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Word-final sequences of two obstruents

On the strength of the Sonority Sequencing Constraint (see onset: complex onsets), obstruents are not allowed to form a tautosyllabic sequence. They nevertheless do. In word-final position, it is only the coronal obstruents − /s/, /t/, /z/ and /d/ − that can be the final (right-hand) member of the sequence.

Obstruent sequences in general must meet two constraints (see also onset: sequences of two obstruents): preferably, the obstruents do not agree in continuancy, whereas they must agree in voicing. This entails, first, that sequences of two plosives or two fricatives are less likely than plosive-fricative or fricative-plosive sequences and, second, that obstruent sequences consist of two voiced or two voiceless segments. As a result of derivational and inflectional processes, these constraints are severely violated in complex words. At the surface, however, they are always obeyed, due to several assimilatory processes. Sequences of /s/ + voiceless plosive, in either order, form complex segments; they are treated in complex segments, which is why they are left out in the overview in (1):

Example 1

Overview of word-final clusters of two obstruents
a. Examples with /t/ as the second segment
krekt /krɛkt/ accurate, precise; exactly!, that's it!
heft /hɛft/ handle, haft
krêft /krɛ:ft/ strength, power(s), force
krypt /kript/ crypt
kast /kɔst/ cupboard
nicht /nɪxt/ (female) cousin
b. Examples with /s/ as the second segment
sachs /saxs/ easily, in any case, at least (only example)
c. Examples with /d/ as the second segment
deugd /dø:ɣd/ virtue; quality, excellence
jeugd /jø:ɣd/ youth
betiisd /bəti:zd/ confused, muddled
beskaafd /bəska:vd/ cultured; civilised
d. Examples with /z/ as the second segment
blabs/blabze /blabz(ə)/ ooze, sludge
flods/flodze /flodz(ə)/ gush; cunt, twat