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Re: Allophone Problem

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Saturday, June 9, 2007, 13:09
Quoting Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>:

> Hallo! > > On Fri, 8 Jun 2007 03:46:20 -0400, John Vertical wrote: > > > I actually recall reading that the final devoicing of stops in German is > > only a > > near-merger - that there's some slight phonetic cue that's basically > > impossible > > to hear, but appears regularly when recordings are examined rigorously. > > It is - at least in my idiolect - like this: > > Voiceless stops are not only voiceless, they are also aspirated (except > in clusters). In word-final position, voiced stops are devoiced, but > unlike voiceless stops they are not aspirated. So you have > > _Rat_ [Ra:t_h] vs. _Rad_ [Ra:t] > > This is indeed an audible difference, although only a slight one.
Since a Greek friend of mine was taught to speak German that way, I imagine it's not all too rare. Given David's post, I shan't swear I didn't pick up some slight distinction 'tween them when I was in Germany, but I was taught it as a perfect merger, and my pronunciation of either is strongly aspirated. (Well, technically a final stop can't be aspirated when the word is spoken in isolation, since there's no voicing onset to delay. Nevertheless, they both come with the airburst typical of aspirates - maybe my lexical pronunciation should be denoted as [Ra:th].) Andreas