We are very happy to announce the next talk in the Phonology Colloquium, which will take place on Wednesday, June 26, 4 – 6 pm in IG 4.301.
Franziska Krüger will present „Exploring the perception and production patterns of second dialect learners — An investigation into the laryngeal contrast for word-initial stops when perceived and produced by Upper Saxon dialect and Standard German speakers“.
Exploring the perception and production patterns of second dialect learners — An investigation into the laryngeal contrast for word-initial stops when perceived and produced by Upper Saxon dialect and Standard German speakers
Standard German (SGer) maintains a contrast between lenis (voiceless unaspirated) stops and fortis (voiceless aspirated) stops. For the non-standard German variety Upper Saxon (USax), traditional accounts report that only lenis stops are retained. Thus, <Bass> (bass) and <Pass> (passport) are a minimal pair in SGer but homophones in USax. However, more recent phonetic investigations suggest that USax speakers might produce fortis stops with aspiration just like SGer.
My research examines the laryngeal contrast in USax and SGer speakers’ utterances. Specifically, it explores if the laryngeal contrast exists in USax and if so, how it is implemented. It further investigates if pronunciation patterns change based on the geographic history of a speaker and how the USax speakers produce those sounds in their native dialect as opposed to their second dialect (SGer).
This study also employs an auditory word-picture matching task and an oddity discrimination task to explore how reliably SGer and USax listeners distinguish USax and SGer fortis from lenis stops in speech processing.
Preliminary analyses revealed that USax speakers who lived in Saxony all their lives as well as those who had moved into a region with the laryngeal distinction (e.g. Berlin/Brandenburg) did not produce a clear difference between fortis and lenis stops in their dialect. Furthermore, the analysis of the data from the discrimination task revealed that the SGer listeners might perceive aspiration on fortis stops in USax and SGer utterances more reliably than the USax listener groups. These early results seem to support traditional descriptions claiming that aspiration is not phonemic in USax and they indicate that USax speakers might be less accustomed to using this cue in perception regardless of their exposure to the SGer variety.
You are cordially invited!