[e] before [ç]?

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by brian, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. brian

    brian Senior Member

    AmE (New Orleans)
    Hi all,

    As we know, /x/ becomes [ç] after front vowels in German, for example:

    Nacht = [naxt]
    Nächte = ['nεçtə]

    ...since [a] is central, while [ε] is (relatively) front.

    So what I would like to know is, is there any word in which [ç] is immediately preceded by [e]?

    Clearly, [x] cannot be preceded by [e] since [e] is a front vowel; but that does not mean that [eç] is well formed in German.

    So for example, echt, rechen, lächeln, etc. all have [εç], right? Can you think of any word(s) with [eç]? Or do some of you pronounce, for example, nächster with [e] and not [ε]?

    Of course, I'm talking about standard German here, but insights into dialects would be interesting as well.


    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  2. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    First of all, [e] doesn't exist in Standard German, only [e:] does.

    Interesting question. I can't think of a root with [e:ç] either. Of course, this can exist in connection with the suffix -chen as in Feechen and Rehchen. In Northern colloquial pronunciation, Weg is pronounced [ve:ç] rather than [ve:k] as in Standard German.
  3. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    I know the verb "seechen". I do not know exactly whether it is in the standard language.
    It is seldom and used as synonym to "pullern" or "pinkeln" but sounds more coarse. So I do not know exactly whether it is just replaced in polite language by the euphemism "pullern" or by "pinkeln".

    If you only consider the pronunciation, reg' can also be spoken with [e:ç]. "Reg' dich nicht so auf!" - like Bernd mentioned for "Weg".

    The pronunciation is regionally different, however. Often it is spoken with "k" (Auslautverhärtung of "g".)

    In dialects or regionally "g" is often spoken as "ç" also in the middle. (Aufregen, Segen and many others.)
    This way you get [e:ç] rather often.
    In dialects the long "e" is often spoken as a kind of diphtong.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  4. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    "Seechen" is not standard language. It is not in the Duden. I've never heard it.
  5. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    In this case it is used in Saxony or in Thuringia in the local coll. language and comes from the dialect.

    I searched for the word again and found "seichen" in the Grimm dictionary and it was used as euphemism itself.
    But it is not spoken with "ei" here like in "Teich" but with either a long "e" or a little bit diphthonguized with "e+i"

    Because of the euphemism treadmill it is almost vanished from the language.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  6. brian

    brian Senior Member

    AmE (New Orleans)
    Thanks. :)

    And just to be clear, there also is no [e:x] in Standard German, right?
  7. Lykurg

    Lykurg Senior Member

    I do not know any [e:x] in Standard German; and the combination feels completely wrong.

    I agree on the [e:ç] pronunciation of many "-eg(-)" words in Northern German dialect.
  8. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    No, not in standard language as spoken in Germany.
    It's of course different in Austria and Switzerland where there's no [ç].
  9. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Nächster is actually pronounced with [e:] in standard German, but it's not an example of [e:ç] because in this case <ch> is pronounced [k] because it is followed by .
  10. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    Not in this case because this rule only applies when -chs- occurs in a root. If a suffix starts with <s> this does not alter the pronunciation of a preceding "ch".

    The pronunciations [ne:kstɐ] and [ne:çstɐ] both exist and are even frequent but both are nevertheless non-standard. The standard pronunciation is [nε:çstɐ].
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2010

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