Pronunciation of "dass Sie"

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by James Bates, May 18, 2007.

  1. James Bates Banned

    English America
    The program I'm using to learn German says,

    "Sagen Sie dass Sie nach Berlin fahren."

    which I think means "Say you're going to Berlin."

    My question is: does the "s" of "Sie", which is usually pronounced "z", assimilate into the "ss" of "dass"? In other words, is "Sie" in this sentence pronounced "zee" (the way it normally is), or is it pronounced like the English word "sea"?
  2. Acrolect Senior Member

    German, Austria
    There is no phonological opposition between voiced and unvoiced s in German so that in some positions you could use either [z] or without any meaning difference, which means that in many accents of German we do not really pronounce it as [z]. In Austria and certainly also in other parts of the German-speaking world, initial s in words such as Sie is at least not as voiced as in English zoo. So if it additionally coalesces with(or at least assimilates to) the preceding voiceless s of dass, the most likely result is . Actually, I cannot possibly imagine a speaker of German producing the sequence as [daszi:].
  3. Reigh Senior Member

    Germany, Frankfurt
    German, Germany
    I agree with Acrolect. In order to pronounce it [daszi:], I'd have to stop speaking between "dass" and "Sie" which would be awkward. However, if I really try hard, I seem to able to say [daszi:] but then it sounds like I wanted to emphasize the "Sie". Maybe it's just because I don't usually say it like this, though.
  4. James Bates Banned

    English America
    So would you normally pronounce "dass Sie" as [dasi:] or [dassi:]?
  5. beclija Senior Member

    Boarisch, Österreich (Austria)
    I would as [dassi:], but then I am from a part of the German speaking area where even word-internal "geminates" actually have something of a geminate pronounciation.
  6. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    I agree with the other posters that [daszi:] would not be said. I'd have to stop between s and z, too. There's a German term (Explizitlautung) that describes a situation in which you would pronounce the words separately. No one really speaks like that, though!

    That wouldn't make any difference in German. Either pronunciation is fine, but I'd go for the former [dasi:], but that may be due to my dialect, in which I would say [dasə].
  7. Kajjo

    Kajjo Senior Member

    Formally, no assimilation occurs. If you want to speak clearly, say [dass] [zee] as two words. However, when speaking fast, the two words are drawn into each other.

    If the dass is stressed in the sentence (or neither dass nor Sie are stressed), you may say [dass.zee], some people might colloquially or dialectally pronounce ['das:si].

    If the Sie is stressed, say [dass 'zee] with the second syllable having a clear second [z] sound.

    In no case [dass 'sea] is correct. If alone or stressed, Sie is never pronounced with sharp (besides some strong dialects of course).


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