On Fri, 8 Oct 2004 13:48:11 -0400, Pascal A. Kramm <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>On Thu, 7 Oct 2004 19:54:32 -0400, J. 'Mach' Wust <[log in to unmask]>
>>Where have you grown up? Where do your parents come from? Do you only
>>speak standard German or more colloquial varieties as well or even
>>dialect? How would you describe (e.g. in a phonetic transcription) your
>>pronunciations of the first vowel in |Sätze| and of the first vowel in
>>|setze|? -- I'm asking because I'm interested in what other varieties of
>>standard German distinguish these two vowels besides old fashioned Swiss
>>standard German.
>I grew up and am still living in the north-western part of Germany,
>North-Rhine Westphalia, just like my parents. I exclusively speak standard
>German, with very few colloquial forms. I don't speak any dialect because I
>have never learned it - my parents exclusively spoke standard German to me
>all the time because they thought if they spoke dialect to me, that I would
>have problems with standard German later. I once found an "Asterix" comic
>completely written in the local dialect and had some difficulties
>understanding it...
>All people I know and have ever talked to, like my colleagues at college
>(who don't speak dialect either), make a clear distinction between 'ä' and
>'e' as e.g. in "Sätze" and "setze". The "ä" is a clear and distinct "ä",
>much more like the English /{/ than like "e". The "e" is clearly different
>from the "ä" at all times.
>If you look at the Ipa soundchart which provides audiofiles of the sounds,
>provided by Peter Ladefoged from the Ucla Phonetics Lab:
>The actual German "ä" sound is generally much closer to /{/ than to /E/.
>The "e" is always /e/, or if short: /@/ (schwa), but NEVER /E/.
>Thus, "e" and "ä" are always clearly different from each other.

You should use square brackets when you refer to the pronunciations, since
slashes are used to refer to the phonemes. If I understand you correctly,
then in your variety of standard German, the /e/ is [@] in reduced
syllables, [e] when short and also [e:] when long? So the vowels of |Bett|
(bed to sleep in) and |Beet| (bed to plant in) don't differ in quality (both
having [e]) but only in quantity? That's unlike the Siebs standard
pronunciation, where |Bett| has [E] (the same sound the Siebs standard
expects in the first syllables of |setze| and |Sätze|).

Like that, the phonemic/phonological system of your variety of standard
German is quite different from the one of the Siebs standard and of most
other regions of the German speaking area (places as different as
Switzerland or Lower Saxony (see e.g. an Osnabrück paper at ). That's remarkable!

j. 'mach' wust