Effects of prosodic prominence on obstruent-intrinsic F0 and VOT in German

James Kirby, Felicitas Kleber, Jessica Siddins, Jonathan Harrington

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We consider how lexical stress and phrasal accent influence the acoustic realization of cues to phonological voicing in German plosives. 22 native speakers of Standard German were recorded producing a total of 3168 utterances in both strong (stressed/focused) and weak (unstressed/unfocused) prosodic contexts, while holding prosodic domain constant. Both Voice Onset Time (VOT) and obstruent-intrinsic F0 (CF0) were analyzed. We found that differences in the magnitude of CF0 between voiced and voiceless plosives were greatest in the strong prosodic context, but were not always obliterated in the weak prosodic context. However, individual differences were also observed, with speakers broadly patterning into four groups with respect to the interaction of micro- and macroprosody. VOT differences were also more pronounced in strong prosodic contexts. We consider the implications of our findings for sound changes involving the reanalysis of obstruent-intrinsic F0.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProc. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2020

Publication series

NameSpeech Prosody
ISSN (Electronic)2333-2042


  • German
  • intrinsic F0
  • microprosody
  • stress
  • accent
  • tone


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