you mean as in: dat is haar auto = dat is d'r auto? i wouldn't know for sure but i'm almost positive it has to do with cases (naamvallen). in old dutch we used to have those, like genetivus and accusativus in Latin. u still can see traces of those in Dutch, especially in expressions, like "te zijner tijd" or "in den beginne", but also placenames (think about 's-Gravenhage => des Gravenhage, and 's-Hertogenbosch => des Hertogenbosch). i'd have to look it up on the page of the Meertens Institute to see if d'r is because of this too, but i do know that d'r is also used instead of 'er' (er is = d'r is, ik wel er heen = ik wil d'r heen, etc.) and this has probably to do with 'daar' being shortened to d'r since daar and er are exchangeable in a lot of situations.