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Pronunciation of the Dutch plural (was: German spelling reform)

From:Irina Rempt-Drijfhout <ira@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 10, 1999, 18:45
On Mon, 9 Aug 1999, dirk elzinga wrote:

> I suppose it also depends on the generation then. My mother, who is from > Amsterdam, has a nasalized schwa or a schwa-n sequence.
And on the dialect - Amsterdam speech is very nasal in general. And on current fashion, i.e. what they speak on television. I don't follow the media much (don't have a TV, use the radio only occasionally for music, read the papers but they don't talk :-) so I wouldn't know what it's like now except that shouting seems to be the fashion. Some ten years ago everyone on television spoke with a "Goois" accent (from the region where Hilversum is, a lot of very affluent and fashionable villages). This made [r] (apico-alveolar, the standard of the fifties and sixties) go out almost completely, and its allophone [R] (velar, the de facto default for about 60% of the Dutch population) partially, being replaced with a kind of uvular glide that I couldn't reproduce or find the ASCII for. Horrible.
> However, I seem > to recall that when I was in the Netherlands as an exchange student, the > prevalent pronunciation was as a nasalized schwa.
When was this?
> Of course this could > have a couple of explanations: 1) being a foreigner (in spite of my > name!) people were careful to speak slowly and clearly, which might also > include spelling pronunciation;
Could be, but you'd get [@n] rather than [@~].
> 2) I was in Tilburg, which is a > different dialect area from Noord Holland;
Plausible; my soon-to-be-ex-brother-in-law also talks like that and he's from Oosterhout (near Breda). Makes people sound as if they're constantly whining, to me; I wouldn't want to live in Brabant, I'd get depressed in no time.
> 3) since most of my > interaction was with other university students, the pronunciation of > <-en> as nasalized schwa or as schwa-n might be part of an academic > speech register.
Doesn't sound very plausible. I can imagine that people might talk through the nose as an affectation, but they'd do it all the time and not just in the -en ending. I intended to listen to people, but I was in Rotterdam with the kids and though we talked a lot (not only among ourselves) I didn't really have time for it. Anyway, what they speak in Rotterdam is something entirely different - so much that my youngest (almost four) asked if we were in another country, because the people talked different and the pedestrian traffic lights made a different noise. Irina Varsinen an laynynay, saraz no arlet rastynay. (myself) (English) (Nederlands)