2022-01-13Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1177/00238309211064857
Interaction between Phrasal Structure and Vowel Tenseness in German: An Acoustic and Articulatory Study
Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Phrase-final lengthening affects the segments preceding a prosodic boundary. This prosodic variation is generally assumed to be independent of the phonemic identity. We refer to this as the ‘uniform lengthening hypothesis’ (ULH). However, in German, lax vowels do not undergo lengthening for word stress or shortening for increased speech rate, indicating that temporal properties might interact with phonemic identity. We test the ULH by comparing the effect of the boundary on acoustic and kinematic measures for tense and lax vowels and several coda consonants. We further examine if the boundary effect decreases with distance from the boundary. Ten native speakers of German were recorded by means of electromagnetic articulography (EMA) while reading sentences that contained six minimal pairs varying in vowel tenseness and boundary type. In line with the ULH, the results show that the acoustic durations of lax vowels are lengthened phrase-finally, similarly to tense vowels. We find that acoustic lengthening is stronger the closer the segments are to the boundary. Articulatory parameters of the closing movements toward the post-vocalic consonants are affected by both phrasal position and identity of the preceding vowel. The results are discussed with regard to the interaction between prosodic structure and vowel tenseness.
Files in this item