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Phrase-Medial Bilabial Stops in Three West Germanic Languages 


Zurück zum Heft: Linguistische Berichte Heft 222
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Production data from native speakers of Swiss German, Standard German and Dutch show that they employ different means to realize phrase-medial pretonic stop contrasts. Swiss German uses a quantity contrast, whereas Standard German and Dutch employ different laryngeal contrasts. Two perception experiments reveal (i) the location of the respective categorical boundaries for native listeners, (ii) the difficulty to distinguish the Swiss German quantity contrast for non-native listeners, and (iii) the ease to distinguish the German laryngeal contrast for Swiss German but not for Dutch listeners. We find that a native length contrast does not inhibit categorical perception of a laryngeal contrast whereas the presence of prevoicing hinders the perception of a deviant laryngeal contrast (long vs. short voicing lag).