It provides a set of symbols to represent the pronunciation of Dutch in Wikipedia articles, and example words that illustrate the sounds that correspond to them. Integrity must be maintained between the key and the transcriptions that link here; do not change any symbol or value without establishing
consensus on the
talk page first.
abcdefGenerally, the southern varieties preserve the /f/–/v/, /x/–/ɣ/ and /s/–/z/ contrasts. Southern /x/, /ɣ/ may be also somewhat more front, i.e. post-palatal. In the north, these are far less stable: most speakers merge /x/ and /ɣ/ into a post-velar [x̠] or uvular [
χ]; most Netherlandic Standard Dutch speakers lack a consistent /f/–/v/ contrast. In some accents, e.g. Amsterdam, /s/ and /z/ are also not distinguished./ʒ/ often joins this neutralization by merging with /ʃ/. In some accents, /
ɦ/ is also devoiced to [
h]. See also
Hard and soft G in Dutch.
abThe final ‹n› of the plural ending -en is usually not pronounced, except in the North East (Low Saxon) and the South West (East and West Flemish) where the ending becomes a syllabic [n̩] sound. The syllabic pronunciation is considered to be strongly non-standard, especially in the Netherlands.
devoices all obstruents at the ends of words (e.g. a final /d/ becomes [
t]). This is partly reflected in the spelling: the voiced ‹z› in plural huizen ('houses') becomes huis ('house') in singular, and duiven ('doves') becomes duif ('dove'). The other cases are always written with the voiced consonant, even though a devoiced one is actually pronounced: the voiced ‹d› in plural baarden[ˈbaːrdə(n)] ('beards') is retained in the singular spelling baard ('beard'), but pronounced as [baːrt]; and plural ribben[ˈrɪbə(n)] ('ribs') has singular rib, pronounced as [rɪp]. Because of assimilation, often the initial consonant of the next word is also devoiced, e.g. het vee ('the cattle') is [ɦət ˈfeː]
abcdeThe alveolo-palatal stops [c] and [ɟ], the fricatives [ʃ] and [ʒ], and the
nasal[ɲ] are allophones of the sequences /tj/, /dj/, /sj/, /zj/ and /nj/. [ɟ] and [ʒ] occur only in loanwords. [ɲ] also occurs as an allophone of /n/ before /tj/ (realized as [c]).
ɡ/ is not a native phoneme of Dutch and only occurs in loanwords, like goal or when /k/ is voiced, like in zakdoek[ˈzɑɡduk].
glottal stop[ʔ] is indicated sparingly in Dutch transcriptions on Wikipedia: it is mandatorily inserted between [aː] and [ə] and a syllable-initial vowel, both within words and at word boundaries. Often, it is also inserted before phrase-initial vowels and before any word-initial vowel. This is not indicated in most of our transcriptions.
abThe "checked" vowels /
ɔ/, and /
ʏ/ occur only in
closed syllables, while their "free" counterparts /
oː/, and /
y/ can occur in open syllables (as can the other vowels).
abcFor most speakers of Netherlandic Standard Dutch, the long close-mid vowels /
øː/ and /
oː/ are realised as slightly closing diphthongs [eɪ], [øʏ] and [oʊ], unless they precede /r/ within the same syllable. The closing diphthongs also appear in certain Belgian dialects, e.g. the one of
Bruges, but not in Belgian Standard Dutch. See
Dutch phonology#Monophthongs for more details.
abcThe exact quality of diphthongs varies; Netherlandic Standard Dutch has somewhat more open (in case of /ʌu/ and often /œy/ also unrounded) first elements: [æi], [ɐy], [ɑu]. In Belgian Standard Dutch, they begin in the open-mid region, and the last diphthong has a rounded first element: [ɛi], [œy], [ɔu]. In Belgium, the onset of /œy/ can also be unrounded to [ɐy]. Some non-standard dialects (e.g. many southern dialects) realise these diphthongs as either narrow diphthongs or (as in The Hague dialect) long monophthongs. See
Dutch phonology § Diphthongs for more details.
Gussenhoven, Carlos (1999),
"Dutch", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 74–77,
Rietveld, A.C.M.; Van Heuven, V.J. (2009), Algemene Fonetiek, Uitgeverij Coutinho