Table 153 Diphthongs wei/wy oei oeu o9 huis koud brood

09 seun ea ai weet baie

The long vowels of Afrikaans, compared with the vowels in cognate forms in Dutch, are characterized by (a) breaking; (b) raising; and (c) unrounding:

a The vowels in brood, seun, and weet are traditionally transcribed without the schwa off-glide, implying that they are monophthongs, but such a view only has an historical validity; b <oo> and <ee> are also very commonly raised to /uo/ and /io/. c The diphthongs /0o/ and /oei/ and the long vowel /y:/, as well as the short vowel /ce/, written <eu>, <ui>, <uu> and <u>, are all very commonly unrounded to /eo/, /oi/, /i:/ and I'il. In so doing they become almost indistinguishable from the vowels represented by the graphemes <ee>, <ei>/<y>, <ie> and <i>, e.g. leun/leen, huis/hys, muur/mier, lugAig. The diphthong /cei/ is already somewhat unrounded when compared with its cognate in Dutch, /cey/.

/ai/ is limited to very few words, all ultimately of foreign origin, except where it occurs as the result of umlauting in the diminutive, in which case it is strictly speaking an allophone of /a/.

Diphthongization in Diminutive Formations

Addition of the palatal diminutive ending -tjie, or simply -jie if a noun already ends in <t> or <d> (both pronounced [t] in final position), causes umlauting of certain preceding vowels. The resulting diphthongs can in fact be regarded as allophones of the original vowels concerned which apply only when a word ends in [ci], e.g.

mat - matjie


pron. [maici]

maat - maatjie


pron. [ma:ici]

hand - handjie


pron. [fiaijici]

aand - aandjie


pron. [aiijici]

bed- bedjie


pron. [beici]

kind - kindjie


pron. [kïijici]

pot - potjie


pron. [poici]

poot - pootjie


pron. [poici]

hond - hondjie


pron. [fioijici]

oond - oondjie


pron. [oijici]

voet - voetjie


pron. [fuici]



pron. [pœici]

punt - puntjie


pron. [pceijici]

Double Vowels

Table 15.4 Double vowels

Double Vowels

Table 15.4 Double vowels iu ui sneeu koeie o:i nooi a:i draai

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