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3. Exceptions to final devoicing

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Abstract

Some dialects of Dutch show systematic exceptions to final devoicing in the first person singular of verbs ending in a long or tense vowel and a fricative. This observation raises questions about the morphology – what makes the first person singular of verbs so special? –, and about the phonology – what makes fricatives after long vowels so special? As to the morphological side of things, this paper argues that the first person singular suffix, which used to be a schwa, is still present as an abstract vocalic position. From the phonological point of view, I argue that Dutch fricatives have a phonological length contrast rather than a voicing contrast. Since (empty) syllabic positions and consonant length both are expressed in the phonotactic dimension, it is expected that they interact.

References

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