LINGUIST List 6.783

Tue 06 Jun 1995

Disc: German Affricates

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  1. , 6.524 German affricates

Message 1: 6.524 German affricates

Date: June 3, 1995
From: <>
Subject: 6.524 German affricates

I may have missed some of the discussion on this matter when I was
away for a couple of weeks, but I want to throw in one item if it
hasn't been in already. In English at least the phonetic distinction
between a palatoalveolar afffricate and an alveolar stop +
palatoalveolar fricative is patent and unproblematic. In pairs like

catch it vs. cat shit
ratchet vs. rat shit

it is easy to hear the difference, even if the prosodic patterns are
the same. In the first (let's call it /C^/ case, the stop segment is
not alveolar but palatoalveolar, and short, and the whole two-quality
sequence is about the length of an initial voiceless stop; in the
second, let's call it /tS/ cluster, the /t/ is more alveolar, a bit
retracted but without as much laminal contact, and the length of the
sequence is like the length of a cluster, i.e. the stop onset is not
'ovbershort', as it is in the first case.

I wonder if the distinction in German is more or less the same?

Roger Lass
University of Cape TOwn
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