This article covers the phonology of the Kerkrade dialect, a West Ripuarian language variety spoken in parts of the Kerkrade municipality in the Netherlands (including the town of Kerkrade itself) and Herzogenrath in Germany.
Just like Colognian, the Kerkrade dialect is not uniform and there are some geographical differences. This article focuses on the variety spoken in the Dutch town of Kerkrade. The spelling used in this article is a Dutch-based one used in Kirchröadsjer dieksiejoneer.
In contrast to Limburgish and Standard Dutch, but like other varieties of Ripuarian, the Kerkrade dialect was partially affected by the High German consonant shift. For instance, the former /t/ became an affricate /ts/ in word-initial and word-final positions, after historical /l/ and /ʁ/ as well as when doubled. Thus, the word for "two" is twee /ˈtʋeː/ in Standard Dutch, but tswai /ˈtsβai/[tone?] in the Kerkrade dialect, almost identical to Standard German zwei /ˈtsvaɪ/.
- /m, p, b, β/ are bilabial, whereas /f, v/ are labiodental.
- Syllable-final /β, l/ tend to be velarized [w, ɫ], especially after /ɑ/. /l/ can also be velarized intervocalically after /ɑ/.
- /ɡ/ occurs only intervocalically.
- Most instances of historical /ɣ/ have merged with /j/, so that the word for green in the Kerkrade dialect is jreun /ˈjʁøːn/ (compare Standard Dutch groen /ˈɣrun/). /ɣ/ occurs only after back vowels and is phonetically very similar to /ʁ/. In fact, it is unclear whether speakers make a consistent phonetic distinction between the velar /ɣ/ and the uvular /ʁ/. In Luxembourgish, which is also a Central Franconian language variety spoken further south in Luxembourg and Belgium, the two sounds (usually transcribed with ⟨ʁ⟩ and ⟨ʀ⟩ in IPA) have been reported to merge to [ʁ] between a vowel and a voiced consonant.
- The palatal [ç] is an allophone of /x/ after consonants, the front vowels and the close-mid central /ø/, which phonologically is a front vowel. The velar [x] is used after back vowels and the open central /aː/, which phonologically is a back vowel. Both allophones can appear within one lexeme, e.g. laoch [ˈlɔːx][tone?] and löcher [ˈlœçəʁ].[tone?]
|Diphthongs||closing||ɛi œy ɔi ɔu ai au|
|centering||iə yə uə eə øə oə|
- Many words that have the long rounded close-mid vowels /øː/ and /oː/ in the neighboring Limburgish dialects have the short /ø/ and /o/ in Kerkrade.
- /ø, øː, œ, œː/ can be considered the umlauted variants of /o, oː, ɔ, ɔː/.
- /ə/ occurs only in unstressed syllables. It is also inserted allophonically between /l/ or /ʁ/ and a labial or velar consonant, as in milch [ˈmɪləç][tone?] and sjterk [ˈʃtæʁək].[tone?]
- /oə/ is the only centering diphthong that can occur before /ʁ/. This stands in contrast to the distribution found in the transitional Brabantian-Limburgish dialect of Orsmaal-Gussenhoven, where the long front unrounded /iː, e��, ɛː/ contrast with /iə, eə, ɛə/ (the last one not found in the Kerkrade dialect) in this position, as exemplified by the minimal pair beer /beːr/ 'beer' vs. beër /beər/ 'bear'.
- /i, iː, yː, u, uː/ are fully close [i, iː, yː, u, uː].
- The phonetic distance between /y/ and /ø/ is not very great; the former is near-close front [ʏ], whereas the latter is close-mid central [ɵ], much as in the Limburgish dialect of Hamont. Word-final instances of /y/ are realized as a fully close [y].
- /ɪ/ and /ɛ/ are more open [ɪ̞, æ] before /m, n, ŋ, l, ʁ/ than elsewhere, where they are realized as [ɪ] and [ɛ], respectively. Only the allophony of /ɛ/ is indicated in transcriptions in this article.
- /eː, øː, oː/ are phonetically close-mid [eː, øː, oː].
- /ɛː, œː, ɔ/ are open-mid [ɛː, œː, ɔ].
- /œ/ is mid front [œ̝].
- /ɑ/ is open back [ɑ].
- /aː/, a phonological back vowel, is phonetically front [aː].
- Before /ʁ/, all of the long vowels are pronounced even longer than in Standard Dutch. In this position, the long /iː, yː, uː, eː, øː/ are realized with a slight schwa offglide [iːə, yːə, uːə, eːə, øːə], which means that they approach the centering diphthongs /iə, yə, uə, eə, øə/, though the latter have a more prominent offglide and a shorter first element.
- The starting point of /œy/ is phonetically close to a shortened /œː/ ([œ]).
As most other Ripuarian and Limburgish dialects, the Kerkrade dialect features a distinction between the thrusting tone (Dutch: stoottoon, German: Schärfung or Stoßton), which generally has a shortening effect on the syllable (not shown in transcriptions in this article) and the slurring tone (Dutch: sleeptoon, German: Schleifton). In this article, the slurring tone is transcribed as a high tone, whereas the thrusting tone is left unmarked. This is nothing more than a convention, as the phonetics of the Kerkrade pitch accent are severely under-researched. There are minimal pairs, for example moer /ˈmuːʁ/ 'wall' - moer /ˈmúːʁ/ 'carrot'.
The thrusting tone does not always shorten the syllable; for example, among the long monophthongs, only /iː/, /uː/ and /øː/ are shortened, but without merging with /i/, /u/ and /ø/ which are even shorter.
The pitch accent can be the only difference:
- Between words differentiated only by gender, as in the minimal pair de val /də ˈvɑl/ - d'r val /dəʁ ˈvɑ́l/
- Between the plural and singular, as in the minimal pair de peëd /də ˈpeət/ - 't peëd /ət ˈpéət/.
- This is sometimes reinforced by other differences, e.g. de knieng /də ˈkniŋ/ - d'r knien /dəʁ ˈknín/. Some words have two possible plural forms, one that is differentiated from the singular form only by tone and a more distinct one; compare de boom /də ˈboːm/ with the umlauted de beum /də ˈbøːm/, which are plural forms of d'r boom /dəʁ ˈbóːm/.
- Between inflected and uninflected forms of adjectives, compare rónge /ˈʁoŋə/ with rónk /ˈʁóŋk/.
- Between the diminutive and the primitive form, compare müsje /ˈmyʃə/ with moes /ˈmús/.
- Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997), p. 36.
- Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997), p. 18.
- Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997), p. 17.
- Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997), pp. 17, 126.
- Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 68.
- Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997), pp. 15–17.
- Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997), p. 16.
- Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997), pp. 16, 18.
- Peters (2010), p. 242.
- Verhoeven (2007), pp. 221, 223.
- Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997), p. 15.
- Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997), pp. 16–17.
- Fournier, Rachel; Gussenhoven, Carlos; Peters, Jörg; Swerts, Marc; Verhoeven, Jo. "The tones of Limburg". Archived from the original on 26 February 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
- Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997), p. 19.
- Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997), pp. 15–16.
- Gilles, Peter; Trouvain, Jürgen (2013). "Luxembourgish" (PDF). Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 43 (1): 67–74. doi:10.1017/S0025100312000278.
- Peters, Jörg (2010). "The Flemish–Brabant dialect of Orsmaal–Gussenhoven". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 40 (2): 239–246. doi:10.1017/S0025100310000083.
- Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997) . Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer. (in Dutch and Ripuarian) (2nd ed.). Kerkrade: Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer. ISBN 90-70246-34-1.
- Verhoeven, Jo (2007). "The Belgian Limburg dialect of Hamont". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 37 (2): 219–225. doi:10.1017/S0025100307002940.