Dutch consonant cluster assimilations have come to play a central role in the debate over whether laryngeal features are restrictedly privative (single-valued) or must be encoded as binary (marking both positive and negative values). It has been argued, in particular, that the negative specification [–voice] is necessary in order to capture the difference in directionality of assimilation between stop-final and fricative-final clusters in Dutch as well as to accommodate the contrary behavior of the past suffix -de. Under the dimensional theory of laryngeal representation, the present paper provides a fresh analysis of the Netherlandic facts without reference to negative feature values, focusing on the role of phonetic enhancement versus phonology proper. The exposition is anchored in the history of Dutch as a Germanic language that is to a great extent Romance-like in its laryngeal phonology, and takes into consideration evidence from dialects and experimental phonetics.An earlier version of this paper was presented to the Eighth Germanic Linguistics Annual Conference (GLAC 8) at Indiana University, Bloomington, April 26–28, 2002, and a related paper, “Privativity and the Laws of Enhancement”, was held at a Linguistics Student Organization Colloquium, University of Wisconsin–Madison, in March 2002. In addition to two anonymous reviewers for this journal, we owe thanks to Anthony Buccini, Rob Howell, Monica Macaulay, Bert Vaux, and the audiences at both presentations for valuable input. The usual disclaimers apply.