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Hard and soft G in Dutch

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Hard and soft G in Dutch
In the Dutch language the terminology (Dutch: harde en zachte G) refers to not only a phonological phenomenon of the pronunciation of the letters and but a major isogloss within the language. In the northern part of the European Dutch language area, the letters represent velar ( and , respectively) or uvular fricatives , the so-called hard G. However, in most northern dialects, the distinction is no longer made, and both sounds are pronounced as or . On dialects that merge and , it is still possible, at least for some speakers, to pronounce as intervocallically. In many southern dialects of European Dutch, and represent front-velar fricatives ( and ), the so-called soft G.

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