LINGUIST List 15.1719

Sat Jun 5 2004

Diss: Phonetics: Wiedenmann: 'Versprecher...'

Editor for this issue: Takako Matsui <>


  1. n.wiedenmann, Versprecher: Dissimilation von Konsonanten...

Message 1: Versprecher: Dissimilation von Konsonanten...

Date: Sat, 5 Jun 2004 06:49:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: n.wiedenmann <>
Subject: Versprecher: Dissimilation von Konsonanten...

Institution: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit�t at Munich, Germany
Program: Dissimilation and the Speech Sound Preparation Period
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1999

Author: Nora Wiedenmann 

Dissertation Title: Versprecher: Dissimilation von Konsonanten.
Sprachproduktion unter spatio-temporalem Aspekt [Speech Errors:
Dissimilation of Consonants. Speech Production under Spatio-temporal

Linguistic Field: Phonetics, Psycholinguistics, Neurolinguistics,
Language Acquisition

Dissertation Director 1: Gerd Kegel 
Dissertation Director 2: Dietmar Zaefferer 

Dissertation Abstract: 

In this approach dissimilation is both speech process and its
result. In contrast to approaches of language change, the study
examines instances of consonant dissimilation from the speech-error
corpora of the Austrian linguist Rudolf Meringer (1895/1908; ca. 870
errors; 3 speakers), of the Austrian anglicist Bernhard Kettemann
(ca. 580 errors; 2 speakers) and the author herself (ca. 1,250 errors;
2 speakers). (All the about 2,700 categorized data were already shown
in: Nora Wiedenmann (1998), Versprecher. Ph�nomene und Daten. Mit
Materialien auf Diskette. Vienna: Wissenschaftsverlag Editi on

After a description of proband idiosycrasies, of speech-error
categories, and sound-frequency-weighted data (for nominal data
analysis), consonant dissimilations are discussed in terms of speech
gestures, of tongue-twister characteristics, diadochokinesis, and
speech tempo.

There is agreement on language-change data but there are also
causalities demanding further resaerch: Regressive dissimilation is a
function of colliding intention while progressive dissimilation stems
from muscle-innervation collision during the speech sound preparation
period (p. 15: "autvor spann").

The process of dissimilation is unavoidable in human speech to utter
all different speech sounds of a language system, given the relatively
small number of (universal!) articulatory gestures available and thus
repeating themselves over a short period of time.

This dissertation's thoughts are the basis for target-related gesture
coordinations of beings (human articulation; animals' touching or
grasping), and of robots, too.
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