Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Pronunciation of Swiss German

The pronunciation of Swiss German differs from that of standard German in several respects. Swiss German has many dialects with differences of pronunciation among them. However, certain pronunciation features pertain to all Swiss German dialects.

Unlike in standard German, which devoices word final obstruents, Swiss German maintains an opposition between words such as Rat (advice) and Rad (wheel). In Swiss German the plosives /p/, /t/ and /k/ are usually unaspirated. For example, Tee (tea) is unaspirated.

Swiss German lacks the palatal fricative of standard German. The velar fricative is used extensively. In addition, the /r/ is pronounced as an alveolar trill in many dialects, though certain dialects, especially in the northeast of the country, have a uvular trill.

Many words are stressed differently in Swiss German. First-syllable stress is used more than in the standard language. For example, Kaffee (coffee) is stressed on the first syllable in Swiss German and not on the second as is the case in standard German.

Swiss German is very different from standard German. With respect to pronunciation, Swiss German has no palatal fricative and no devoicing of word-final obstruents. More words are stressed on the first syllable than in the standard language and plosives are usually unaspirated. Many dialects pronounce the /r/ as an alveolar trill. Swiss German has a distinct pronunciation.

No comments:

Featured Post

Finding the Proto-Form

Related languages have a number of words which are similar to one another. In the branch of linguistics known as historical linguistics, the...