[German] Two sounds -- how similar?

Charlotte powerfrau99 at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 29 17:35:09 PDT 2010


Awesome. The scientific approach.

Thanks.
"There are two ways to live -- one as if nothing is a miracle, the other is as if everything is a miracle." Albert Einstein

--- On Fri, 10/29/10, Nicholas Fowler <nbfowler at gmail.com> wrote:

From: Nicholas Fowler <nbfowler at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [German] Two sounds -- how similar?
To: "Teach or learn the German language" <german at lists.noisebridge.net>
Date: Friday, October 29, 2010, 8:24 PM

They are not the same. The main difference is a characteristic of vowels called "rounding" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundedness). 

German <er> is closest to IPA [ɐ] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-open_central_vowel) when unstressed, e.g. "besser".



But when stressed, as with "gern", it's more like [er]
[e] = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close-mid_front_unrounded_vowel



German <ö> is basically IPA [ø] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close-mid_front_rounded_vowel). With an [l] afterwards, it's still [øl].



You can see by looking at a standard IPA vowel chart, though, that [e] and [ø] are almost the same sound--both are close-mid and front, the only difference is that [e] is unrounded, and [ø] is rounded. 



Another thing to add is that [r] and [l] both belong to a phonological class called "liquids" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_consonant) because they share similar characteristics.



I hope this helps explain the similarity you are perceiving!

-Nicholas


On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 4:57 PM, Jason Dusek <jason.dusek at gmail.com> wrote:


  Consider the "öl" in "Köln" and the "er" in "gerne".





    gerne

    Köln



  Are these two sounds the same? Are they very similar?



--

Jason Dusek

Linux User #510144 | http://counter.li.org/

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