Linguistics in the Netherlands 2014
  • ISSN 0929-7332
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9919


Speakers of Standard Dutch increasingly realise coda /r/ (e.g. paar) as a bunched or retroflex approximant. This coda variant is categorically distinct from onset /r/ (e.g. reizen), which is typically pronounced as a uvular trill or fricative, or an alveolar trill or tap. In this study, we investigate whether coda and onset /r/ in Dutch behave as distinct phonological categories. We present new articulatory and acoustic data on the realisation of /r/ in sandhi contexts, including the fake geminate context (e.g. paar reizen). Ultrasound data show that the presence of an onset /r/ conditions the deletion of a bunching gesture (typical of the coda /r/ realisation) from /r#r/ sequences. Nevertheless, the presence of a coda /r/ in such sequences is still acoustically traceable. We interpret these findings as a result of shared phonological identity between onset and coda /r/, and discuss them in the context of the place of allophony within models of grammar.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): categorical allophony; contrast; fake geminate; Rhotics; sandhi; Standard Dutch; ultrasound
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