12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Florence, Italy
August 27-31. 2011

The “Fortis-Lenis” Distinction in Bulgarian and German

Bistra Andreeva, Magdalena Wolska

Universität des Saarlandes, Germany

The present study investigates the voicing contrast in Bulgarian and German. Analyses of two production experiments are reported. In the first experiment logatoms were constructed containing /p, t, k/ and /b, d, g/ in intervocalic position. In the second experiment one Bulgarian and one German sentence were elicited in different focus conditions resulting in different accentuation levels. Based on the obtained data we analyze the phonetic implementation of the phonological categories voiced vs. voiceless and the influence of focus condition and accentuation. It is shown, that: First, the two languages differ in the phonetic realization of /p, t, k/ but not /b, d, g/ in intervocalic position in terms of voice onset time (short lag in Bulgarian and long lag in German). Second, accentuation levels are realised in different ways in the two languages.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Andreeva, Bistra / Wolska, Magdalena (2011): "The “fortis-lenis” distinction in Bulgarian and German", In INTERSPEECH-2011, 2669-2672.