Schwa deletion results in geminate formation in West-Frisian

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West-Frisian has a highly frequent suffix -/ən/ in which the schwa is usually deleted. This results in a single nasal which is analysed as ‘syllabic’, at least after obstruents. However, it is unclear what happens if schwa deletion occurs after a stem-final nasal as in hûn-en ‘dog.PL’. We consider several options, including nasal deletion, nasal contraction, and gemination. We compare the duration of an underlyingly single nasal in stem-final position with that of the nasal after schwa deletion in -/nən/ as in hûn ~ hûnen. The results reveal that the nasal in hûnen after schwa deletion is more than twice as long as in hûn and also longer than after schwa deletion in /tən/. This indicates that the nasal is geminated. We discuss the status of this nasal in light of the fact that gemination does not occur elsewhere in the phonology of Frisian.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sept 2019


  • West Frisian


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