15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)
We investigated the assimilation patterns of voiced and voiceless plosives across morpheme boundaries in German in read speech. The prefixes ab- and mit- were combined with verb_inf beginning with /d, t, b, p/. Prefixes usually initiate strong boundaries in German prohibiting for instance, resyllabification across the boundary: mit-arbeiten does not produce a medial [ta] syllable. The results of the production experiment suggest that there is no place assimilation between the morphemes but there is regressive assimilation of voice for homorganic consonants leading to geminates - at least insofar as closure duration is concerned. Testing the pure phonetic perception (with nonwords) we found an asymmetry: the voiceless geminates [p:] and [t:] were identified unambiguously as [p] or [t] (i.e. correct for place and voice), but the voiced ones - especially the labials - were perceived as voiced and voiceless, i.e. [b/p]. The voiced coronals showed much less of such an ambiguity. F0 seems to play a major role for the recognition of voice if the relation between closure duration and VOT is ambiguous.
Bibliographic reference. Mikuteit, Simone (2003): "Contacting plosives across morpheme boundaries", In ICPhS-15, 3005-3008.