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Trends in Phonetics and Phonology

Studies from German-speaking Europe

Adrian Leemann, Marie-José Kolly, Stephan Schmid and Volker Dellwo

This volume was inspired by the 9th edition of the Phonetik & Phonologie conference, held in Zurich in October 2013. It includes state of the art research on phonetics and phonology in various languages and from interdisciplinary contributors. The volume is structured into the following eight sections: segmentals, suprasegmentals, articulation in spoken and sign language, perception, phonology, crowdsourcing phonetic data, second language speech, and arts (with inevitable overlap between these areas).
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Impact and interaction of accent realization and speaker sex on vowel length in German

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Abstract

Several studies have shown that sex-specific differences in durational patterns exist cross-linguistically. However, these sex-specific differences seem to be influenced by several linguistic factors, such as the realization of the vowel length contrast and the stress or accent condition of the investigated target. This study examined the influence of sentence accent on vowel duration in German and its potential interaction with speaker sex. Vowel durations and the realization of the tense-lax contrast including five vowel pairs (/a a:, i: ɪ, e: ɛ, u: ʊ, o: ɔ/) were analysed in 11 speakers (5 female, 6 male). As expected, results reveal a much stronger influence of accent condition on tense than on lax vowels. A tendency for longer durations in female than male speakers was found for the tense vowels. The strongest sex-specific difference was found in the realization of the tense-lax contrast in the unaccented condition due to a stronger impact of accent on male than on female speakers. Results are interpreted in terms of a higher degree of undershoot in male speech.

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