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Re: Dutch labiodental fricatives [was: Re: *oy vey*]

From:Matthew Bladen <matthew.bladen@...>
Date:Wednesday, April 10, 2002, 21:58
Wednesday, April 10, 2002, 8:39:25 PM, Dirk Elzinga wrote:

>>Has Dutch been vary evil against labiodental >>fricatives during some period of it's history?
DE> As I understand it, Proto-Germanic had no voicing contrast in DE> fricatives. Voicing occured in each daughter language under slightly DE> different conditions. In some varieties of Dutch, *f was voiced DE> initially and medially, while in others it wasn't (there may also DE> have been a Frisian substrate influence on the northern dialects DE> which either nipped voicing in the bud, or prevented it from DE> occurring it at all). Dutch spelling reflects a mixed dialect DE> situation. I guess this is also why Old English didn't make much distinction between f/v, s/z and so on -- and, come to think of it, why modern English doesn't always, either! Fascinating stuff -- thanks! -- Matthew