Phonetic Characteristics of German a-schwa in Words like “Lehrer”

I am very happy to announce that Michael Ramscar and I got a paper published in Frontiers in Psychology. The topics are a) cue-outcome structure in modelling and b) phonetic characteristics of German “a-schwa” in different morphological functions. We have found that a phones morphological functions — in our case those of aschwa — and should be treated as inputs to a computational model of speech cognition, because they also serve as cognitive cues during speech production.

More over, we investigated a-schwa’s phonetic characteristics. We have found that these differ depending on the word’s class that the a-schwa is in. For example, the a-schwa at the end of the content word “Lehrer” has systematically different characteristics than that in the conjunction “aber”.
Crucially, we have found that the degree of experience between these morphological functions and the gesture of that phone — which speakers accumulate over their life time — modulates a-schwa’s phonetic characteristic.

This link leads you to the open source version of the paper.


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