Studies from German-speaking Europe
Vertical variation in East Thuringian – Perception of vowel characteristics of speakers from Zeitz
This study investigates the vertical variation in an East Central German variety to a more standard variety and how the relationship between the acoustic patterns and the perception of such speakers can be described. Vowel space properties from one sentence of six reference speakers from the Kiel Corpus and six speakers from Zeitz were analyzed (F1, F2, Euclidean Distances, vowel space size). Two perception tests with these stimuli were conducted where listeners had to rate the intensity of the regional accent of one speaker and had to compare two speakers in terms of dialectality difference. While speaker groups differ in acoustic parameters such as the Euclidean Distance from /ɪ/ to /uː/, the retraction of the open vowel /a/, and [ɐ] as the vocalic realization of /ər/, for the perceived dialectality a centralized vowel space, which is particularly reflected in the reduced horizontal dimension, was found to be the most important cue for listeners’ judgments.
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