Phonetics and Phonology of Tense and Lax Obstruents in German

Michael Jessen | University of Stuttgart
ISBN 9789027215536 (Eur) | EUR 130.00
ISBN 9781556198953 (USA) | USD 195.00
ISBN 9789027282248 | EUR 130.00 | USD 195.00
Knowing that the so-called voiced and voiceless stops in languages like English and German do not always literally differ in voicing, several linguists — among them Roman Jakobson — have proposed that dichotomies such as fortis/lenis or tense/lax might be more suitable to capture the invariant phonetic core of this distinction. Later it became the dominant view that voice onset time or laryngeal features are more reasonable alternatives. However, based on a number of facts and arguments from current phonetics and phonology this book claims that the Jakobsonian feature tense was rejected prematurely. Among the theoretical aspects addressed, it is argued that an acoustic definition of distinctive features best captures the functional aspects of speech communication, while it is also discussed how the conclusions are relevant for formal accounts, such as feature geometry. The invariant of tense is proposed to be durational, and its ‘basic correlate’ is proposed to be aspiration duration. It is shown that tense and voice differ in their invariant properties and basic correlates, but that they share a number of other correlates, including F0 onset and closure duration. In their stop systems languages constitute a typology between the selection of voice and tense, but in their fricative systems languages universally tend towards a syncretism involving voicing and tenseness together. Though the proposals made here are intended to have general validity, the emphasis is on German. As part of this focus, an acoustic study and a transillumination study of the realization of /p,t,k,f,s/ vs. /b,d,g,v,z/ in German are presented.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“[...] Michael Jessen accomplishes his task successfully, combining an exhaustive phonetic analysis with in-depth phonological theorizing.”
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 03 january 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  98044719 | Marc record