Volume 5, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN: 1879-9272
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In standard Dutch, the plural suffix -en is homographic and homophonic with the linking suffix -en (boek+en “books”, boek+en+kast “bookcase”), both being pronounced as schwa. In Frisian, there is neither homography nor homophony (boek+en “books”, pronounced with syllabic nasal; boek+e+kast “bookcase”, pronounced with a linking schwa). Seeing that many areas of Frisian grammar are subject to interference from Dutch, we investigated whether Frisian-Dutch bilinguals exhibit interference from Dutch with respect to the linking suffix during Frisian speech production. Two types of Frisian-Dutch bilinguals emerged: Speakers who had Dutch as their first language tended to maintain the Dutch system of homophony between plural and linking suffixes when speaking Frisian, by using the Frisian plural as a linking morpheme. Speakers who had Frisian as their first language often maintained the Frisian system of no homophony when speaking Frisian. The implications for morphological theories are discussed.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): bilingualism; compounds; Dutch; Frisian; linking suffixes; speech production
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