Christiane Ulbrich1 & Horst Ulbrich2
1University of Ulster School of Communication; 2no affiliation

ID 1535
[full paper]

Rhotics are generally believed to be phonetically heterogeneous. They are usually classified as rhotics due to their similar phonological behaviour and their diachronic and synchronic alternation. There are generalizations regarding phonotactic properties, synchronic and diachronic alternations. The realisation of /r/ produced by German speakers has previously been analysed in comprehensive corpora and /r/ was found to have undergone dramatic changes. The paper addresses two issues regarding the /r/-realisation using cross-varietal data from two standard varieties of German spoken in Switzerland and Austria. The process of /r/ vocalisation is independent of regional variation and spreads from the north to the south in the German speaking countries in central Europe. The second issue addressed is the allophonic alternation between trills and taps and their interaction with prosodic structure.

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