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TitleStandard Austrian German
TagsVowel Stress (Linguistics) Consonant Syllable Philology
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Table of Contents
		Word stress
	Transcription of ‘The north wind and the sun’
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Standard Austrian German

Sylvia Moosmüller
Acoustics Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences

[email protected]

Carolin Schmid
Acoustics Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences

[email protected]

Julia Brandstätter
Acoustics Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences

[email protected]

The development of Standard Austrian German (SAG; de-AT) is closely linked to the
development of Standard German German (SGG; de-DE) as spoken in Northern Germany.
Traditionally, SAG is strongly geared towards SGG norms. The orientation towards SGG
norms goes back to at least 1750, when Maria Theresia ordered the adoption of the Upper
Saxonian norms in place at that time (Ebner 1969, Wiesinger 1989). Since then, SAG
pronunciation is modelled on SGG and Austrian newsreaders are instructed according to
the norms of Duden’s (2005) Aussprachewörterbuch and Siebs (1958, with an addendum for
Austria) (Wächter-Kollpacher 1995, Soukup & Moosmüller 2011). This procedure leads to an
inconsistent usage of SGG features in Austrian broadcasting media (Wiesinger 2009, Soukup
& Moosmüller 2011, Hildenbrandt & Moosmüller 2015). Therefore, from a methodological
point of view, pronunciation used in the Austrian broadcasting media is unsuitable for defining
SAG (Moosmüller 2015).

Instead, some authors claim that SAG needs to be defined according to criteria of
acceptability and described against the background of the social and regional characteristics
extracted from the results of analyses of acceptability (see Moosmüller 1991, Soukup 2009,
Goldgruber 2011). According to these analyses, SAG is spoken by educated speakers with an
academic background. Regionally, SAG is located in the urban centres, especially Salzburg
and Vienna. Educated speakers who make use of South Bavarian characteristics are not
considered as speakers of SAG (Moosmüller 1991).

The present description of SAG is based on two corpora, one collected from 1984 to
1988, comprising 100 speakers,1 and the other from 2011 to 2013, comprising 48 speakers.

1 The corpus contains speakers from Innsbruck, Graz, Salzburg, and Vienna (Moosmüller 1991:13–14).

Journal of the International Phonetic Association (2015) 45/3 C© International Phonetic Association

mailto:[email protected]
mailto:[email protected]
mailto:[email protected]

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340 Journal of the International Phonetic Association: Illustrations of the IPA

A smaller corpus of six speakers was collected in 2002 (Moosmüller 2007). The examples
presented below are collected from a 43-year-old male speaker, born and raised in Vienna,
with an academic education, who served as the model speaker. His parents were also born
and raised in Vienna and have an academic education.2

Analyses of production reveal that SAG is largely the outcome of a contact situation
(Brandstätter & Moosmüller 2015). SAG stands between SGG and the Middle Bavarian
dialects (MBDs). MBDs form the basis of SAG pronunciation, yet the phonological system
is modelled on SGG. The differences are to be found in fine phonetic details, which will be
described below.


Bilabial Labio-

Alveolar Post-

Palatal Velar Uvular

Plosive p b̥ t d̥ k ɡ̊
Nasal m n ŋ
Trill r ʀ
Fricative f v s ʃ ç x h
Affricate pf ts tʃ ks
Approximant j


The table presents the consonant phonemes of SAG. A speaker-specific representation has
to be assumed regarding the trill. The chart lists both the uvular trill and the alveolar trill.
Most speakers make use of a uvular production (either trill or fricative). However, for those
speakers who exclusively apply an alveolar production (either trill or approximant), /r/ has to
be assumed. The chart also lists cases whose phonemic status is discussed in the literature.
These are the velar nasal consonant [ŋ] (see e.g. Lass 1984; Kohler 1995, 1999 for a phonemic
status of [ŋ], see e.g. Vennemann 1970, Dressler 1981 for an abstract analysis of [ŋ]), the
affricates (see Ungeheuer 1969, Kohler 1995 for a biphonematic analysis, Luschützky 1985,
Dogil & Jessen 1989, Wiese 1996 for a monophonematic treatment; for an extensive discussion
see Berns 2013), and the complementarily distributed palatal and velar fricatives (see Dressler
1977; Kohler 1990, 1995; Wiese 1996).

In order to provide an impression of the phonological and phonetic variation present in
the reading of the word lists, a narrow transcription was chosen in the illustration.

/p/ [pɑs] Pass ‘passport’ /b ̥/ [b ̥ɑs] Bass ‘bass’
[ˈsIpɛ̹] Sippe ‘clan’ [ˈsiːb̥ɛ] Siebe ‘sieves’

/t/ [tIʃ] Tisch ‘table’ /d ̥/ [d ̥ɑχ] Dach ‘roof’
[ˈmitɛ] Mitte ‘center’ [ˈmiːdɐ] Mieder ‘bodice’

/k/ [kʰɔx] Koch ‘cook’ /ɡ̊/ [ɡ̊uːtʰ] Gut ‘property’
[ˈhɛɡ̊ːɛ] Hecke ‘hedge’ [ˈheːɡ̊ɛ] Hege ‘gamekeeping’

2 These criteria have been developed from the results of the analyses discussed above and have been applied
to all SAG speakers of Vienna.

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Sylvia Moosmüller, Carolin Schmid, Julia Brandstätter: Standard Austrian German 341

/f/ [fiʃ] Fisch ‘fish’ /v/ [ˈʋɑːsɛ] Vase ‘vase’
[ˈoːfɱ̩] Ofen ‘stove’ [ˈløːvɛ] Löwe ‘lion’

/s/ [ˈsɔnɛ] Sonne ‘sun’
[ˈvɑsɐ] Wasser ‘water’ /m/ [mɑ̃n] Mann ‘man’

/ʃ/ [ˈʃuːlœ] Schule ‘school’ [ˈhɑmɐ ̃] Hammer ‘hammer’
[ˈhʊʃn̩] huschen ‘to dart’ /n/ [nɑ̃ːtʰ] Naht ‘seam’

/ç/ [liçtʰ] Licht ‘light’ [ˈkɑ̃nɛ] Kanne ‘pot’
[x, χ] [lɔχ] Loch ‘hole’ [ŋ] [ˈhũŋɐ ̃] Hunger ‘hunger’
/h/ [ˈhoːsɛ] Hose ‘trousers’ [kʁɑ̃ŋkʰ] krank ‘ill’

/pf/ [b ̥fɛːɐtʰ] Pferd ‘horse’ /ʀ/ [ˈʁoːsɛ] Rose ‘rose’
[ˈɑb ̥fl]̩ Apfel ‘apple’ [ˈleːɐʁɐ] Lehrer ‘teacher’

/ʦ/ [ʦæɛ̯tʰ] Zeit ‘time’ /j/ [ˈjɑmɐ ̃] Jammer ‘sorrow’
[ˈhɛʦn̩] hetzen ‘to rush’ [ˈkʰɑjɑkʰ] Kajak ‘kayak’

/ʧ/ [ˈʧe̞çjɛn] Tschechien The Czech Republic /l/ [ˈlʊstIkʰ] lustig ‘funny’
[ˈheːʧn̩] hätscheln ‘to pet’ [ˈhɑlɛ] Halle ‘hall’

[ks] [ˈɡ̊sɑːfɐ] Xaver Xaver (first name)
[ˈhɛˈɡ̊sɛ] Hexe ‘witch’

With the exception of the labiodental fricative, all obstruents are voiceless. Plosives are
distinguished by aspiration (as measured by VOT) and closure duration (Moosmüller & Ringen
2004). In formal speech styles, e.g. reading, the VOT of lenis plosives ranges between 5 ms and
20 ms; the VOT range of fortis plosives lies between 40 ms and 60 ms (Moosmüller 2011a).
In spontaneous speech, though, bilabial and alveolar fortis and lenis plosives might collapse,
especially in word-initial position, so that packen ‘to pack’ and backen ‘to bake’ become
homophonous: [ˈb̥ɑkŋ̩].3 Neutralisation of bilabial and alveolar plosives is a characteristic of
MBDs. In the case of the velar plosive, lenition might occur before sonorants, e.g. klauben
[ˈɡ̊lɑɔ ̯bm̩] ‘to pick up’, Kraft [ɡ̊ʁɑftʰ] ‘strength’, Knie [ɡ̊niː] ‘knee’. Preceding front vowels,
the velar plosive might be subjected to affrication (Moosmüller & Ringen 2004), e.g. Kübel
[ˈkxy:bœl] ‘bucket’. In intervocalic position, lenis plosives might be pronounced either voiced
or as voiced fricatives, especially in unstressed positions, e.g. aber [ˈɑːbɐ] or [ˈɑːßɐ] ‘but’, oder
[ˈoːdɐ] or [ˈoːðɐ] ‘or’, rege [ˈʀeːɡɛ] or [ˈʀeːɣɛ] ‘busy’. After nasal consonants, lenis plosives are
voiced, e.g. Hunde [ˈhʊndɛ] ‘dogs’, except word-finally, e.g. Hund [hʊnd̥] or [hʊntʰ] ‘dog’.

The labiodental fricative /v/ is mostly pronounced as an approximant [ʋ]. In intervocalic
position, /s/ might be voiced, e.g. Reise [ˈʀaɛ̯zɛ] ‘journey’. The velar fricative [x] alternates
with [χ], an alternation that has also been described for SGG (Kohler 1990). However, in
SAG, [x] is also observed after [ɔ], i.e. the distribution of the velar and the uvular fricative is
less clear-cut in SAG than in SGG (for comparison, see the realisations of Koch ‘cook’ and
Loch ‘hole’ in the list of examples above). Generally, orthographic <h> is not pronounced
in word-medial, unstressed position, e.g. Ehe [ˈeːɛ]4 ‘marriage’.

The alveolar nasal consonant /n/ is usually subjected to both regressive and progressive
place assimilation, e.g. anbeten [ˈɑmb̥eːd̥n̩] ‘to worship’, Anfahrt [ˈɑɱfɑːt]5 ‘approach’,
Angeber [ˈɑŋɡeːbɛɐ ̯] ‘braggart’, geben [ˈɡ̊eːbm̩] ‘to give’, kaufen [ˈkɑɔ ̯fɱ̩] ‘to buy’, Regen
[ˈʀeːɡŋ̩] ‘rain’.

SAG features a wide variety of realisations of the trill. In approximately the past 40 years,
the pronunciation norm has changed from an alveolar to a uvular trill. The latter is mostly

3 The in-text examples refer to optional phonological processes which are not easy to elicit in the task of
reading a wordlist. Therefore, the examples are embedded in sentences. Thus, most of the phonological
processes were realised by our model speaker.

4 The pronunciation of [h] in Ehe is a result of reading pronunciation.
5 In Anfahrt, the model speaker did not apply nasal assimilation.

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342 Journal of the International Phonetic Association: Illustrations of the IPA

pronounced as a fricative, either voiced or voiceless. Alveolar trills are still in use, mostly
pronounced as an approximant. In final position and before consonants, the /ʀ/ is vocalised to
either [ɐ ̯] or [ɐ], e.g. Vater [ˈfɑːtɛɐ ̯] or [ˈfɑːtɐ] ‘father’ or Kirche [ˈkIɐ ̯xɛ]6 ‘church’. Preceding
/ʀ/, the vowel quality of [+constricted]7 vowels usually changes to [–constricted], before
r-vocalisation takes place, e.g. Moor [mɔɐ ̯]8 ‘bog’. Reduction of the sequence er to [ɐ] is only
allowed in unstressed prefixes, e.g. verkaufen [fɛɐ ̯ˈkɑɔ ̯fɱ̩] or [fɐˈkɑɔ ̯fɱ̩] ‘to sell’. However,
reduction to [ɐ] is not allowed in prefixes without consonantal onset, e.g. erlauben [ɛɐ ̯ˈlɑɔ ̯bm̩]9
‘to allow’. Following /ɑ/, /ʀ/ is vocalised as well, however, the result of vocalisation, [ɐ ̯], is
absorbed, e.g. Parlament [pɑːlɑˈmɛnt] ‘parliament’, rar [ʀɑː] ‘scarce’. In intervocalic position,
/ʀ/ is preserved. Again, in case of a preceding [+constricted] vowel, a change in vowel quality
takes place and [ɐ ̯] emerges, e.g. Lehrer [ˈlɛɐ ̯ʀɐ] ‘teacher’.

The vocalisation of the lateral is a process of MBDs which might be applied in SAG.
In most varieties of MBDs, front vowels preceding /l/ are rounded. The lateral is vocalised
to [e ̯] after rounded vowels. In the case of front rounded vowels, the vocalised lateral [e ̯] is
absorbed by the preceding vowel, whereas it is preserved after back rounded vowels. It has
to be emphasised that l-vocalisation in SAG is restricted to unstressed positions and to high
frequent words, as in e.g. also [ɔe ̯so] ‘also’ or halt [hɔe ̯d̥] ‘just’.

In SAG, 13 vowels are distinguished. They are plotted here on the conventional vowel chart.10

/i/ [ˈb ̥iːdɐ] bieder ‘stuffy’ /u/ [muːs] Mus ‘gruel’
/I/ [ˈb ̥Id ̥ːɛ] Bitte ‘request’ /ʊ/ [b ̥usː] Bus ‘bus’
/y/ [ˈhyːtɛ̹] Hüte ‘hats’ /o/ [ˈoːdɐ] oder ‘or’
/ʏ/ [ˈhʏd̥ːɛ̹] Hütte ‘hut’ /ɔ/ [ˈʔɔtɐ] Otter ‘otter’
/e/ [ˈb ̥eːtʰ] Beet ‘patch’ /ɑ/ [sɑːtʰ] Saat ‘seed’

[ˈkeːfɐ] Käfer ‘beetle’ [sɑtʰ] satt ‘replete’
/ɛ/ [b ̥ɛtʰ] Bett ‘bed’
/ø/ [ˈhøːlɛ] Höhle ‘cave’
/œ/ [ˈhœlɛ] Hölle ‘hell’

6 After vocalisation of the trill, place assimilation of /ç/ to the preceding vowel [ɐ] takes place in SAG and
MBDs (see also Hildenbrandt 2013 for a discussion).

7 Since the terms ‘tense’ and ‘lax’ are rather misleading for describing the vowel quality difference of
the respective vowels (see e.g. Mooshammer 1998 for a discussion), Moosmüller (2007) introduced the
feature [±constricted] in order to describe vowel quality differences in SAG.

8 In this example, our model speaker did not change the quality of the vowel, but produced [moɐ̯].
9 In this example, our model speaker assimilated [ɛɐ̯] to [æ]. Note that the result is a full vowel [æ], and

not a reduced vowel [ɐ].
10It is explicitly stated in the Handbook of the IPA that ‘the vowel quadrilateral must be regarded as an

abstraction and not as a direct mapping of the tongue position’ (IPA 1999: 12).

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Sylvia Moosmüller, Carolin Schmid, Julia Brandstätter: Standard Austrian German 343

The vowels are best described with respect to their location of constriction,11 tongue height,
and rounding. Compared to the e-vowels and their rounded cognates, the i-vowels and
their rounded cognates hold a more fronted constriction location. Therefore, /i/ and /e/ are
distinguished by horizontally moving the tongue from a mid-palatal to a pre-palatal position,
without considerable changes in tongue height. Acoustically, this difference is reflected by an
approximation of F3 and F4 in the case of /i/, and an approximation of F2 and F3 in the case
of /e/ (Stevens 1999: 277f.). The front vowels are subdivided into unrounded and rounded;
the vowels on the right of the front-vowels cluster denote the rounded cognates, the vowels
on the left of the front-vowels cluster denote the unrounded cognates. For the back vowels,
X-ray studies on vowel articulation proved that a retraction of the tongue is needed to form
a constriction in the upper pharynx for /o/ and /ɔ/ and in the lower pharynx for /ɑ/, while /u/
and /ʊ/ are articulated in the region of the soft palate (see e.g. Fant 1965; Straka 1978; Wood
1979, 1982).12

The intermediate position of SAG, between MBDs and SGG, is most apparent in the
articulation of high vowels. Whilst MBDs distinguish high vowels by quantity, i.e. /iː i uː
u/,13 in SGG, they are distinguished by quality, i.e. /i I y ʏ u ʊ/. Primary quantity distinction
is assumed for the vowel /ɑ(ː)/ (Jessen et al. 1995, Simpson 1998). Since SAG is geared
towards SGG, high vowels are distinguished by quality as well. However, only a few speakers
are able to consistently sustain this distinction, as already observed over a century ago by
Luick (1904, see also Wiesinger 2009). Most speakers, with speaker-specific differences, tend
to neutralilze /i/ and /I/, especially in velar context (Brandstätter & Moosmüller 2015; for
an articulatory analysis see Harrington, Hoole & Reubold 2012). Similar results have been
obtained for the high vowel pairs /y–ʏ/ and /u–ʊ/ (Brandstätter, Kaseß & Moosmüller 2015).
The model speaker produces [+constricted] high vowels in Mitte [ˈmitɛ] ‘center’, Fisch [fiʃ]
‘fish’, Licht [liçtʰ] ‘light’ (see examples illustrating consonants above), and Bus [b̥usː] ‘bus’
(see examples illustrating vowels above).

A similar situation is to be found regarding the vowels /e/ and /ɛ/. In MBDs, the
development of Middle High German ë led to a situation which was termed e-confusion in
traditional dialectology (Kranzmayer 1956, Scheuringer 1990). In the Viennese dialect, since
the late 1960s, a merger of expansion is observed with regard to the e-vowels (Seidelmann
1971, Moosmüller 2011b), which has also spread to the western parts of Austria, e.g. Salzburg
(Moosmüller & Scheutz 2013). Muhr (2007: 41) claims that in SAG, the quality of the open-
mid vowel [ɛ] is rather closed and proposes to symbolise this vowel with [e ̞]. In our data, we
observed a speaker-specific treatment of this opposition. Most speakers distinguish /e/ and /ɛ/
according to SGG norms but some speakers make no clear distinction between these vowels;
/ɛ/ is sometimes pronounced as [e], and /e/ is sometimes pronounced as [ɛ].

Long /ɛː/, as exemplified by Käfer [ˈkeːfɐ] ‘beetle’, is still assumed by Iivonen (1987). In
our material, however, /ɛː/ has completely merged with /e/ (Moosmüller 2007: 52).

With the exception of [ɐ],14 which is the result of r-vocalisation, full vowels occur in
unstressed positions, a further trait of MBDs. /e/, as in e.g. the prefixes be- or ge-, is pronounced
[e], e.g. betrunken [b̥eˈtʁʊŋkŋ̩] ‘drunken’ or gekauft [ɡ̊eˈkɑɔ ̯ft] ‘bought’, and unstressed /ɛ/
is pronounced as [ɛ], e.g. Sonne [ˈsɔnɛ] ‘sun’ or Tische [ˈtIʃɛ] ‘tables’. Reduced vowels, as
exemplified in the transcribed passage below, are extremely rare. In labial context, unstressed
/e ɛ/ might be rounded, as exemplified in Sippe [ˈsIpɛ̹] ‘clan’, Schule [ˈʃuːlœ] ‘school’, Hüte
[ˈhyːtɛ̹] ‘hats’, or Hütte [ˈhʏd̥ːɛ̹] ‘hut’.

11Adding the location of constriction to the description of vowels improves transparency of many
phonological processes, including the complementary distribution of the palatal and the velar/uvular
fricative, since a-vowels have a pharyngeal constriction location (see also Fant 1965).

12This description resembles the description of consonants which has been advocated by Catford (1977).
13The vowel system of MBDs contains no front, rounded vowels.
14It should be mentioned that in MBDs, r-vocalisation results in a full vowel [ɑ].

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344 Journal of the International Phonetic Association: Illustrations of the IPA

However, another MBDs process, namely the deletion of the vowel /e/ in the prefix
<ge-> might occur in SAG spontaneous speech. As a typical feature of especially young
SAG speakers, this process is applied in, e.g. gesagt ‘said’, which is reduced to [ɡ̊sɑːkt]. It
has to be noted, however, that, contrary to MBDs, the quality of the stressed vowel /ɑ/ is
preserved, whereas MBDs would demand /ɔ/.

Three diphthongs are distinguished in SAG: /aɛ̯ ɑɔ ̯ ɔɛ̯/.

/aɛ̯/ [ˈsæe ̯dɛ] Seide ‘silk’
/ɑɔ ̯/ [hɑo ̯s] Haus ‘house’
/ɔɛ̯/ [ˈlɔɛ̯tɛ] Leute ‘people’

Diphthongs exhibit a large range of realisation variants. Ulbrich (2003), who performed
an auditive analysis of five Austrian newsreaders, counted 23 different realisations of the
diphthong /aɛ̯/, ranging from [aɛ̯] to monophthongised [ɛ], 19 different realisations of the
diphthong /ɑɔ ̯/, ranging from [ao̯]15 to monophthongised [ɔ], and 23 different realisations of
the diphthong /ɔɛ̯/, ranging from [ɔœ̯I]̯ to monophthongised [ɔ].16 Similar results have been
obtained in our data of Viennese SAG speakers (Vollmann & Moosmüller 1999, Moosmüller
& Vollmann 2001). As an influence of the Viennese monophthongisation, which affected the
Viennese dialect and changed the diphthongs /aɛ̯/ and /ɑɔ ̯/17 to /æː/ and /ɒː/, respectively, a
tendency to assimilate the onset of the diphthong to the offset can also be observed in the
Viennese variant of SAG. Assimilation regarding tongue height can be observed in the case
of /aɛ̯/ → [æɛ̯]. In the case of /ɑɔ ̯/, rounding of the onset might take place, resulting in [ɒɔ ̯],
and in the case of /ɔɛ̯/, delabialisation of the onset might occur, resulting in [ʌɛ̯]. It should be
noted that in SAG, monophthongisation is restricted to unstressed positions.


Standard Austrian German is an intonation language. To convey postlexical meanings at a
suprasegmental level, the prosodic parameters f0, duration, and amplitude are used (Wunderli
1981: 292).

Intonation units are distinguished primarily by final syllable-lengthening and by resetting
f0 between two intonation units. SAG shows an overall tendency of the f0 contour to gradually
drift downwards over the course of an utterance, between a declining top line connecting the f0
peaks and a declining baseline connecting the f0 valleys. Imperative sentences have a higher
and longer initial f0 (the nucleus contour is mostly H∗ or H∗+^H; H∗+L occurs less frequently)
and a lower final f0 than declaratives, questions, and continuative utterances. This results in

15In our material of SAG speakers, the first part of the diphthong /ɑɔ̯/ is realised with dark [ɑ] throughout.
16Monophthongisations of /ɔɛ̯/ rather surface as [œ] in our material.
17/ɔɛ̯/ does not exist in MBDs.

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Sylvia Moosmüller, Carolin Schmid, Julia Brandstätter: Standard Austrian German 345

a higher mean f0 and a stronger overall declination. Declarative sentences show a negative
overall slope as well, but it is weaker and restricted to the second half of the utterance. The
nucleus contour of declaratives is mostly L∗+H. Monotonal L∗ occurs more rarely. In most
cases, partial questions are also pronounced with a declining f0, but they can also have the
rising final contour typical of yes–no-questions. In yes–no-questions, the overall f0 movement
is rising, although a negative slope in the first half of the utterance is common. The initial f0
and the mean f0 are higher in yes–no-questions than in declarative sentences. The final rise
takes place mainly in the second half of the utterance, and the target point is the highest within
the utterance. H∗+^H is the most common nucleus contour, although L∗+H can be observed
as well. Like yes–no-questions, continuative utterances also have a final rise with the highest
utterance frequency as target point, and, furthermore, they have the same nucleus contours
H∗+^H and L∗+H. However, unlike yes–no-questions, mean f0 in continuative utterances is as
low as in declaratives, the overall f0 contour is relatively flat, and the final rise has a smaller
f0 range.18

In a cross-linguistic study of the intonation of read declarative sentences in Standard
varieties of German, Ulbrich (2005) found some gradual differences between SAG and SGG.
Her results suggest that compared to SGG, in SAG speakers make more and longer sentence-
internal pauses. Moreover, speaking rate is lower and the f0 range over the means of all peaks
and valleys within an utterance is larger. SAG also shows greater quantitative differences
between accentuated and unaccentuated syllables, the former exhibiting longer duration. In
pre-nuclear high tones and nuclear L∗+H syllables, f0 range of rising f0 is larger in SAG than
in SGG. Additionally, there is a steeper fall from a high-nucleus syllable.

In the realisation of information structure, duration, amplitude, and relative height of the
focus peak are gradually increased with narrowing focus, while the mean f0 over the utterance
decreases. In narrow contrastive focus, a high peak can be observed shortly before the focused
word, followed by a steep fall, resulting in either <H∗+L or <H+L∗ (Schmid & Moosmüller

Word stress
Like SGG, SAG has variable word stress, which depends on morphological rules. Mostly,
stress is realised on the lexical root, and, consequently, often on the first syllable. Affixes
can either be stressed or unstressed. In compounds, stress usually falls on the first syllable.
Additional syllables can have secondary stress. The position of word stress may have a
distinctive function. It can be grammatically distinctive, e.g. ˈPerfekt ‘perfect (ling.), N’ and
perˈfekt ‘perfect, ADJ’, or semantically distinctive, e.g. ˈübersetzen ‘to ferry across a river’
vs. überˈsetzen ‘translate’. Some stress placements differ from SGG, e.g. Kaˈffee ‘coffee’ or
Taˈbak ‘tobacco’ (see Wiesinger 2009 for an overview).

Acoustic analysis of stressed and unstressed vowels in disyllabic words in nucleus position
shows that SAG as well as SGG use f0, duration, intensity, and vowel quality (formants) to
convey word stress. However, different tendencies are observed between the two language
varieties, especially concerning f0 and formants: SAG speakers realise the unstressed vowels
more often with higher f0 values than the preceding stressed vowels. Especially in the
realisations of male speakers, formant values of stressed and unstressed e-vowels largely
overlap. Unstressed vowels often preserve a full vowel quality.

Transcription of ‘The north wind and the sun’
ˈnɔɐ ̯tvI ̃nd ̥ʊ̃nd ̥ˈsɔnɛ
æɛ̯nstʰ ˈʃd ̥ʁId ̥n̩ sIc ̧ ˈnɔɑ̯tvI ̃nd ̥ʊ̃ntˈsɔnɛ | ʋeɐ ̯fɔnˈiːnɛ̃m b ̥æe̯dn̩ ʋoldɐ ˈʃd ̥ɛɐ ̯kɐʀɛ veɐ ̯ʀɛ |
ʔɑlsɛɱˈvɑndɐʁɐ | d ̥ɛI ̃n ænɛ̹̃ɱ ˈvɑːmɛ̃ˈmɑ̃ntl ̩ ɡ̊e̹ˈhʏltʰ ʋɑː d ̥ɛ̈s ˈveːgɛs d ̥ɑˈhɛɐ ̯kʰɒ̤m̥ ‖ si ̹ʋʊɐ ̯dn̩

18The annotation of pitch contours follows the GToBI standards (see Grice & Baumann 2002), further
phonetic descriptions are made after acoustic analysis.

Page 8

346 Journal of the International Phonetic Association: Illustrations of the IPA

ˈæɛ̯nikʰ | d ̥ɐs ˈd ̥eɐ ̯jeːnIɡɛ fʏɛ̈n ˈʃd ̥ɛɐ ̯ɡ̊ɐʁɛ̃ŋˈɡ̊ɛld ̥n̩ ˈsɔltɛ | d ̥ɛdeɱˈvɑndɐʁɐ ˈtsʋIŋɛ̃ɱ ˈvʏɐ ̯d ̥ɛ |
sænɛ̃ˈmɑ̃ntl̩ ˈɒɔ ̯stsʊˌtsḭːn̰̩ ‖ d ̥ɐ ˈnɔɑ̯tʰvIntʰ b ̥liːs mIt̃ ˈʔɑlɑ ˈmɑːχtʰ | ɑßɛjeː ˈmeːɐ ̯ ɛɐ ̯ ˈb ̥liːs |
d ̥ɛsd ̥o ˈfɛsd ̥ɐ ˈhyltʰɛ̈ sIɕd ̥ɐ ˈvɑ̰ndʁɐ I ̃nsænɛ̃ ˈmɑntl̩ æɛ̯n ‖ d ̥ɑ̰ ɛɐ ̯ˈvɛɐ ̯ʶmd ̥ɛdi ˈsɔnɛ d ̥I ˈluftʰ
mid ̥ɛɐ ̯n̩ ˈfʀɔ ̰ɛ̯nd ̥lIʝŋ̩ ˈʃd ̥ʀɑːln̩ | n̩ʃɐnɑxˈveːniɡŋ̩ ˈɒ̰o ̯ɡŋ̩ˌb ̥liɡ̊ŋ̩ ˈtsɔo ̯ɡ̊ d ̥ɑ ˈvɑndɐʁɐ sæ̃nɛ̃ˈmɑ̃ntl̩
ɒ̰ɔ ̯s ‖ d ̥ɑ̹ ˈmʊsd ̥ɛðɐ ˈnɔ ̰ɑ̯tʰʋIn ˈtsuːɡ̊e̞ːbm̩ | d ̥ɑsθI ˈsɔnɛ fɔ ̃n ˈI ̃ːnɛ̃m ˈb ̥æe̯dn̩ d ̥I ˈʃd ̥ɛɐ ̯kɐʁɛ vɑ̰ː ‖

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