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Re: German "ch" (was: Con-Alphabets & Real Languages)

From:Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Date:Tuesday, January 1, 2002, 9:33
On 31 Dec 01, at 15:25, laokou wrote:

> [tS] for the English (Chips, checken)
Though a lot of speakers assimilate that to just [S] word-initially (many Germans have trouble differentiating between "chips" and "ships" when learning English, too, in my experience; initial [tS] is rather foreign to German).
> (and Spanish? (Chile)).
[Ci:l@] for me.
> But even then, I'm not quite right. [C] occurs in "Chemie" and its > derivatives, "China" and its derivatives,
Though those two words start with [k] for some people (but not in standard German AFAIK).
> and "Chirurgie" and its derivatives. At first blush, I thought "i" > and "e" were evoking palatalization (and I still imagine that's part > of what's going on),
I think so, too. After all, the previous sound determines whether <ch> is [C] (after front vowels) or [x] (after back vowels), so it would make sense for the following vowel to influence the sound as well. (That's also what makes the <ch> in <Frauchen> be pronounced [C], despite the <au> preceding it... the <e> afterwards, in this fixed suffix, determines the pronunciation).
> but "Chef", "Chiffre", and "Chicorée" are marked with [S]. Dunno what > that's about.
Word origin, I imagine. Your first examples are from Greek (Chemie, Chirurgie), the later ones from French.
> Anyway, a four-way split. [x], to the best of my knowledge, does not > occur initially.
Apparently not (save in loanwords such as "Chasidim" and "Chutzpe"). Interestingly, "Charisma" has initial [C] according to the Duden, despite the back [a] following it (I pronounce it with [k], however). Cheers, Philip -- Philip Newton <Philip.Newton@...>