Germanic Languages | The Sounds of Modern German
G448 | 2812 | Sprouse


Counts toward COAS Distribution Requirement in NMMC/Mathematical
Sciences and Cognition or Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

The language of instruction will be German.

Goals of the course:
(1) to make you aware of how the sounds of (modern standard) German
are articulated;
(2) to make you aware of several of the major features of the German
sound system;
(3) to make you aware of a number of salient differences between
German and English with respect to their inventory of sounds and
their sound systems, particularly those that typically cause English-
speaking learners of German difficulty;
(4) to make you aware of some of the regional differences in the
pronunciation of German;
(5) to make you aware of some of the differences in the pronunciation
of German associated with different stylistic levels;
(6) to make you aware of how some of the sounds of German have
undergone systematic changes over the centuries, accounting for many
differences between German and English; and
(7) to introduce you to the area of linguistics known as phonology.

This course consists of three parts:
(I) the phonetics of German (how the sounds are produced);
(II) the linear phonology of German (the rules governing which sounds
are permitted in which positions of German words); and
(III) the suprasegmental phonology of German (how stress is assigned
to particular syllables in German words, which words are mostly
heavily stressed in German sentences, and the intonational patterns
of different German sentence types)

Texts:
Hall, Christopher (2003) Modern German Pronunciation: An Introduction
for Speakers of English. 2nd edition.

Mangold, Max; et al. (2000) Duden Aussprachewörterbuch:  Wörterbuch
der deutschen Standardaussprache. (Duden, Band 6.) 4. Auflage.

New material will be presented in informal lectures in class
supported by extensive handouts. Significant class time will also be
devoted to (virtually) daily ungraded homework assignments and new
problems. Over the course of the semester, you will also have
approximately four specific assignments to write out and hand in.
Attendance and class participation are crucial to your success in
this course. There will be a midterm and a final examination.

It is assumed that your pronunciation of German will improve
significantly as a result of your participation in this course.
However, since each student’s starting point and progress will be
unique, your pronunciation and the improvement of your pronunciation
will not be a factor in evaluating your performance in the course.