Re: CHAT: geminate in _Messer_ (was: Announcement: New auxlang "Choton")
|From:||J. 'Mach' Wust <j_mach_wust@...>|
|Date:||Monday, October 11, 2004, 10:09|
On Mon, 11 Oct 2004 10:29:35 +0200, Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
>> >> However, Swiss standard German geminates the |ss|, that is, has a
>> >> long /s:/ as well in |Messer| as in |heissen| (or |heißen|). So this
>> >> doesn't make any distinction.
>> >Neat. Are there any medial short [s], making for a a three-way contrast
>> >/s:/~/s/~/z/ in the Swiss standard?
>> We have |reissen| ['raIs:(@)n] vs. |reisen| ['raIs(@)n]. The [s: / s]
>> contrast corresponds to the [s / z] contrast of other varieties of
>> standard German. It's often spelled [s: / z_0] or even [s / z_0] in
>> order to make this correspondance more obvious.
>Would I be correct to infer that this is a retention of an older state of
>affairs? The orthography rather suggests this than the "standard standard"
>/s/~/z/ contrast, after all.
I wouldn't affirm this. The standard began as a written language only, and
was pronounced according to local dialects. The modern "standard standard"
pronunciation didn't develop until the 19th century, and precisely in
areas where the standard had become a spoken language, that is, in
(educated) northern Germany. In Switzerland, the standard isn't a spoken
language, and thus it's pronunciation is very litteral and influenced by
the local dialects.
Now the Swiss dialects share many features with Middle High German, e.g.
the diphthongs /i@, u@, y@/ (modern standard /i:, u:, y:/) or the
monophthongs /i:, u:, y:/ (modern standard /aI, aU, OY/). However, that's
not because they're more archaic than the standard, but rather because
Middle High German (the over-regional standard of the Middle Ages) was
mainly based on alemannic dialects, whereas the modern standard is based
on eastern Middle German dialects that already showed many features of the
modern standard back in the Middle Ages:
| Alemannic | Eastern Middle German
Middle Ages | standard | dialectal
nowadays | dialectal | standard
That is, I don't think that features like the lack of voiced fricatives
(except for /v/ that goes back to older [w]) or stops can be considered
archaisms, but rather "meridionalisms", that is, features of southern
German that don't change through time.
j. 'mach' wust