Austrian Pronunciation of b/d/g

  • berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Yes, it does produce ambiguities. The d/t and b/p mergers are, I think, more complete than the g/k merger.

    And Austrian is not the only variety of German showing these mergers.
    There are jokes about this, like this one:
    A British car passes through a small village in Saxony and the villagers wonder what the sign "GB" might mean. Says one: "F'läischt 'Geenischräisch Boulen'?" = "Vieleicht 'Königreich Polen'?" = "maybe 'Kingdom of Poland'?".
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Yes, Bernd is right - only b/p and d/t are merged completely, there's no difference between them in Austrian pronunciation (not in proper Austrian pronunciation of course; some Austrians indeed do try to aspirate /p t/ in formal standard language - so the aspirated plosives are creeping in here -, but in typical, traditional Austrian standard language they're unaspirated, and the same of course is true for colloquial speech and dialects).

    But we make a difference between /k/ = aspirated and /g/ = not aspirated, aspirated /k/ is also a phoneme of dialects and colloquial speech. In Austrian standard language /k g/ usually are not neutralised - the distinction between them is fully functional; in many dialects however /k/ is aspirated only (mainly) in word-initial position, so the opposition is weakened in many dialects, but still there.
     
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