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Final /d/-deletion

Some nouns and adjectives ending in a long vocalic sequence (predominantly a centring diphthong) + /d/ can also be realized without the latter. This /d/, however, always shows up in inflected and derived forms, so that it can be considered as basic.

[+]General information

Some words ending in the centring diphthong /ɪə/ or /iə/ + /d/ have a variant without /d/. They are listed in (1):

Example 1

Words ending in /ɪə/ or /iə/ + /d/ with a variant without /d/
a. Nouns
dead /dɪəd/ death
died /diəd/ act, action; deed
ried /riəd/ advice; council
sied /siəd/ seed; sperm
tried /triəd/ thread; fibre; wire
b. Adjectives
dead /dɪəd/ dead
read /rɪəd/ red
c. Residual cases
goed /ɡuəd/ good
paad /pa:d/ path; track
steed /ste:d/ spot

The nouns in (1a) can occur with or without final /-d/ in free usage, so dead, died, ried, sied, and tried can be realized as either [dɪət], [diət], [riət], [siət], [triət] or [dɪə], [diə], [riə], [siə], [triə]. This also holds when they are the left-hand member of a compound. The distribution of the variants is a dialectal and/or ideolectal matter.

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The underlying representations of the above nouns must be assumed to end in /-d/ (see below); the final [-t] of their phonetic representations is due to Final Devoicing.

In 'longer forms', however, /-d/ is always there, as indicated in the overview below.

[+]Overview of the contexts in which /d/ obligatorily shows up in the words in (1a)
  • In the plural: deaden /dɪəd+ən/ (in: fan/út de deaden opstean arise from the dead), dieden /diəd+ən/ deeds, rieden /riəd+ən/ councils, sieden /siəd+ən/ seeds, triedden /trjɪd+ən/ threads;
  • in the compound allomorph in /-ə/, as in triedde#boel /trjɪdə-/ all kinds of threads;
  • in the compound allomorph in /-s/, as in deads#bang /dɪəd+s-/ terrified (of), deadsberjocht /dɪəd+s-/ death announcement, obituary notice, rieds#beslút /riəd+s-/ decision of the council, rieds#seal /riəd+s-/ council chamber, rieds#man /riəd+s-/ adviser, counsellor;
  • in the compound allomorph with /-əl/, as in sieddel#sied /sjɪdəl-/ seed for sowing, sieddel#nôt /sjɪdəl-/ seed-corn;
  • in synthetic compounds ending in -ich ( /-əɣ/) and -s ( /-s/), like moarddiedich /moəd+diəd+əɣ/ murderous, wurkdiedich /vørk+diəd+əɣ/ energetic, ienriedich /iən+riəd+əɣ/ united, harmonious, twifelriedich /twifəl+riəd+əɣ/ irresolute, wavering, indecisive, langtriedderich /laŋ+trjɪd+ərəɣ/ long-winded, trijetrieds /trɛiə+triəd+s/ three-ply, twatrieds /twa:+triəd+s/ two-ply;
  • in noun-to-verb conversions: riede /riəd+ə/ to give advice, to advise, siedzje /sjɪd+jə/ to sow, triedzje /trjɪd+jə/ to string (for the /z/ in triedzje and siedzje, see /{s/z}/-insertion between /{t/d}/ and /jə/;
  • in agent nouns: dieder /diəd+ər/ perpetrator;
  • in other derivations, like triedderich /trjɪd+ərəɣ/ stringy, der is gjin riedensein /riəd+əns-/oan, ta it is impossible to rectify this deficiency, there is no help for it;
  • in fixed expressions with old case-endings, like by immen te riede /riəd+ə/gean take council with someone, consult with someone, te riede /riəd+ə/wurde to decide.
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In noun-to-verb conversions, /d/ is an undeletable part of the verb stem. So, whereas the noun ried /riəd/ advice; council can be realized as either [riət] or [riə], the verb form ik ried I give advice, I advise is realized as [riət], to the exclusion of [*riə].

Words which derive from the above conversion verbs also have /d/, as with rieder /riəd+ər/ advisor, riedling //r{iə/jɪ}d+lɪŋ/ riddle, riedsel /{r{iə/jɪ}d+səl/ riddle; mystery, enigma, riedsum //riəd+səm/ advisable, well-advised, siedder /sjɪd+ər/ sower, siedding /sjɪd+ɪŋ/ what has been sown, triedder /trjɪd+ər/ stringer.

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In the expression immen mei rie(d) en die(d) bystean assist someone by word and deed, rie(d) and die(d) are simultaneously realized with or without /-d/ ( [-t]).

The adjectives dead dead and read red ((1b)) also occur with or without final /-d/ in free usage, so they can be realized either as [dɪət] and [rɪət] or as [dɪə] and [rɪə]. This also holds when they are the left-hand member of a compound. Both adjectives, however, do not show identical behaviour in this respect, for whereas rea [rɪə] is far less common than read [rɪət], the opposite holds for dea [dɪə] and dead [dɪət]. The normal way of saying things is as in (2):

Example 2

Examples of the normal usage of read 'red' and dea 'dead'
in read [rɪət] hûs a red house
it hûs is read [rɪət] the house is red
in dea [dɪə] skiep a dead sheep
it skiep is dea [dɪə] the sheep is dead

The variant rea, furthermore, is rather common as the left-hand member of (synthetic) compounds − with final stress −, examples of which are given in (3):

Example 3

Examples of rea as the left-hand member of (synthetic) compounds
reabûter /rɪə#butər/ grass-butter
reafallich /rɪə+fɔl+əɣ/ red-cheeked
reahollich /rɪə+hol+əɣ/ with a read head
reahûn /rɪə#hun/ German measles
reariem /rɪə#riəm/ shingles

With dead dead and read red as well, /-d/ is always there in 'longer forms', as indicated in the overview below:

[+]Overview of the contexts in which /d/ obligatorily shows up in the words in (1b)
  • in the inflected form: reade /rɪəd+ə/ [rɪədə] (it reade hûs the red house), deade /dɪəd+ə/ [dɪədə] (it deade skiep the dead sheep);
  • in the comparative: reader /rɪəd+ər/ [rɪədər] redder, deader /dɪəd+ər/ [dɪədər] deader;
  • in nominal use: in readen /rɪəd+ən/(ien) a red one, de readen /rɪəd+ən/ the red ones, in deaden /dɪəd+ən/(ien) a dead one, de deaden /dɪəd+ən/ the dead ones;
  • in adjective-to-verb conversions: readzje /rɪəd+jə/ to become red; to make red, deadzje /dɪəd+jə/ to kill (for the /z/ in triedzje and siedzje, see /{s/z}/-insertion between /{t/d}/ and /jə/);
  • in other derivations, like readens /rɪəd+əns/ redness, readich /rɪəd+əɣ/ reddish, readsje /rɪəd+tsjə/ potato with a red skin (diminutive form), readsjer /rɪəd+tsjər/ potato with a red skin, deadens /dɪəd+əns/ deathliness, deadichheid /dɪəd+əɣhid/ deathliness, deadsk /dɪəd+sk/ dead, dead-and-alive.
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Words which derive from the conversion verbs readzje /rɪəd+jə/ to become red; to make red and deadzje /dɪəd+jə/ to kill invariably have /d/, as with deadlik /dɪəd+lək/ deadly and deader /dɪəd+ər/ killer, slayer.

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It is unclear whether /d/ shows up in the superlatives readst /rɪəd+st/ reddest and deadst /dɪəd+st/ deadest. Since stem-final /-d/ deletes before the suffix -st (see /t/-deletion before the suffix st), the pronunciations, [rɪəst] and [dɪəst], do not give one a clue.

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From a historical point of view, the word deade dead person/man/woman derives from the inflected adjective dead: /dɪəd+ə/. However, it has become a full-fledged noun, with the plural form deaden /dɪəd+ən/ (the) dead, (the) deceased and the compound allomorph deade- /dɪədə-/, as in deade#betinking commemoration of the dead and deade#ryk underworld, shades. If de deaden is the plural of the nominalized adjective dead ( /dɪəd+ə+ən/), it is best translated as the dead ones, if it is the plural of the noun deade ( /dɪədə+ən/) as the dead, the deceased; in the former case, it may refer to animates and non-animates, in the latter case it refers to human beings only.

Finally, there are the residual cases in (1c), viz. the adjective goed /ɡuəd/ good and the nouns paad /pa:d/ path; track and steed /ste:d/ spot. Of these, goed always keeps its final /-d/. It only shows up as goe- /ɡuə-/ in compound words − with final stress − and lexicalized phrases (greetings), examples of which are given in (4):

Example 4

Examples of compound words and lexicalized phrases (greetings) with goe-
goe#dei goodday; goodbye
goe#keap cheap
goe#freon good friend
goe#fries right-minded, true Frisian
goe#jûn good evening; good night
goe#kunde good acquaintances
goe#middei good afternoon
goe#moarn good morning
goe#nacht good night
goe#rie a piece of good advice
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The compound goe#died benefaction (lit. good deed) is the only one with stress on the left-hand part, which, however, may actually be goed, with a final /d/, so that the underlying representation is /ɡuəd#diəd/. Of the sequence /d#d/ one /d/ remains due to Degemination. Viewed like this, goe#died ‒ which then must be spelled as goeddied, with -dd- ‒ would no longer have an exceptional stress pattern.

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The word leed /le:d/ sorrow has the allomorph lee /le:/, which only shows up in the compounds lee#brief mourning card and lee#folk those going to a funeral'. These compounds are becoming, or have become, obsolete, the common forms being leedbrief and leedfolk.

According to the Frisian dictionaries, steed is in free variation with stee, though the latter, which is the most frequent form, is the main entry in most dictionaries. This is different for paad, whose allomorph pa /pa:/ has a limited dialectal distribution.

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The inflected form goede /ɡuəd+ə/ can be realized as either [ɡuədə] or [ɡu.jə], the latter of which is becoming the most frequent form. No doubt, it is a form influenced by Dutch. The greeting goeie good day; goodbye has developed from phrases like goeie dei good day; goodbye and goeie moarn good morning. In the southern part of the language area, goeie has given rise to the new base form goei, which occurs alongside goed. In that area, the adverb hjoed /juəd/ may have the variant hjoei /ju.j/, showing an analogous development.

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There are several past tense stems of strong/irregular verbs which ended in the sequence of one of the centring diphthongs /iə/, /uə/ or /ɪə/ + /d/, but which have lost this /d/ in the course of time, so that synchronically they end in a centring diphthong. These stems are:

Example 5

die /diə/ (with dwaan to do ; cf. Dutch deed and English did )
hie /hiə/ (with hawwe to have ; cf. Dutch and English had )
snie /sniə/ ; with snije to cut ; cf. Dutch sneed )
stie /stiə/ (with stean to stand ; cf. English stood )
koe /kuə/ could (with kinne can ; cf. English could )
soe /suə/ would, should (with sille will, shall ; cf. English should )
woe /wuə/ wanted, wished (with wolle to want, to wish ; cf. English would )
stoe /stuə/ stood (with Old Frisian stonda to stand ; cf. English stood )
bea /bɪə/ offered (with biede to offer ; cf. Dutch bood )
sea /sɪə/ boiled (with siede to boil ; cf. older Dutch zood )

The deletion of this stem-final /d/ is a historical process. Synchronic past tense stems like belied /beliəd/ confessed (with belide to confess), glied /ɡliəd/ slid (with glide to slide), ried /riəd/ rode, drove (with ride to ride, to drive), stried /striəd/ struggled (with stride to struggle) do not show any trace of /d/-deletion. At a time, however, it must have been a fairly general process.

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The word breed /bre:d/ broad used to have the /d/-less variant brie, which has become obsolete. The /d/ of breed is always realized. However, as the left-hand member of some (synthetic) compounds − examples of which are given in (6) − breed shows up as bree:

Example 6

bree#dyk wide, broad road
bree#rêgich with a broad back, broad shoulders

The above are fixed expressions, with final stress.

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The Frisian dialect of Hindelopen/Hylpen has final /d/-deletion at a much vaster scale than Frisian, as can be seen in the alphabetical overview in the table below:

Table 1
Hylpersk Frisian Dutch Translation
bloo bloed bloed blood
braa brea brood bread
brea breed breed broad
daa dea(d) dood death; dead
floo floed vloed flood
fôrree foarrie(d) voorraad stock; supplies
goo goed goed good
goo#kaip goe(d)#keap goed#koop cheap
laa lead lood lead
moo moed (ge)moed courage; mood
potlaa poatlead potlood pencil
raa rea(d) rood red
ree rie(d) raad advice; council
saa saad well
see sie(d) zaad seed; sperm
skaa skea schade damage; harm
skea skie schede sheath
slea slide slee/slede sledge
snea sneed snee/snede cut
soad a lot
stea stêd/stee(d) stad/stede town; spot
tjoo tsjoed bad, evil
trea tree trede step
tree trie(d) draad thread, fibre
wrea wreed wreed cruel

It does not seem too far-fetched to take the forms with /-d/ as basic. The relation between base form and allomorph can then be expressed as below:

- /{iə/iə}d/ ~ -/{iə/iə}/ -relation

Figure 1

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