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Word-final sequences of a liquid and an obstruent

Due to the Word Constraint, words ending in a sequence of a liquid and an obstruent must contain a short vowel, hence the well-formedness of skulp /skølp/ shell and the ill-formedness of skeulp /skø:lp/. This topic gives an overview of these sequences and comments on some problematic cases.


An overview of the word-final sequences of a liquid and an obstruent is provided in the table below.

Table 1
With /l/ -lp skulp /skølp/ shell, gjalp /ɡjɔlp/ gush, spurt; cry, shout, help(e) /hɛlp/ to help
-lb alb /ɔlb/ alb, (mass) vestment (only example)
-lt alt /ɔlt/ alto, jelt /jɛlt/ handle, haft (of spade, shovel, hoe, weeder), bult /bølt/ hunch, hump; heap, pile
-ld jild /jɪld/ money, wyld /vild/ wild, geld /ɡɛld/ infertile, barren; unfertilized
-lk wolk /volk/ cloud, skelk /skɛlk/ apron, pylk /pilk/ arrow
-lv skelf /skɛlv/ warped, crooked, kalf /kɔlv/ with young, in calf, wolf /volv/ wolf
-lz hals /hɔlz/ neck, fels /fɛlz/ bog ore, pols /polz/ wrist; pulse; fenpole
-lɣ wylch /vilɣ/ willow, swolch /swolɣ/ draught, gulp, felch /fɛlɣ/ rim
With /r/ -rp sjerp /sjɛrp/ syrup, skerp /skɛrp/ sharp, doarp /dwarp/ village
-rb (not attested)
-rt sport /spɔrt/ sport(s), snert /snɛrt/ pea soup, konsert /konsɛrt/ concert
-rd miljard /mɪljard/ billion, bard /bard/ bard
-rk wurk /vørk/ work, ark /ark/ tools, perk /pɛrk/ court, pitch
-rv werf /vɛrv/ shipyard, turf /tørv/ peat, skurf /skørv/ shabby, scruffy
-rs mars /mars/ march
-rz (not attested)
-rɣ boarch /bwarɣ/ surety, guarantee; security, guaranty, murch /mørɣ/ (bone) marrow; pith, wurch /vørɣ/ tired
Since they have a short vowel, the above words are only in conformity with the Word Constraint.

No doubt, the non-occurrence of the sequence /-rb/ has to do with the low frequency of word-final /-b/ in general. There is just one word ending in /-lb/, which is a loanword.

Because /r/ may not precede a coronal consonant in Frisian (see /r/-deletion in simplex words), the sequences /-rt/, /-rd/, /-rs/, and /-rz/ are expected to be impossible. This holds true for /-rz/, which is not attested. The sequences /-rt/, /-rd/, and /-rs/ do occur, be it in loanwords only.