Linguistik-Klassifikation: Phonetik/Phonologie / Phonetics/Phonology
Evaluating phonological status : significance of paradigm uniformity vs. prosodic group effects
- A central concern of linguistic phonetics is to define criteria for determining the phonological status of sounds or sound properties observed in phonetic surface form. Based on acoustic measurements we show that the occurrence of syllabic sonorants vs. schwa-sonorant sequences in German is determined exclusively by segmental and prosodic structure, with no paradigm uniformity effects. We argue that these findings are consistent with a uniform representation of syllabic sonorants as schwa sonorant sequences in the lexicon. The stability of schwa in CVC-suffixes (e.g. the German diminutive suffix -chen), as opposed to its phonetic absence in a segmentally comparable underived context, is argued to be conditioned by the prosodic organisation of such suffixes external to the phonological word of the stem.