pronunciation of "freundlich" and "Buchhandlung"

James Bates

Banned
Urdu
Is the "d" in "freundlich", "endlich", etc. pronounced "t" or "d"?

I read somewhere that a final "g" is pronounced "k" except when it's preceded by "n", as in "Buchhandlung". However, I recently heard some Germans pronounce it "k" in "Buchhandlung". Could a native speaker shed some light on this? Which is the standard pronunciation?

Vielen Dank!:)
 
  • Suilan

    Senior Member
    Germany (NRW)
    Hi James,

    Is the "d" in "freundlich", "endlich", etc. pronounced "t" or "d"?
    A plosive at the end of a syllable (but not the word) is usually pronounced without the plosion. The difference between voiced and unvoiced becomes barely perceptible. Compare cab/cap, lack/lag, sad/sat when you pronounce it without the plosion.

    If the speaker talks very slowly, pronouncing every syllable seperately and over-accurately, then freundlich would indeed be pronounced with a [t].

    Compare your previous thread (it's the same "rule"):

    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=614134


    I read somewhere that a final "g" is pronounced "k" except when it's preceded by "n", as in "Buchhandlung".
    That's correct.

    However, I recently heard some Germans pronounce it "k" in "Buchhandlung".
    Must be a regionalism.
     

    Acrolect

    Senior Member
    German, Austria
    I think that like in English, word final letters <ng> are pronounced as a velar nasal, i.e. without either /g/ or /k/.
     

    James Bates

    Banned
    Urdu
    Suilan: Thanks. I had a feeling I'd asked about the pronunciation of the "d" in "endlich" before. I have a horrible memory :eek:
     

    Suilan

    Senior Member
    Germany (NRW)
    Not a problem.

    I've just edited my above post. The rule I mentioned (coarticulation) doesn't just apply to voiced plosives, but to all plosives at the end of a syllable, especially if the next one starts with another consonant AND

    -- if the place of articulation of this following consonant is the same or nearby.

    Compare:

    1) tatsächlich.

    [t] and [z] are both alveolar (tip of tongue against back of teeth). Here, it would be awkward to release the plosive, produce the aspiration halfway to the back of your throat, then return to the exact same position for the next syllable. So, in normal speech, the second t would not be released.

    Short digression needed:

    Accustically, a plosive consists of a short pause (airflow is completely cut off), then a burst of rather nondescript noise (plosion). Unvoiced plosives are followed by 40+ms of aspiration (which is produced glottally); voiced ones have no or little aspiration (under 20ms). That's the main distinction between voiced/unvoiced plosives.

    2) Tatform or Tatwaffe. [f] and [v] are labiodental (upper incisors against bottom lip). You could pronounce the t with or without plosion. Both versions sound fine.

    3) Stadtrundfahrt. For me, r is uvular (which is close to the glottis anyway), so here I would pronounce the first syllable fully before moving into r-position (but I'd cut the d short.)

    4) Tathergang. h is glottal. Plus, it's the same sound as the aspiration anyway, so here, Tat would be pronounced fully.

    So in the case of endlich, freundlich: [t] and [l] are both alveolar, hence the [t] is cut short before the release and aspiration.
     

    James Bates

    Banned
    Urdu
    What about "Grundstamm" ("ground stem")? I'm guessing that the "d" will be pronounced "t", as the second component is an independent word. Am I right?
     

    Suilan

    Senior Member
    Germany (NRW)
    What about "Grundstamm" ("ground stem")? I'm guessing that the "d" will be pronounced "t", as the second component is an independent word. Am I right?
    Yes, you are. The independent words of a compound word tend to be pronounced more clearly. There's a slight pause between them, here Grund and stamm, but not between freund and lich.

    So my compound examples 2-4 in the previous post don't work as well as I thought. Sorry. It's hard to think of all possible cases unless one does a couple of hours of research ;)

    My point was that with non-compound words, pronouncing d, g, or b as a fully released [t], [k], or [p] at the end of a syllable but in mid-word sounds awkward, especially if the next consonant is articulated "closeby."

    In all other cases, it's optional. You may cut the d = [t] short in Grund-stamm if you want to (I tend to do that), but it doesn't sound exaggerated if you do pronounce it properly.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top