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Consonants

Unlike other Germanic languages, Dutch doesn’t have phonological aspiration of consonants.[100] Like most Germanic languages, the Dutch consonant system did not undergo the High German consonant shift and has a syllable structure that allows fairly complex consonant clusters. Dutch also retains full use of the velar fricatives that were present in Proto-Germanic, but lost or modified in many other Germanic languages. Dutch has final-obstruent devoicing: at the end of a word, voicing distinction is neutralised and all obstruents are pronounced voiceless. For example, Dutch goede (̇‘good’) is /ˈɣudə/ but the related form goed is /ɣut/. Dutch shares this final-obstruent devoicing with German (the Dutch noun goud is pronounced [ɣɑut], the adjective gouden is pronounced [ɣɑudə(n)], like the German noun Gold, pronounced [ɡɔlt], adjective golden, pronounced [ɡɔldn] vs English gold and golden, both pronounced with [d].)

Voicing of pre-vocalic initial voiceless alveolar fricatives occurs, although less in Dutch than in German (Dutch zeven, German sieben with [z] versus English seven and Low German seven with [s]), and also the shift /θ/ → /d/. Dutch shares only with Low German the development of /xs/ → /ss/ (Dutch vossenossen and Low German VösseOssenversus German FüchseOchsen and English foxesoxen), and also the development of /ft/ → /xt/ though it is far more common in Dutch (Dutch zacht and Low German sachtversus German sanft and English soft, but Dutch kracht versus German Kraft and English craft).