Speech Prosody 2002

Aix-en-Provence, France
April 11-13, 2002

Stress Perception and Production in German Stress Clash Environments

Petra Wagner, Eva Fischenbeck

Institut für Kommunikationsforschung und Phonetik, Universität Bonn, Germany

Several production and perception experiments have been carried out in order to investigate, whether stress clash environments in A(BC)-compounds really trigger a stress shift or a destressing of the secondary stress or not. The results indicate that stress shifting is rather rare than common in German. If it occurs, it manifests itself both on a production and perception level. This situation remains stable, no matter if listeners are presented the full acoustic signal or only delexicalised stimuli. The only environment where stress shift tends to take place more often are words consisting of four syllables. These allow for placement of an additional foot. Stress clashes in trisyllabic compounds are often handled by a destressing of the secondary accent as an alternative to stress shift. However, in the majority of stress clash environments, listeners did perceive the primary and secondary stress in the immediate neighbourhood. Obviously, a stress clash creates less of a problem in German than it does in other Germanic languages.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Wagner, Petra / Fischenbeck, Eva (2002): "Stress perception and production in German stress clash environments", In SP-2002, 687-690.