Pronunciation of final "d" ...

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by Ian Tenor, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. Ian Tenor Senior Member

    English UK
    Hello, and sorry if this question has already been addressed.

    I am a classical singer, and have always understood that the final "d" in a word should be pronounbces as "t", ex. Bad = bat.

    However, a British friend who has lived for several years in Germany told me recently that, under certain circumstances, - which he could not define for me - the "d" should be pronounced "d", the example he gave me being "Kleid", which he assured me should retain the "d" sound, inspite of falling at the end of the word..

    Any help ?

    While we're here, how about poetic abbreviations, such as "lieb' ich" - from a Heine poem ?

    Should this be "lieb ich", or "liep ich", and should there be a hiatus between the sylabbles ?

    Danke schön -

  2. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    The "Auslautverhärtung" (unvoicing of voiced plosives at the end of a word) is clearly to be observed if you want to speak good German. The word "Kleid" is definitly to be pronounced like /klait/. But elyptlical phrases like "Das lieb' ich" may have a voiced d if you pronounce the sylables as "das-lie-bich".
  3. Ian Tenor Senior Member

    English UK
    Thank you once again, Berndf. You have been so helpful.

    Best -

  4. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Hi, if you observe German speaker, you will find differences caused by different dialects.

    For example, in Saxony dialect, almost all consonants are spoken soft. So you cannot hear a difference between "d" and "t" in this and in some other dialects. This does not apply to the standard language, however.

    Also: the German "d" and the English "d" sound different.

    In Germany, Auslautverhärtung (hardening) means, that the consonant will not only be voiceless but also aspirated (behaucht).

    The soft "d" is never aspirated, except at the end of a word.

    "Auslautverhärtung" is also a process and it applies different in different regions, as far as I know - at least as far as I heard it. There might be a rest of difference between "Bund" and "bunt" in the spoken word. (At least I think, I hear it, but may be this is an influence of the written word).

    Best regards

    1. If you listen to songs, the pronunciation might also be different to the standard German pronunciation. This might also depend on the kind of song.

    2. In case of "Überlautung" (Explizitlautung, extra clear and explicite speaking) it may be, that the end consonant is hartened and strongly aspirated, or it is not hardened at all, for example in "und". But this is not standard language. Sometimes teachers use "Überlautung" in dictations.

    3. Bühnensprache (speaking on stage) is also different from the standard.
  5. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    You are most welcome!
  6. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    I don't thing there is a difference in Standard German. But whatever traces of a difference there might be with certain speakers, it is certainly correct to pronounce "Bund" like "bunt".
  7. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    I agree. I just wanted to find some reasons for

  8. Ian Tenor Senior Member

    English UK
    Bund" and "bunt" -

    Thank you for your helpful comments.

    I am soon to perform Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, and - though my sung German is considered to be idiomatic and intelligent - I have been listening to recordings by two wonderful tenors, Julius Patzak and Hans Peter Blochwitz.

    Both recordings display a certain absence of Auslautverhärtung, hence my urgent questioning of this proceedure, and both singers also tend to vocalize the schwah of "Ge-", upon which subject I have been interested to read your opinions.

    Mr Patzak was from Vienna, and, if I may quote, "a legendary star of the Vienna opera", whilst Mr Blochwitz was born in Garmisch-Partenkirchen near the Austrian border.

    Perhaps this could explain certain patterns of pronunciation ... ?

    Best wishes -

  9. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Hi, I give a short summary from the Duden:
    there are two kinds of pronunciation: standardized and non standardized pronunciation.

    Standardized are "Standardaussprache" (Standard pronunciation) and "Bühnenaussprache" (Pronunciation on stage).

    Non standardized are dialects and colloquial language.

    Interesting here is the "Bühnenaussprache".

    It was norm from end of the 19th century until the middle of the twentieth at stages. Today it is used on the area of "Kunstgesang" (classical singing).

    There are some differences. I give some you mentioned here:

    "Where [b,d,g,v,z,...] are voiceless or almoust voiceless in the "Standardlautung", they are voiced in the "Bühnenaussprache".

    Where "p,t,k" is not aspirated in the Standardaussprache, it will not be aspirated in the Bühnenaussprache, but where it is aspirated, it is strong aspirated.

    I think, this declares the differences well.
    Note: I did not write about other differences, the Duden gave 9 groups of differences.

    Best wishes
  10. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    Sounds plausible. Julius Patzak died in 1974. You would assume him to have use classical stage pronunciation.

    In the West, stage pronunciation was regarded as binding for actors and classical singers until about the late 50ies, maximum mid 60ies and since than its use has been declining. Hutschi, was it any different in the East?
  11. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    I do not know the songs of Julius Patzak (and searching, I could not find an audio sample of the song you quoted), but it may well be that he had a Viennese accent.
    In Vienna, and in general in Northern and Eastern Austrian speech, the "Auslautverhärtung" is significantly different from the one in Southwestern and Western Austria and Southern Bavaria: in North+East a plosive at the end of the word is pronounced with "no audible release", whereas in the Southwest & West the release more likely will be with aspiration.
    (Or anyway, 'traditionally' this was the case; Karl Luick still described Austrian Standard pronunciation with no audible release instead of "Auslautverhärtung + Behauchung" in 1904 in "Deutsche Lautlehre mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Sprechweise Wiens und der österreichischen Alpenländer". Nowadays, with people relocating all over the country - and with some educated speakers thinking that they should try to mimic German speech -, you may well hear aspirated 'd' at the end of a word even from Viennese TV speakers.)

    Supposedly (according to stage speech normation) voiced plosives /b d g/ always are completely voiceless anywhere in Austria except in Carinthia (and except in Vienna only for "Wienerlieder" singers: they have a certain kind of speech for these songs which too include voiced plosives in certain positions), and in Bavaria too (for that matter), and only people who take a conscious effort to learn pronouncing voiced consonants manage to do so.

    For an educated singer, this very well could apply, of course, so it may be that Mr Patzak has learned pronouncing voiced plosives. Alternatively, it is possible that his speech is just simply with voiceless /b d g/ and no audible release. As I already wrote, I can't tell because I don't have found any audio files.

    Apart from that, as far as standard speech is concerned, phonetics of Standard German as spoken in real life is such that many (if not most) speakers (even educated ones) in the whole German speaking area do not manage to produce voiced consonants in all positions where they are supposed to be voiced according to the normative rules. (Some may manage voiced plosives in some positions only, and some might not pronounce voiced plosives at all.)
    And then there are of course diferent norms of the pronunciation of standard language.*) Austrian TV speakers sound significantly different from German TV speakers, as do Swiss TV speakers, of course.
    And if you are a good listener you might even hear differences between different regions within these three nations, and I am speaking of educated speakers here (TV speakers, theatre actors, and so on).

    *) To claim that this were not the case would mean to claim that German speaking Switzerland and German speaking Austria do not belong to the German speaking region. This is a reality, one easily can observe it via satellite TV, in these days.
  12. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    I'm not in daubt that there are different valid standard pronunciations and there may be different systems, too.

    For example, I suppose, News reporters have an own system, and when I see 3Sat, there are also different accents.

    In the GDR in Pop songs there was a change in the beginning of the 1960ths. For example, Bärbel Wachholz changed the pronunciation during her career significantly. But I do not know exactly what happened, I was a child during this time and had a dialect change from Itzgründisch (an High-Franconian, Oberfränkisch) to Standard German with Saxonian influence - which was much stronger than such effects.
  13. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Yes, 3sat is an excellent source for the different accents as what you get there are news reporters (these are the ones with the most formal accents, usually) from all major German speaking nations, that is of course Germany, Switzerland ("schweizweit" many days around about 18:00-19:00, I think) and Austria ("ZIB2" many days around about 22:00-22:30).

    Old GDR accents too were significant, and since the "Anschluss" it seems that some GDR speakers changed their accents, while others try to feed a GDR revival (you can watch mdr for that one ;)).
  14. Ian Tenor Senior Member

    English UK
    It is all most interesting to me to learn - and thank you so much - that some pronunciation patterns, in German, follow older Bühnenaussprache practice, which has been totally abandoned in English. These traditions are to be understood and respected.

    Best wishes -

  15. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    I would describe the current situation in the German speaking area as follows: No one could object to you using Bühnenaussprache as a stage actor or classicial singer but no one could criticize you for not using it either.
  16. Ian Tenor Senior Member

    English UK
    It is good to be reassured that both traditions are acceptable, and that I have not been totally wrong all these years !

    Singing in other languages - and in one's own - is a fascinating business, and I never cease to learn.

    Thank you, so much - and thank you one and all.


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