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The spelling of consonants

In general there is a one-to-one correspondence between letters and consonant phonemes. Complications arise because there are two digraphs, ch for /x/ and ng for /ŋ/, and because of the effect of etymological spelling.

Intervocalic consonants that occur after a short vowel (B-class vowel) are spelled as geminates, as in bakker /bɑkər/ baker. However, digraphs are not geminated. Hence, we spell lachen /lɑxə(n)/ to laugh, not *lachchen.

A survey of the spelling of the Dutch consonants is given in table 1:

Table 1: The spelling of Dutch consonants
Consonant Spelling Special cases
/f/ f ph (phoenix phoenix)
/v/ v v (veertig forty, vijftig fifty)
s c (cent cent)
ç (façade facade)
sc (scene scene)
sch (suffix -isch as in logisch logical)
z (zestig sixty, zeventig seventy)
/sj/ or /ʃ/ sj ch (chef chef)
sh (shilling shilling)
/z/ z s (analyse analysis, fase phase)
/zj/ or /ʒ/ zj g (horloge watch)
j (jury jury)
/x/ ch /
/ɣ/ g gh (yoghurt yoghurt)
/p/ p /
/b/ b /
/t/ t th (thee tea)
/d/ d ddh (Boeddha Buddha)
/k/ k c (café café)
ch (christen Christian)
qu (quotiënt quotient)
/kw/ kw qu (quiz quiz)
/ks/ ks cc (accent accent)
x (taxi taxi)
/m/ m /
/n/ n /
/ñj/ nj gn (campagne campaign)
/ŋ/ ng n before velar consonants (bank bank)
/l/ l /
/r/ r /
/ʋ/ w uw after ie (nieuw new) and ee (leeuw lion)
/j/ j i after vowels (mooi beautiful)
ij in proper names (Booij Booij)
y (royaal generous)
ill (failliet bankrupt)