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|Majuscule Forms (also called uppercase or capital letters)|
|Minuscule Forms (also called lowercase or small letters)|
Until the nineteenth century, the ſ or long s was also used for words in the Dutch language, but was then replaced with the regular s. The ligature æ was sometimes used (for example in the name Æneas Mackay), but today the letters a and e would replace this letter.
Currently the 26 letters of the ISO basic Latin alphabet are used:
- A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The digraph ‹IJ› behaves like a separate letter for capitalisation. In alphabetically ordered lists, ‹IJ› may intermix with ‹Y› (usual for telephone directories) or come between ‹ii› and ‹ik› (common in dictionaries). The letter ‹E› is the most frequently used letter in the Dutch alphabet, usually representing a schwa sound. The least frequently used letters are ‹Q› and ‹X›.
Vowels and trema
The vowels are:
- A – E – I – O – U – and IJ when it is counted as a separate letter.
"Y" is sometimes, but not always, a vowel.
When one of these letter combinations should not be pronounced together (phonological hiatus), a trema is placed upon the first vowel of the next syllable. A trema is not used if the letters do not normally form a combination. For instance, a trema is added in ruïne (ruin) because otherwise ui would be pronounced as a diphthong. It is also added in beëdigen (to swear in) because otherwhise ee would form a long vowel. It is not added in beamen (to confirm) because ea can only be pronounced as e + a and not in any other way. In words that are still considered completely foreign, and keep their original spelling, no trema is added even if the combination of vowels would produce a diphthong or a long vowel. For instance, museum is not written museüm.
When the vowels are not immediately adjacent (e.g. when the word is split by a hyphen at the end of a line) there is no ambiguity so the trema is not added.
A trema can be seen on any vowel except for ij and y, because combinations of vowels preceded or followed by either of these are never ambiguous.
Unlike in some other languages, a vowel with a trema stays the same letter: ä, ë, ï, ö and ü do not have separate places in the alphabet.
|A||IPA: [aː]||IPA: /aː/ or IPA: /ɑ/|
|B||IPA: [beː]||IPA: /b/|
|C||IPA: [seː]||IPA: /k/ or IPA: /s/|
|D||IPA: [deː]||IPA: /d/|
|E||IPA: [eː]||IPA: /eː/, IPA: /ɛ/ or IPA: /ə/|
|F||IPA: [ɛf]||IPA: /f/|
|G||IPA: [ɣeː]||22x20px: IPA: /ɣ/, 22x20px: IPA: /ʝ/|
|H||IPA: [ɦaː]||IPA: /ɦ/|
|I||IPA: [i]||IPA: /i/, IPA: /ɪ/, IPA: /ə/ or IPA: /j/|
|J||IPA: [jeː]||IPA: /j/|
|K||IPA: [kaː]||IPA: /k/|
|L||IPA: [ɛɫ]||IPA: /l/|
|M||IPA: [ɛm]||IPA: /m/|
|N||IPA: [ɛn]||IPA: /n/|
|O||IPA: [oː]||IPA: /o/ or IPA: /ɔ/|
|P||IPA: [peː]||IPA: /p/|
|Q||IPA: [ky]||IPA: /k/|
|R||IPA: [ɛɾ]||IPA: /r/|
|S||IPA: [ɛs]||IPA: /s/|
|T||IPA: [teː]||IPA: /t/|
|U||IPA: [y]||IPA: /y/, IPA: /ʏ/ or IPA: /ʋ/|
|V||IPA: [veː]||IPA: /v/|
|W||IPA: [ʋeː]||22x20px: IPA: /ʋ/, 22x20px and 22x20px: IPA: /w/|
|X||IPA: [ɪks]||IPA: /ks/|
|Y||IPA: [ɛɪ]||IPA: /ɛɪ/, IPA: /ɪ/, IPA: /iː/ or IPA: /j/|
|Z||IPA: [zɛt]||IPA: /z/|
- Anton Bernhard Cornelis Dirk Eduard Ferdinand Gerard Hendrik Izaak Johan/Jacob Karel Lodewijk/Leo Maria Nico Otto Pieter Quirinus/Quinten Richard/Rudolf Simon Theodoor Utrecht Victor Willem Xantippe IJmuiden/IJsbrand Ypsilon Zacharias
The NATO phonetic alphabet is also used, and sometimes the two are even mixed.
- Donaldson, Bruce (1997). Dutch: A Comprehensive Grammar. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-15418-9.
- ^ Depending on its pronunciation. See also Genootschap Onze Taal. "Griekse ij, i-grec, ypsilon: klinker of medeklinker?" Dutch
- ^ In older spelling (before ca. 1870), "aa" was often spelled "ae"
- ^ In older spellings or in names eij, uij (ij being the digraph IJ), ey and uy can occur as alternate ways of writing ei and ui. These combinations should also be considered diphthongs.
- ^ In native Dutch words. In non-native words it can be pronounced differently: the Dunglish word beamer (video projector) is pronounced as it would be in English.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Since the Dutch language does not have voiced obstruents in the syllable coda, whenever such a consonant would occur at the end of a syllable, it undergoes final obstruent devoicing which replaces it with its unvoiced counterpart. For example, the word paard ('horse') is pronounced IPA: [paːrt]; inflectional affixes show that this final IPA: [t] is actually a IPA: /d/ that has been devoiced so that paarden ('horses') is pronounced IPA: [paːrdən], with no devoicing. In spelling, ‹b› and ‹d› are retained even when representing devoiced obstruents, but ‹v› and ‹z› are replaced by ‹f› and ‹s› respectively, making the devoicing orthographically explicit.
- ^ Standard Dutch pronunciation guide by P.C. Paardekooper
- ^ The IPA: /ʝ/ pronouncation is also used in the south of the Netherlands (provinces Noord-Brabant, Limburg and southern Gelderland)
- ^ When following a long vowel or a diphthong, e.g. in words like haai ('shark') or roeien ('to row').
- ^ Except in Belgian Dutch, IPA: /l/ is pronounced IPA: [ɫ] in the syllable coda.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 The letters ‹q›, ‹x›, and ‹y› occur mostly in words borrowed from other languages, but may also appear in words and names that reflect older spelling conventions. ‹Q› is almost always followed by ‹u› (that is, ‹qu›), because nearly every word with a ‹qu› is borrowed from French or Latin.
- ^ In some dialects, IPA: /r/ is pronounced IPA: [ɹ] in the syllable coda.
- ^ In the combination ‹qu›.
- ^ IPA: /ʋ/ is pronounced IPA: [w] at the end of a word; this occurs rarely and almost always preceded by a ‹u› as in lauw or nieuw.
- ^ Normally, ‹y› is generally called IPA: /ɛɪ/. However, when used in common speech and/or the need arises to distinguish the letter from ‹ij›, it is most often referred to as Griekse ij (sometimes written as ‹Griekse Y› )('Greek Y'); i-grec, a French word having a similar meaning; or ypsilon.
- ^ Donaldson (1997), p. 15