Differences in vowel quantity among German Dialects
2022-04-13, 12:00–12:30 (Europe/Vienna), Room 4


Vowel and consonant quantity is among the most important features for the classification of German dialects (Zwirner 1959, Wiesinger 1983). Examples are provided by the phonologically distinct long- and short-vowel systems of dialects, which can stand in a trifold opposition as in Low German (see Prehn 2011), or the existence of geminates in Southern German dialects that might be related to isochronic issues (Moosmüller & Brandstätter 2014). As shown in Hahn & Siebenhaar (2016), there is also a North-South-difference considering speech rate, which is connected to the reduction of particular speech segments. A major problem in the description of such phenomena is, however, the question how the feature of length should be defined. In our paper, we empirically understand it as a relational and individually varying measure which is derived from the linguistic utterance as a whole. Furthermore, we suggest that it is also related to particular prosodic parameters such as accent.
On this basis, we present a speaker-oriented analysis of individually possible ranges of segmental length and test it in a second step for regional dependencies in the German language area. By this means, our presentation points out an explicitly prosodic description of dialects, which adds an alternative perspective to traditional dialect-phonology. Main focus will be put on the results of an analysis of vowel-quantity.


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