Acknowledgements Lou Brock, the St. Louis Cardinals baseball hall of famer, once said: “No one wants to hear about the labor pains, they just want to see the baby.” Well, the baby is here, and I’ll spare you the details of the labour pains. The most influential people in the process of writing this dissertation have been my colleagues and friends at what was previously known as HIL. Not only did they provide a stimulating atmosphere to work in, they also provided the much-needed time to relax, and helped me put things in perspective. A special thank you goes to our own little phonology group, where we could try out, mess up, try again and sometimes shine in our own safe community, before taking on the big bad world. Thank you Marika Butskhrikidze, Nancy Kula, Sang Jik Rhee, Grażyna Rowicka, Norval Smith, Marina Tzakosta. A special thank you goes to Bert Botma. Without him, this dissertation would not have been like anything it is now. Our discussions have always been stimulating and rewarding, but above all, lots of fun. Especially when held at Camino. Two of my non-phonologist HIL colleagues cannot remain nameless. Malte Zimmermann and Véronique van Gelderen are the ones who helped me through the first two years, and together we managed to keep relatively sane. You are of a rare kind. In my third year as an AIO I was given to opportunity to spend 5 months at the Linguistics Department at the University of Toronto. Apart from being able to discuss work with the local linguists, I was also fortunate enough to meet some remarkable people, both inside and outside the department. To them I owe the wonderful time I had in Toronto. A special thank you goes to Sara, Maria, Greg, Jesse and Paul; that first night in The Green Room set the tone for the rest of my stay. The next few people have all contributed to my dissertation in their own special way, mostly by simply being great friends and not knowing a thing about linguistics. Jan-Pieter and Jaap (too bad we didn’t have a bet on who’d be dr. first); Marc, Mariëlle and the other “58-ers”; Jaron (both team mate and fellow Hogewoerder), Hans (I think it is about time we had one of those “classic Van Pelt-Van der Torre” evenings again) and the other people from Heren 3 and SKC, thank you all for your friendship. The final words in acknowledgements are usually reserved to those dearest to the author. I do not wish to break with this tradition. Without the love and support from my parents, sister and brother, I would not have come this far. The final thank you is for Tania.
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