• Dutch
  • Frisian
  • Afrikaans
Show full table of contents
Word-final sequences of two fricatives

This topic is about word-final sequences of two fricatives, of which there are only two, viz. /-xs/ and /-zɣ/. Both appear to have a limited rate of occurrence. Besides, more often than not /-xs/ is subject to dissimilation.


Word-final sequences of two fricatives are scarce. There are two instances of them.

In the first place, there is the voiceless final cluster /-xs/, which only occurs in the words listed in (1):

Example 1

Words ending in the clusters -/xs/
dochs /dɔɣ+s/ nevertheless, all the same
dôchs /dɔ:ɣ+s/ nevertheless, all the same
flaachs /fla:xs/ flax
flachs /flaxs/ waterweed
foaroarlochs /fwar+oərlɔɣ+s/ prewar
sachs /saxt+s/ easily, in any case, at least
sechs /sɛxs/ six
slachs (wêze mei) /slaɣ+s/ (to be) occupied (with)
waachs /va:xs/ wax
wearlichs /vɪər+lɪɣ+s/ damned, darn(ed)

Several things should be noted. First, slachs, wearlichs, dochs/dôchs, and foaroarlochs are complex words, in which [-xs] derives from /-ɣ+s/. The same goes for sachs, which derives from sacht+s (sacht means soft). The first three of these, and sachs, have a derivational -s ( /-s/); foaroarlochs is a synthetic compound. Second, sechs is an obsolete word. Third, more often than not, /-xs/ is subject to dissimilation, by which it is turned into [-ks].

The sequence at hand may also result from derivational and/or inflectional processes, as in (do) lychst /li:ɣ+st/ [lixst] (you) lie, heechst /he:ɣ+st/ [he:xst] highest, nachs /nax+s/ /(<naxt+s/) [naxs] at night, and dochs /dɔɣ+s/ [dɔxs] nevertheless, all the same (note that [-x] derives from underlying /-ɣ/ here). Also derived /-xs/ often undergoes dissimilation. The sequence /-xs/, then, is strongly disfavoured all over.

Secondly, there is the voiced sequence /-zɣ/, which only occurs at the end of the stem of weak II verbs (see Hoekstra (1993)). These verbs come in two classes. They can be deliberate, stylistically reinforced variants of verbs with a stem-final /-z/ (from both the weak I and the weak II class), as in (2a), or they can result from a 'natural development', as in (2b) (see also two classes of weak verbs):

Example 2

Verbs with a stem ending in -/zɣ/
a. Stylistically reinforced variants of verbs with a stem-final -/z/
bûnzg(je) /bu:nzɣ/ to bang, to boom (cf. bûnz(je) /bu:nz/ to bang, to boom )
freezg(je) /fre:zɣ/ to fear, to dread (cf. frez(e)/freez(je) /fre:z/ to fear, to dread )
riizg(je) /ri:zɣ/ to rise (up) (cf. riz(e)/riiz(je) /ri:z/ to rise (up) )
b. Resulting from a 'natural development'
binzg(je) /be:nzɣ/ to scrub (off)
drinzg(je) /dre:nzɣ/ to drink; to water (cf. drinz(e)/drinz(je) /dre:nz/ to drink;'to water )
eazg(je) /ɪəzɣ/ to bail/bale (out); to pour down (cf. eaz(e)/eaz(je) /ɪəz/ to bail/bale (out); to pour down )
grânzg(je) /ɡrɔ:nzɣ/ to growl; to grumble (cf. grânz(je) /ɡrɔ:nz/ to growl; to grumble )
klinzg(je) /kle:nzɣ/ to cleanse
peazg(je) /pɪəzɣ/ to slosh, to squelch (through ooze and mud) (cf. peaz(je) /pɪəz/ to slosh, to squelch (through ooze and mud) )
reizg(je) /rajzɣ/ to travel, to journey (from reis /rajz/ trip, journey )

As indicated, most of these verbs have variants without /-ɣ-/, which means that they can be interpreted as morphologically complex formations.

[hide extra information]

The above verbs are also realized with the voiced velar plosive /ɡ/ instead of the voiced velar fricative /ɣ/ (though it is not clear in which part of the language area). So a verb like reizgje /rajzɣjə/ to travel, to journey can be realized as [rajzɡjə] (in which case /ɡ/ is likely to occur in syllable-initial position: [(rajz).(ɡjə).]).

  • Hoekstra, Jarich1993Ig-tiidwurden en g-tiidwurdenUs wurk: tydskrift foar Frisistyk421-68