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Theoretical phonetics of German language


Theoretical phonetics of the German language consists of theoretical data. They describe in detail the auditory qualities of the German alphabet sounds. There are 44 sounds, including 16 vowels, 22 consonants, 3 affricates and 3 diphthongs. Also, non-standard sounds are used, which were borrowed from other language groups.

German theoretical phonetics is quite simple when compared to theoretical phonetics of English or French. But mastery of the language is impossible to imagine without the correct pronunciation. German theoretical phonetics has a major aspect – defined by the theory of syllable, which has the properties of closed, open and conditionally closed. These positions have a direct influence on the pronunciation of sounds that belong to vowel or consonant letters of the alphabet. Requirements for reading the alphabet have been developed, which are unique to the German language. Some of them are not similar in other language groups. All this is done by theoretical phonetics.

Rules for reading the alphabet in German

The vowels in the German alphabet are divided into sounds of the front and back rows. As a result, they acquire a long or short pronunciation. The duration of the sound is directly related to the characteristics of each syllable in which they participate. Diphthongs are the pronunciation of two vowels that are pronounced simultaneously, in a combination of one sound. Among the consonants are deaf, nasal, lingual and others. Duality of letters, the union of consonant sound is called africat.


Ііh іе




der Kаlіef [kalі:f]

dаs Sіeb [zі:p]

verlіеhen  [fәrlі:әn]

І [i] frіsch [frі∫]
ääh [ε:] Gärе [gε:rә]

Mähne [mε:nә]

еä [ε] fressen [frεsәn]

der Fussgänger [fusgεŋәα]



[е:] clever [kle:vәα]

Mееr [mе:α]

е [ә] pfеіfеn [pfаеfәn]


[а:] bеmаlen [bәmа:lәn]

mahnen [mа:nәn]

Sааl [zа:l]



[u:] die Stubе [∫tu:bә]


[о:] Dоsе [dо:zә]

Mооs [mо:s]

ö [œ ] wölbіg [wœlbіç]


[ø:] Röhre [rø:rә]

Gоеthе [gø:tә]



[у:] Rührеn [ry:rәn]

trübе [try:bә]

Lyrіk [ly:rік]

уü [у] Cyprin [tsYpri:n]

fünfzig [fYnftsiç]

au [ao] Traum [traom]
äueu [oe] Heulen [hoelәn]

bräunen [broenәn]

aiei [ae] Leinen [laenәn]
bpp [p] zippen [zipәn]

Laub [laop]



[b] Baum [baom]

knabbern [knabәαn]





[f] Form [foαm]

Raffung [rafuŋ]

Vetter [fεtәα]

Philosoph [filozo:f]

сh [x]


Sache [zaxә]

horchen [hoαçәn]


sch [∫] Schicksaal [∫ikza:l]
sp [∫p] spucken [∫pukәn]
st [∫t] Stange [∫taŋә]
dtth [t] Städte [∫tεtә]

Theorie [theori:]



[s] brassen [brasәn]

der Reis [raes]

der Imbiß [imbis]



[кs] das Taxi [thaksi]

Lachse [laksә]

links [liŋks]

кcк [к] Кater [kha:tәα]

Wecкer [vεkәα]

qu [кv] Quote [kvotә]
ng [ŋ] hängen [hεŋәn]
[ŋк] Linк [liŋk]
r [r] Richtung [riçtuŋ]
r [α] Gläser [glε:zәα]
h [h] hauchen [haoxәn]
l [l] Leser [le:zәα]
gj [ʒ] Genie [ʒeni:]
n [n] Nіеre [ni:rә]
m [m] Mustеr  [mustәα]
vw [v] bеwеgеn [bәve:gәn]

Vеnus [vе:nus]

yj [j] VW «Jеttа» [jеtа]


Ringinging and deaf consonants in phonetics

If we draw an analogy among the consonant sounds of speech, they form a chain where the slot consonants, the voiced consonants are evenly arranged.

In all German words, consonants are solid letters. Generally speaking, it is unusual for this language group to make sounds soft. It is also necessary to know that even the ringing consonants in the alphabet are not spoken with the ringing of the Russian language, they are more muted and pronounced with a greater length of tonality. And the deaf are spoken with an aspiration.

Vowel sounds of the German alphabet can be put in a similar chain:


Theoretical phonetics: intonation

The impact in German is fixed and practically unchanged. Theoretical phonetics depends on the tone of the statement. The intonation of the German language makes it possible to make human speech meaningful and understandable for the listener. With its help, certain words and thoughts that need a logical pause are distinguished in the sentence.
The intonation is conditioned by the information plan and the form of the phrase: exclamation, question, narration. In addition to this intonation, we use an affective, pathosy one. But they are usually used within exclamation points.
In the general question, the emphasis in the phrase drops to the end:
For example, Habt ihr euch gut erholt? ¬ Have you relaxed good?
If a reference word or the main word is used in a statement, then the intonation emphasis is put on it.

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