Microprosodic variability in plosives in German and Austrian German

Margaret Zellers, Barbara Schuppler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


Fundamental frequency (F0) contours may show slight, microprosodic variations in the vicinity of plosive segments, which may have distinctive patterns relative to the place of articulation and voicing. Similarly, plosive bursts have distinctive characteristics associated with these articulatory features. The current study investigates the degree to which such microprosodic variations arise in two varieties of German, and how the two varieties differ. We find that microprosodic effects indeed arise in F0 as well as burst intensity and Center of Gravity, but that the extent of the variability is different in the two varieties under investigation, with northern German tending towards more variability in the microprosody of plosives than Austrian German. Coarticulatory effects on the burst with the following segment also arise, but also have different features in the two varieties. This evidence is consistent with the possibility that the fortis-lenis contrast is not equally stable in Austrian German and northern German.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Interspeech
Place of PublicationShanghai
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Event21st Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association: INTERSPEECH 2020 - Shanghai, Virtual, China
Duration: 25 Oct 202029 Oct 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association, INTERSPEECH
ISSN (Print)2308-457X


Conference21st Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association
Abbreviated titleInterspeech 2020
CityShanghai, Virtual


  • Austrian German
  • Bursts
  • F0
  • German
  • Microprosody
  • Phonetic detail
  • Phrase boundaries
  • Plosives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Modelling and Simulation


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  • Elise Richter

    Schuppler, Barbara (Recipient), Nov 2017

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

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