Spitzenstein

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bearded

Senior Member
Hello everyone

There is an area in Germany (I believe particularly in Land Schleswig-Holstein, Northern Germany), where initial SP/ST is pronounced s-p/s-t and not sht/shp like in the rest of Germany. Now I would like to know
- how big that area is, and whether it comprises also (parts of) other German Länder,
- whether that pronunciation is now somewhat obsolete or limited to a minority, owing to the influence from the rest of Germany,
- whether originally it was due to Low-German or perhaps Danish influence.

Many thanks in advance.
 
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  • Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    I think that it must be alive just among some older people and that the area should include Hamburg too. Wait for the answers of Germans and German speakers though.
     

    Le parent italien

    New Member
    Italiano
    Hello everyone

    There is an area in Germany (I believe particularly in Land Schleswig-Holstein, Northern Germany), where initial SP/ST is pronounced s-p/s-t and not sht/shp like in the rest of Germany. Now I would like to know
    - how big that area is, and whether it comprises also (parts of) other German Länder,
    - whether that pronunciation is now somewhat obsolete or limited to a minority, owing to the influence from the rest of Germany,
    - whether originally it was due to Low-German or perhaps Danish influence.

    Many thanks in advance.
    In Danish seems to be a mix between s-p/s-t // sht/shp. In Norwegian and Swedish it seems more emphasized s-p/s-t.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    This is not specific to a certain area. The modern High German s-palatalization as in schnell, Schnee, schlimm, Stein or Spiel of course didn't occur in Low German. As there never has been a ß in Low German there was no three way opposition s-ß-sch, the elimination of which caused that sound shift in High German. Until a few decades ago in virtually all historical Low German areas people used basically spelling pronunciation in High German. Today there are virtually no speakers left with Low German as first and High German as second language and this is fading quickly. People say /staɪn/ instead of /ʃtaɪn/ only when speaking Low German but not in High German any more. Sometimes this s-palatalization even radiates into Low German and you hear things like schnacken instead of snacken.
     
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    JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    the area should include Hamburg too.
    Obviously, you are right, cf.:
    Norddeutsche verlieren den "spitzen Stein"
    Bei Loki Schmidt, Heidi Kabel und Günter Gaus war noch zu hören, wie sich Klein Erna den Hamburger Dialekt vorstellt. Sie „s-tolperten“ manchmal über den „s-pitzen S-tein“. Ganz vornehm trennten sie „s-t“ und „s-p“, wo sonst ein „sch“ zu hören ist. Diese hanseatische Eigenheit aus dem Niederdeutschen, für die Altkanzler Helmut Schmidt gern parodiert wird, ist so gut wie verschwunden. „Das ist die letzte Generation“, sagt der Kieler Germanistik-Professor Michael Elmentaler.
    Ursprünglich wurde im ganzen norddeutschen Raum so gesprochen, auch in Städten wie Hannover war es normal. Im 19. Jahrhundert breitete sich dann die süddeutsche „schp/scht“-Variante aus. In der Linguistik heißt diese „palatal“, sie liegt am vorderen Gaumen.

    - whether that pronunciation is now somewhat obsolete or limited to a minority, owing to the influence from the rest of Germany,
    Darauf antwortet der verlinkte Artikel:
    Der Germanist verweist auf eine Untersuchung, die schon vor zwölf Jahren belegte, dass bald niemand mehr über den spitzen Stein stolpert. Demnach sprachen 1998 noch fast alle befragten über 70- Jährigen so. Bei den unter 61-Jährigen waren es nur noch 30 Prozent, bei den unter 40-Jährigen niemand. .....
     
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