14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999


Effects of Stress and Tenseness on the Production of CVC Syllables in German

Christine Mooshammer, Susanne Fuchs, Dirk Fischer

ZAS - Research Centre for General Linguistics, Berlin, Germany

In Standard German tense and lax vowels are affected by stress in different ways: Tense vowels are lengthened whereas the duration of lax vowels stays relatively constant. Both the variation of stress and tenseness can be attributed to a truncation of the opening gesture. The first aim of this study is to compare acoustical and kinematic parameters of these effects. Analyses of the durations revealed the same degree of truncation for tense unstressed and lax stressed vowels.
   The second aim concerns vowel targets. It is still a subject of debate whether the tenseness contrast holds only in stressed syllables or is neutralized in unstressed syllables. Therefore we analyzed quality differences by means of formant frequencies and Canonical Discriminant Analysis of positional data of tongue, jaw and lower lip. With the exception of the low vowel /a/ no overlap between unstressed tense and lax vowels could be observed.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Mooshammer, Christine / Fuchs, Susanne / Fischer, Dirk (1999): "Effects of stress and tenseness on the production of CVC syllables in German", In ICPhS-14, 409-412.