About Automatic German Phonetic Transcription and Syllable Analysis
Detailed Sketch of the Analysis
- Find syllable borders:
- Find the letters standing for vowels in an orthographic word
- Proceeding from each vowel and moving to the left, try to find the beginning of each syllable, by maximizing its onset.
- If a transition is reached from a letter standing for a less sonorous consonant to a more sonorous one (or else if the beginning of the word is reached), mark the beginning of the syllable (e.g. ...bre... cannot be maximized into ...nbre..., since /n/ is more sonorous than /b/).
- Forbid certain syllable structures that are impossible in German (e.g. bme- is a phonologically possible syllable, but not valid in German)
- Any left over material on the right joins the final syllable
- Find stress:
- Assume that the stress is on the first syllable
- If an unstressed prefix is found, move the stress to the next syllable (e.g. assume the prefix ver- is unstressed)
- If a stressed suffix is found, move the stress to it (e.g. -tion is stressed)
- Render the orthographic form phonetically:
- Substitute IPA symbols for consonants and vowels (e.g. <sch> stands for /ʃ/)
- Use cues to find vowel tenseness/length (e.g. double consonant spelling indicates lax vowel in <bitte>)
- Assume open syllables are long/tense and closed heavy syllables are short/lax
- Apply German phonetic processes (e.g. syllable final devoicing)
- Create syllable analysis graph:
- Assume each syllable has a nucleus (most sonorous element)
- Everything to the left of the nucleus is the onset, everything to the right is the coda
- Open, lax, stressed syllables form a syllable joint with the next syllable if it begins with a simple onset (e.g. /t/ belongs to both syllables in <bitte>).
© 2008-2014 Amir Zeldes