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Breaking
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The centring diphthongs /iə, yə, uə, ɪə, oə/ in simplex words may alternate with the glide + vowel sequences [jɪ, jø, wo, jɛ, wa] in complex words, notably plurals, diminutives, and compounds. This alternation is known as Modern Frisian Breaking, or just Breaking.

From a synchronic view point, Breaking is an opaque phenomenon, that is to say, it cannot be dealt with in purely phonological terms (see Tiersma (1978); Tiersma (1979); Tiersma (1979); Tiersma (1980); Tiersma (1982); Tiersma (1983)). When acquiring Frisian, children simply must learn which words show Breaking and which do not, and also in which morphological environment (Boelens (1980); Boelens (1987) and Boelens and Ytsma (1989); Boelens and Ytsma (1989)). The relation between a form with a centring diphthong and the one with the corresponding glide + vowel sequence, therefore, is best viewed as one of allomorphy (see 'broken' and 'shortened' forms).

From a phonological point of view, Breaking is an interesting phenomenon. According to Tiersma (1979:19), it is an extremely complex process which pervades virtually every other aspect of the morphophonology of Frisian, in terms of scope roughly to be compared to Umlaut in standard German, whereas it is probably also the most characteristic and most distinct aspect of Frisian phonology (ibidem:64). Breaking has left many traces in Modern Frisian. Besides, it has received much attention in the literature. That is why it merits a discussion here.

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References:
  • Boelens, Krine1980Wat oer de brekking yn it Mitselwierster Frysk sûnt 1900Breuker, Ph.H., Sikkema, K. & Veen, Klaas F. van der (eds.)Coulonnade : twa-en-tweintich FAriaasjes, oanbean oan mr. dr. K. de Vries.LjouwertFryske Akademy21-33
  • Boelens, Krine1987Child language acquisition as an indicator of language change in the community: Frisian breakingInternational Journal of the sociology of language6495-106
  • Boelens, Krine & Ytsma, Jehannes1989Brekking en idioom by Dongeradielster tsienersFrysk en Vrije Universiteit (1949-1989) Amsterdam/9-19
  • Boelens, Krine & Ytsma, Johannes1989Bern en Brekking: in ûndersyk nei taalwinning en taalferoaringIt beaken51103-114
  • Tiersma, Peter M1978Bidirectional leveling as evidence for relational rulesLingua4565-77
  • Tiersma, Peter M1979Breaking in West Frisian: a historical and synchronic approachUtrecht working papers in linguistics81-41
  • Tiersma, Pieter M1979Aspects of the phonology of Frisian based on the language of GrouMeidielingen fan de stúdzjerjochting Frysk oan de Frije Universiteit yn Amsterdam4
  • Tiersma, Pieter M1979Aspects of the phonology of Frisian based on the language of GrouMeidielingen fan de stúdzjerjochting Frysk oan de Frije Universiteit yn Amsterdam4
  • Tiersma, Pieter M1980The lexicon in phonological theoryBloomington, Ind.Indiana University Linguistics ClubThesis
  • Tiersma, Pieter M1982Local and General MarkednessLanguage58832-849
  • Tiersma, Pieter M1983The nature of phonological representation: evidence from breaking in FrisianJournal of linguistics1959-78
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