The realisation of Dutch -lijk as [əɫk]

Written by Dyami Millarson

The Dutch word for of course is natuurlijk, where the suffix -lijk etymologically corresponds to English -ly. Today I heard the Dutch word being pronounced as [nɑˈtyːrəɫk]. Normally -lijk is realised as [lək] in Dutch. [əɫk] is a variant of [lək] which occurs when the original [ə] between [l] and [k] is elided, while a new [ə] appears before the dark [ɫ] since the speaker finds it easier to pronounce [nɑˈtyːrəɫk] than the intended [nɑˈtyːrɫ̜k]. Although the change from [lək] to [əɫk] occurs sporadically in Dutch daily speech, this feature has become more normalised in Groningian, where noaturelk /nʊːˈtˢʰyːr(ə)ɫkʰ/ occurs besides the elder noatuurlek /nʊːˈtˢʰyːrləkʰ/.

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