duwen – pronunciation

DerFrosch

Senior Member
Hi,

The prounciation of the letter combination "uw" in Dutch is still a source of confusion to me. How about, for example, the word "duwen"? Is the "uw" pronounced the same way here as it is in "duw" (which I understand to be pronounced [yu])? Or is it more like the "w" in (the Dutch word) "water"? I believe I've heard it pronounced in both ways. Are there regional differences?
 
  • Hans Molenslag

    Senior Member
    Dutch
    The prounciation of the letter combination "uw" in Dutch is still a source of confusion to me. How about, for example, the word "duwen"? Is the "uw" pronounced the same way here as it is in "duw" (which I understand to be pronounced [yu])? Or is it more like the "w" in (the Dutch word) "water"? I believe I've heard it pronounced in both ways. Are there regional differences?
    As far as I know, uw is pronounced the same way in duw and duwen, i.e. as a labiodental w or a rounded vowel sound, depending on how you prefer to describe it phonetically.

    As you probably know, not all varieties of Dutch distinguish between a labiodental w (roughly like a Swedish v) and a bilabial w (like an English w). Notably speakers in Belgium, in Suriname, and in the Antilles typically pronounce all w-sounds as a bilabial w. But those speakers who do use a labiodental w, only do so in the beginning of a syllable before a vowel. I've never heard of any significant regional differences regarding the pronunciation of w at the end of a syllable or between two vowels.
     

    DerFrosch

    Senior Member
    Thank you, Hans M. I'm still confused though; I've found a couple of recordings where I perceive a clear difference:

    From Wiktionary:
    duw
    duwen

    From Forvo (two different speakers):
    duw
    duwen

    Wiktionary again:

    leeuw
    leeuwen

    With "leeuw" and "leeuwen" the difference is particularly clear. Is there something wrong with my ears, do the speakers pronounce the words strangely, or how can this be explained?
     

    Hans Molenslag

    Senior Member
    Dutch
    That's interesting. To me, both the first recording of duwen and the recording of leeuwen sound perfectly normal, and I don't perceive the w sound I hear as significantly different from the one in duw and leeuw, but perhaps that's just my ears playing tricks on me. The second recording of duwen however is a bit odd. I hear a very distinct labiodental w too. I'm not sure how to explain this. There might be more outspoken regional differences than I honestly was aware of, or more likely, the man who did the recording was overdoing it in an attempt to sound clear and understandable to foreign listeners.
     

    Red Arrow

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    I'd say most Dutchmen pronounce these diphtongues at the end of a syllable like this. You can clear hear a 'u'. (Well, at least I can. Maybe my ears are playing tricks on me :D )
    duw [dyu̯]
    leeuw [le:u̯]
    nieuw [ni:u̯]
    trouw [trɑu̯]

    But when the "diphtongues" are spread over two syllables, the pronunciation changes.
    duwen [dywə(n)]
    leeuwen [le:wə(n)]
    nieuwe [ni:wə]
    trouwen [trɑwə(n)]

    I think this is why ou/ij/ui are often called the only 'real' diphtongues.

    In Flanders, the situation is different.
    [dyw] / [dywə(n)]
    [le:w] / [le:wə(n)]
    [ni:w] / [ni:wə]
    [trɑu̯] / [trɑwə(n)]

    Please notice that I find it hard to hear a difference between strong and weak velarization. I don't hear much difference between [ w ] and [ β̞ ].

    Oh, and it might be interesting to note how duw/duwen is pronounced in some Brabantian dialects: [däf] / [dävə] :D
     

    bibibiben

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Netherlands
    Hi,

    The prounciation of the letter combination "uw" in Dutch is still a source of confusion to me. How about, for example, the word "duwen"? Is the "uw" pronounced the same way here as it is in "duw" (which I understand to be pronounced [yu])? Or is it more like the "w" in (the Dutch word) "water"? I believe I've heard it pronounced in both ways. Are there regional differences?
    Word-finally, w in duw, nieuw, eeuw will be pronounced [u̯]: [dyu̯], [niu̯], [e:u̯].

    Intervocalically, [u̯] will be replaced by [w] or [ʋ]:

    duwen: [dywə(n)] or [dyʋə(n)]
    nieuwe: [niwə] or [niʋə]
    eeuwen: [e:wə(n)] or [e:ʋə(n)]

    Realizations with [ʋ] are quite common in the Netherlands, not so much in Flanders.
     

    Red Arrow

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    A few days ago I heard people from Antwerp also saying [ʋ]. But yeah, it isn't common here at all.
     

    bibibiben

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Netherlands
    Opvallend is ook nog dat er zeker in Nederland nogal wat sprekers [nyu̯] en [nyʋə] tegen nieuw resp. nieuwe zeggen in plaats van het gebruikelijke [niu̯] dan wel [niʋə]. Ik erger me zelden aan uitspraakvariaties, maar op de een of andere manier kan ik deze variant maar moeilijk dulden.

    Misschien zou ik ook wel wat begripvoller mogen zijn. De klankcombinaties [iu̯] en [iʋ] zijn nu eenmaal zeer zeldzaam in het Nederlands. In de opsomming nieuw(s), kieuw, hieuw, Lieuwe, Dieuwertje heb je ze vrijwel allemaal gehad. De combinaties [yu̯] en [yʋ] komen net iets vaker voor.
     
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    Red Arrow

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    Vergeet zeker niet de uitroep "ieuw!". Ik neem aan dat dat wel altijd wordt uitgesproken met ie?
     

    Hans Molenslag

    Senior Member
    Dutch
    Opvallend is ook nog dat er zeker in Nederland nogal wat sprekers [nyu̯] en [nyʋə] tegen nieuw resp. nieuwe zeggen in plaats van het gebruikelijke [niu̯] dan wel [niʋə].
    In het Afrikaans heeft het woord ook een u-klank: nuut* (nieuw), nuwe (nieuwe), die nuus (het nieuws), 'n nuutjie (een nieuwigheid) enz. Het kan puur toeval zijn, maar het zou er ook op kunnen wijzen dat die u-uitspraak indertijd al bestond toen het Nederlands mee op export naar de Kaap ging.

    * Die t in nuut vind ik raar. Ik zie niet hoe die te verklaren valt. Verder heb je toch ook nog weer de vorm nieu, maar die komt alleen in samenstellingen voor, geloof ik. Over het Afrikaans wordt vaak beweerd dat het een gemakkelijke taal is, maar de morfologie lijkt me ingewikkelder dan je zou denken.
     

    bibibiben

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Netherlands
    Vergeet zeker niet de uitroep "ieuw!". Ik neem aan dat dat wel altijd wordt uitgesproken met ie?
    Gevoelige materie. De uitspraak [iu̯] doet nogal meisjestalig aan. Hoe dieper in de keel en hoe minder gerond, hoe mannelijker het klinkt. Ik denk dus dat [ɘu̯], [ɵu̯], [ɨu̯], [ʉu̯], [ʊu̯] en [ɯu̯] als mannelijker zullen gelden. Als ik al de behoefte voel om deze kreet in schrift te verbeelden, dan zal ik eerder voor 'uwh' kiezen dan voor 'ieuw'.
     

    Red Arrow

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    Hier zul je naast ieuw ook wel [ɘ:] horen, of (als je overdreven wilt doen) [ɘx]. Dit wordt meestal als 'ugh' geschreven zoals in het Engels, maar wat de Engelsen zeggen is toch heel anders.

    Ik had er eerlijk gezegd nooit over nagedacht of 'ieuw' meisjesachtig klinkt. Ik kan me niet voorstellen dat Vlaamse mannen de ie zouden centraliseren om mannelijker te klinken.
     
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    Red Arrow

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    Ik snap niet hoe ik in m'n vorige bericht èè kon vergeten. (varianten: èkes, èkebah, bah)
     
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