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Word-final vowels

Words in Frisian can end in all sorts of vowels and in long vowel + glide sequences. This topic offers an overview of the possibilities.


Frisian words may end in a single vowel (see long and short monophthongs) or in a vocalic sequence (see complex vowel sequences), see the overview below:

Example 1

Examples of words with final vowels and vocalic sequences
a. With a short vowel
[See word-final short vowels]
b. With a long vowel
ra /ra:/ yard
ree /re:/ ready, finished
sneu /snø:/ unfortunate, sad
do /do:/ pigeon
c. With a diphthong
A falling diphthong
dei /daj/ day
nij /nɛj/ new
trui /trʌɥ/ jumper
gau /ɡɔw/ quick, fast
A centring diphthong
snie /sniə/ snow
koe /kuə/ could (preterite stem of the verb kinn(e) can )
hea /hɪə/ hay
bleau /bløə/ stayed (preterite stem of the verb bliuw(e) to stay )
goa /ɡoə/ district
d. With a long vowel + a glide
draai /dra:j/ turn
moai /mo:j/ beautiful
bloei /blu:j/ bloom; blossoming
iuw /i:w/ century; age
e. With schwa
de /də/ the
dize /di:zə/ mist, haze
rige /ri:ɣə/ row
alve /ɔlvə/ eleven
[hide extra information]

The half open and the close long vowels − /ɔ:/, /ɛ:/, /i:/, /y:/, and /u:/ − are not allowed in word-final position. As a result, only the half close and the open long vowels show up in (b).

[hide extra information]

The centring diphthong /yə/ does not occur in word-final position. Since /y/ is a vowel with an overall low frequency of occurrence, this is likely to be an accidental gap.