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

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

The Alpine Intonation of Bern Swiss German

Jennifer Fitzpatrick-Cole

University of Konstanz, Germany

This paper presents data from the Bern dialect of Swiss German from a typological perspective. Bern Swiss German is impressionistically more "alpine" than Northern Standard German, partly as a result of their distinct "default accents", H*+L in NSG and L*+H in BSG. Similar dialectal variation has also been reported for English. Like Northern Standard German, Bern Swiss German can associate L phrase tones to the end of focus or to a postnuclear stressed syllable. Assuming a typological framework which recognizes distinctions between phonetic and phonological aspects of intonation as well as universal and language-specific aspects, the differences between BSG and NSG discussed here are taken to be phonological rather than phonetic.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Fitzpatrick-Cole, Jennifer (1999): "The alpine intonation of Bern Swiss German", In ICPhS-14, 941-944.