ɦɛɤˤ] ('complete'), Standard Dutch [ɦeːɫ].
  • The long open-mid vowels /ɛː œː ɔː/ occur only in a handful of loanwords, mostly from French.
  • The open vowels /ɑ/ and /aː/ are generally realised so that the latter is more fronted than the former, but the exact realisations may differ by dialect.
    • In many southern areas, the distinction is less clear as /aː/ is realised more at the back and more closely to [ɑː], especially in Brabantian and Limburgish. In some subdialects, especially the city dialect of Antwerp, the backing is particularly strong, and /ɑ/ is fronted towards [a] as well, so the two sounds effectively switch articulation.
    • This swapping of realisations may also happen in some dialects of North Holland, including notably that of Amsterdam. Fronted short [a] occurs only before some consonants, e.g. man [man].
    • In Low Saxon–speaking areas, the local realisation of /aː/ may be particularly fronted, tending towards [æː].

Several dialects have retained the distinction between the so-called "sharp-long" and "soft-long" e and o, a distinction that dates to early Middle Dutch. The sharp-long varieties originate from the Old Dutch long ē and ō (Proto-Germanic ai and au), while the soft-long varieties arose from short i/e and u/o that were lengthened in open syllables in early Middle Dutch. The distinction is not preserved in most modern Standard Dutch pronunciations and is not recognised in educational materials, but it is still present in many local dialects, such as Antwerpian, West Flemish and Zealandic. In these dialects, the sharp-long vowels are often opening diphthongs such as [ɪə̯] and [ʊə̯], while the soft-long vowels are either plain monophthongs [eː] and [oː] or slightly closing [eɪ̯] and [oʊ̯].


File:Belgian Dutch diphthongs chart.svg
Diphthongs of Belgian Standard Dutch, from Verhoeven (2005:245)

Dutch also has several diphthongs. All of them end in a close vowel (/i̯ y̯ u̯/), but they may begin with a variety of other vowels. They are grouped here by their former element.

Short/lax diphthongs
Mid ɛi̯ œy̯ (ɔi̯)
Open ɑu̯ (ɑi̯)
Long/tense diphthongs
Close iu̯ yu̯ ui̯
Mid eːu̯ oːi̯
Open aːi̯
  • /ɛi̯ œy̯ ɑu̯/ are the most common diphthongs and commonly the only ones considered "true" phonemes in Dutch. /ɑi̯/ and /ɔi̯/ are rare and occur only in a few words.
  • The "long/tense" diphthongs are generally analysed phonemically as a long/tense vowel followed by a glide /j/ or /ʋ/, in which the latter has the allophone [w] between vowels, and [u̯] between a vowel and a consonant. Thus, what is underlyingly /eːʋ/ is realised on the surface as [eːw] or [eːu̯] and likewise for the others.
  • The first element of /ɛi̯/ is pronounced more open than the short vowel /ɛ/ by many speakers and so it may be more accurately transcribed as [ɛ̞i̯]. For some Netherlandic speakers, it may be as open as [æi̯] or even [ai̯].[23] On the other hand, the dialect of Antwerp realises /ɛi̯/ as [aə̯].[24] Many Belgians tend to monophthongize it [ɛ̞ː].
  • In most of the northern areas, /œy̯/ is pronounced with an unrounded onset ([ʌ̈y̯]).[25] Some people in Belgium pronounce a monophthong [œː] instead. Before a vowel and sometimes also word-finally, a glide is added as final element: [œy̯j] or [œj].
  • The first element of /ɑu̯/ is often raised by many speakers. In Belgium, a common pronunciation is [ɔu̯], but the first element is more open: [ɔ̞u̯]. Many Belgians tend to monophthongize it to [ɔ̞ː].[26] In the north, it is generally unrounded, giving [ʌu̯]. In some areas, particularly in North and South Holland, the first element may be fully open [au̯].[23]
  • The first element of the long mid diphthongs /eːu̯ oːi̯/ may be raised or lowered: [ɪːu̯] and [ɔːi̯] respectively. However, not all speakers do this. Speakers who diphthongise /eː/ and /oː/ sometimes also do it to the diphthong, resulting in a falling triphthong with two closing elements: [eɪ̯u̯]/[oʊ̯i̯] or the more centralised [əɪ̯u̯]/[əʊ̯i̯].

Example words for vowels and diphthongs

Vowels with example words
Phoneme Phonetic IPA Orthography English translation
ɪ kip 'chicken'
i biet 'beetroot'
ʏ hut 'cabin'
y fuut 'grebe'
duur 'expensive'
u hoed 'hat'
ɛ bed 'bed'
ɛː blèr 'yell'
beet (north)
beet (Belgium)
ə de 'the'
œː freule 'unmarried noblewoman'
øː neus (north)
neus (Belgium)
ɔ bot 'bone'
ɔː roze 'pink'
boot (north)
boot (Belgium)
ɑ bad 'bath'
zaad 'seed'
ɛɪ Argentijn (north)
Argentijn (Belgium)
œy uit
ɑu fout (South Holland - coastal)
fout (Belgium)
ɑi ai 'ouch'
ɔi hoi 'hi'
iu nieuw 'new'
yu duw 'push'
ui groei 'growth'
eːu leeuw 'lion'
oːi mooi 'nice'
aːi haai 'shark'


Most native Germanic words (the bulk of the core vocabulary) are stressed on the root syllable, which is usually the first syllable of the word. Germanic words may also be stressed on the second or later syllable if certain unstressed prefixes are added (particularly in verbs). Non-root stress is common in loanwords, which are generally borrowed with the stress placement unchanged. In polysyllabic words, secondary stress may also be present. Certain prefixes and suffixes will receive secondary stress: [ˌvoːrˈkoːmə(n)], [ˈʋeːrˌloːs]. The stressed syllable of a word receive secondary stress within a compound word: [ˈbɔmˌmɛldɪŋ], [ˈɑlkoːɦɔl pɛrsɛnˌtaːʒə].

While stress is phonemic, minimal pairs are rare, and marking the stress in written Dutch is always optional, but it is sometimes recommended to distinguish homographs that differ only in stress. The most common practice is to distinguish een (indefinite article, which, as a clitic, bears no stress) from één (the cardinal number one).[27][28] It also distinguishes some verbs, as stress placement on prefixes also carries a grammatical distinction, such as in vóórkomen ('to occur') and voorkómen ('to prevent'). In vóórkomen and other verbs with a stressed prefix, the prefix is separable and separates as kom voor in the first-person singular present, with the past participle vóórgekomen. On the other hand, verbs with an unstressed prefix are not separable: voorkómen becomes voorkóm in the first-person singular present, and voorkómen in the past participle, without the past participle prefix ge-.

Dutch has a strong stress accent like other Germanic languages, and it uses stress timing because of its relatively complex syllable structure. It has a preference for trochaic rhythm, with relatively stronger and weaker stress alternating between syllables in such a way that syllables with stronger stress are produced at a more or less constant pace. Generally, every alternate syllable before and after the primary stress will receive relative stress, as far secondary stress placements allow: Wá.gə.nì.ngən. Relative stress preferably does not fall on /ə/ so syllables containing /ə/ may disrupt the trochaic rhythm. To restore the pattern, vowels are often syncopated in speech: kín.də.rən > /ˈkɪn.drə(n)/, há.ri.ngən > /ˈɦaːr.ŋə(n)/, vər.gə.líj.king > /vər.ˈɣlɛi.kɪŋ/. In words for which the secondary stress is imposed lexically onto the syllable immediately following the stressed syllable, a short pause is often inserted after the stressed syllable to maintain the rhythm to ensure that the stressed syllable has more or less equal length to the trochaic unit following it: bóm..mèl.ding, wéér..lò.zə.

Historically, the stress accent has reduced most vowels in unstressed syllables to [ə], as in most other Germanic languages. This process is still somewhat productive, and it is common to reduce vowels to [ə] in syllables carrying neither primary nor secondary stress, particularly in syllables that are relatively weakly stressed due to the trochaic rhythm. Weakly stressed long vowels may also be shortened without any significant reduction in vowel quality. For example, politie (phonemically /poːˈlitsi/) may be pronounced [poˈli(t)si], [pəˈli(t)si] or even [ˈpli(t)si].


The syllable structure of Dutch is (C)(C)(C)V(C)(C)(C)(C). Many words, as in English, begin with three consonants such as straat (street). Words that end in four consonants are mostly superlative adjectives.

Historic sound changes

Dutch (with the exception of the Limburg dialects) did not participate in the second Germanic consonant shift except for the last stage:

  • /-k-/ > /-x-/: German machen vs. Dutch About this sound maken , English make
  • /-p-/ > /-f-/: German Schaf vs. Dutch About this sound schaap , English sheep
  • /-t-/ > /-s-/: German Wasser vs. Dutch About this sound water , English water
  • /-θ-/ > /-d-/: German das, Dutch About this sound dat  vs. English that

Dutch generalised the fricative variety of Proto-Germanic */ɡ/ as [ɣ] or [ʝ], in contrast with German, which generalised the stop [ɡ], and English, which lost the fricative variety through regular sound changes.

Dutch also underwent a few changes on its own:

  • Words with -old, -olt or -ald and -alt lost the /l/ in favor of a diphthong as a result of l-vocalisation. Compare English old, German alt, Dutch About this sound oud .
  • /ft/ changed to /xt/ (North) or /çt/ (South), spelled ⟨cht⟩, but it was later reverted in many words by analogy with other forms. Compare English loft, German Luft, Dutch lucht (pronounced About this sound [lʏxt]  or About this sound [lʏçt] ).
  • Proto-Germanic */uː/ turned into /yː/ through palatalisation, which, in turn, became the diphthong About this sound /œy/ , spelled ⟨ui⟩. Long */iː/ also diphthongised to About this sound /ɛi/ , spelled ⟨ij⟩.


The sample text is a reading of The North Wind and the Sun.


The phonetic transcription illustrates a Western Netherlandic, educated, middle-generation speech and a careful colloquial style.[29]

Phonemic transcription

/də ˈnoːrdə(n)ʋɪnt ɛn də ˈzɔn | ɦɑdə(n) ən dɪsˈkʏsi oːvər də ˈvraːx | ˈʋi vɑn ɦʏn ˈtʋeːə(n) də ˈstɛrkstə ʋɑs | tun ɛr ˈjœy̯st imɑnt voːrˈbɛi̯ kʋɑm | di ən ˈdɪkə ˈʋɑrmə ˈjɑs aːnɦɑt || zə spraːkə(n) ˈɑf | dɑt ʋi də voːrbɛi̯ɣɑŋər daːrtu zɑu̯ ˈkrɛi̯ɣə(n) zən jɑs œy̯t tə ˈtrɛkə(n) | də ˈstɛrkstə zɑu̯ zɛi̯n || də ˈnoːrdə(n)ʋɪnt bəɣɔn œy̯t ˈɑlə mɑxt tə ˈblaːzə(n) | maːr ɦu ˈɦɑrdər i ˈblis | dɛs tə ˈdɪxtər də voːrbɛi̯ɣɑŋər zən jɑs ɔm zɪx ˈɦeːn trɔk || tɛnˈslɔtə ɣɑf də noːrdə(n)ʋɪnt ət maːr ˈɔp || vɛrˈvɔlɣəns bəɣɔn də ˈzɔn | ˈkrɑxtəx tə ˈstraːlə(n) | ɛn ɔnˈmɪdələk daːˈrɔp | trɔk də voːrbɛi̯ɣɑŋər zən ˈjɑs œy̯t || də ˈnoːrdə(n)ʋɪnt kɔn tun slɛxts bəˈaːmə(n) | dɑt də ˈzɔn də ˈstɛrkstə ʋɑs/

Phonetic transcription

[də ˈnoə̯ɾdəʋɪnt ɛn də ˈzɔn | ɦɑdə ən dɪsˈkʏsi oʊ̯vəɾ də ˈfɾaːχ | ˈʋi fɑn ɦʏn ˈtʋeɪ̯ə də ˈstɛɾəkstə ʋɑs | tun əɾ ˈjœy̯st imɑnt foə̯ɾˈbɛi̯ kʋɑm | di ən ˈdɪkə ˈʋɑɾmə ˈjɑs aːnɦɑt || zə spɾaːkə ˈɑf | dɑt ʋi də foə̯ɾbɛi̯χɑŋəɾ dəɾtu zʌu̯ ˈkɾɛi̯χə zəɲ ˈjɑs œy̯ tə tɾɛkə | də ˈstɛɾəkstə zʌu̯ zɛi̯n || də ˈnoə̯ɾdəʋɪnt bəχɔn œy̯t ˈɑlə mɑχ tə ˈblaːzə || maːɾ u ˈɦɑɾdəɾ i ˈblis | dɛs tə ˈdɪχtəɾ də foə̯ɾbɛi̯χɑŋəɾ zəɲ jɑz ɔm zɪχ ˈɦeɪ̯n tɾɔk || tənˈslɔtə χɑf tə noə̯ɾdəʋɪnt ət maːɾ ˈɔp || fəɾˈfɔlχənz bəχɔn də ˈzɔn | ˈkɾɑχtəχ tə ˈstɾaːlə | ɛn ɔˈmɪdələk daːˈɾɔp | tɾɔk tə foə̯ɾbɛi̯χɑŋəɾ zəɲ ˈjɑz œy̯t || də ˈnoə̯ɾdəʋɪnt kɔn tun slɛχs bəˈʔaːmə | dɑtə ˈzɔn də ˈstɛɾəkstə ʋɑs][30]

Orthographic version

De noordenwind en de zon hadden een discussie over de vraag wie van hun tweeën de sterkste was, toen er juist iemand voorbijkwam die een dikke, warme jas aanhad. Ze spraken af dat wie de voorbijganger ertoe zou krijgen zijn jas uit te trekken de sterkste zou zijn. De noordenwind begon uit alle macht te blazen, maar hoe harder hij blies, des te dichter de voorbijganger zijn jas om zich heen trok. Tenslotte gaf de noordenwind het maar op. Vervolgens begon de zon krachtig te stralen, en onmiddellijk daarop trok de voorbijganger zijn jas uit. De noordenwind kon toen slechts beamen dat de zon de sterkste was.[29]


The phonetic transcription illustrates the speech of "a highly educated 45-year-old male who speaks Belgian Dutch with a very slight regional Limburg accent." Sentence stress is not transcribed.[31]

Phonemic transcription

/də noːrdə(n)ʋɪnt ɛn də zɔn | ʋaːrə(n) ryzi aːn ət maːkə(n) | oːvər ʋi ɦɛt stɛrkstə ʋɑs | tun ɛr ən rɛi̯zɪɣər voːrbɛi̯ kʋɑm mɛt ən ʋɑrmə jɑs aːn || zə spraːkə(n) ɑf | dɑt dəɣeːnə di ɛrɪn zɑu̯ slaːɣə(n) ɔm də rɛi̯zɪɣər zɛi̯n jɑs tə dun œy̯trɛkə(n) | də stɛrkstə ʋɑs || də noːrdə(n)ʋɪnt blis zoː ɦɑrt ɦɛi̯ kɔn | maːr ɦu ɦɑrdər ɦɛi̯ blis | ɦu ʋɑrmər də rɛi̯zɪɣər zɪx ɪndʏfəldə || œy̯tɛi̯ndələk ɣɑf ɦɛi̯ zɛi̯n poːɣɪŋ ɔp || dɑn bəɣɔn də zɔn ɦɑrt tə sxɛi̯nə(n) | ɛn də rɛi̯zɪɣər deːt ɔnmɪdələk zɛi̯n jɑs œy̯t || də noːrdə(n)ʋɪnt must tuɣeːvə(n) | dɑt də zɔn ɦɛt stɛrkstə ʋɑs/

Phonetic transcription

[də noːʀdəwɪntˢ ʔɛn də zɔn | waːʀə ʀyzi aːn ət maːkə | ʔoːvər wi ɦət stɛʀkstə wɑs | tun əʀ ən ʀɛi̯zɪɣəʀ voːʀbɛi̯ kwɑm mɛt ən wɑʀmə jɑzaːn || zə spraːkən ʔɑf | dɑt dəɣeːnə di ʔəʀɪn zɔu̯ slaːɣə ʔɔm də ʀɛi̯zɪɣəʀ zɛi̯n jɑs tə dun ʔœy̯trɛkə | də stɛʀkstə wɑs || də noʀdəwɪnts blis soː ɦɑʀt ɦɛi̯ kɔn | maːʀ ɦu ɦɑʀdəʀ ɦɛi̯ blis | hu wɑʀməʀ də ʀɛi̯zɪɣəʀ zɪx ɪndʏfəldə || ʔœy̯tɛi̯ndələk ɡɑf hɛi̯ zɛi̯n poːɣɪŋ ʔɔp || dɑn bəɣɔn də zɔn ɦɑʀt tə sxɛi̯nə | ʔɛn də ʀɛi̯zɪɣəʀ deːt ɔmɪdələk sɛi̯n jɑzœy̯t || də noːʀdəwɪntˢ must tuɣeːvə | dɑtə zɔn hət stɛʀkstə wɑs][31]

Orthographic version

De noordenwind en de zon waren ruzie aan het maken over wie het sterkste was toen er een reiziger voorbij kwam met een warme jas aan. Ze spraken af dat degene die erin zou slagen om de reiziger zijn jas te doen uittrekken de sterkste was. De noordenwind blies zo hard hij kon, maar hoe harder hij blies hoe warmer de reiziger zich induffelde. Uitendelijk gaf hij zijn poging op. Dan begon de zon hard te schijnen en de reiziger deed onmiddellijk zijn jas uit. De noordenwind moest toegeven dat de zon het sterkste was.[31]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Gussenhoven (1999:75)
  2. Collins & Mees (2003:189–202)
  3. Collins & Mees (2003:191–192). The source says that the main allophone of this sound is a fricative with a "very energetic articulation with considerable scrapiness", i.e. a trill fricative.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Gussenhoven (1999:74)
  5. Verhoeven (2005:243, 245)
  6. Collins & Mees (2003:191–192)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Collins & Mees (2003:48)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Collins & Mees (2003:190)
  9. Collins & Mees (2003:155 and 193)
  10. Gussenhoven, Carlos (1992), "Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 22 (2): 45–47, doi:10.1017/S002510030000459X<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 Collins & Mees (2003:197)
  12. Collins & Mees (2003:58, 197, 222)
  13. Collins & Mees (2003), p. 209.
  14. Segberts. The Sociophonetics and Phonology of Dutch r.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Segberts. The Sociophonetics and Phonology of Dutch r.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. http://dspace.library.uu.nl/handle/1874/306415
  17. Peters (2006:117)
  18. Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999:155)
  19. 19.0 19.1 Collins & Mees (2003:130, 132 and 234)
  20. Collins & Mees (2003:92)
  21. Collins & Mees (2003:98)
  22. Camerman (2007:19)
  23. 23.0 23.1 Stroop, Jan (October 1999). "Young Women's Farewell to Standard Dutch". Poldernederlands. Retrieved 31 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Camerman (2007:24)
  25. Rietveld & Van Heuven 2009, p.70
  26. Verhoeven (2005:245)
  27. Gussenhoven (1992:47)
  28. The current collection at nl.wiktionary
  29. 29.0 29.1 Gussenhoven (1999:76)
  30. Source: Gussenhoven (1999:76). Close-mid vowels are transcribed as diphthongs according to the same page.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Verhoeven (2005:247)


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  • Peters, Jörg (2006), "The dialect of Hasselt", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 36 (1): 117–124, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002428<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Rietveld, A.C.M.; Van Heuven, V.J. (2009), Algemene Fonetiek, Uitgeverij Coutinho<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  • Verhoeven, Jo (2007), "The Belgian Limburg dialect of Hamont", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 37 (2): 219–225, doi:10.1017/S0025100307002940<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

External links