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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

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Title: Phonetics and Phonology of Tense and Lax Obstruents in German
Written By: Michael Jessen
Series Title: Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics 4
Description:

Knowing that the so-called voiced and voiceless stops in languages like English and German do not always literally differ in voicing, several linguists - among them Roman Jakobson - have proposed that dichotomies such as fortis/lenis or tense/lax might be more suitable to capture the invariant phonetic core of this distinction. Later it became the dominant view that voice onset time or laryngeal features are more reasonable alternatives. However, based on a number of facts and arguments from current phonetics and phonology this book claims that the Jakobsonian feature tense was rejected prematurely. Among the theoretical aspects addressed, it is argued that an acoustic definition of distinctive features best captures the functional aspects of speech communication, while it is also discussed how the conclusions are relevant for formal accounts, such as feature geometry. The invariant of tense is proposed to be durational, and its 'basic correlate' is proposed to be aspiration duration. It is shown that tense and voice differ in their invariant properties and basic correlates, but that they share a number of other correlates, including F0 onset and closure duration. In their stop systems languages constitute a typology between the selection of voice and tense, but in their fricative systems languages universally tend towards a syncretism involving voicing and tenseness together. Though the proposals made here are intended to have general validity, the emphasis is on German. As part of this focus, an acoustic study and a transillumination study of the realization of /p,t,k,f,s/ vs. /b,d,g,v,z/ in German are presented.

Publication Year: 1999
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
Phonology
Subject Language(s): German
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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027215537
ISBN-13: N/A
Prices: NLG 178.00
 
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1556198957
ISBN-13: 9781556198953
Prices: U.S. $ 176