Re: Pronunciation of -chen in German
- Daniel's theory sounds like a good explanation indeed. Another factor in
this might be that <-chen> seems to be the only native morpheme (at the
very least, the only *common* native morpheme) containing onset /C/.
FWIW, I don't make the distinction. I consistently have [Cn=] in all the
examples cited so far.
> Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2010 14:48:41 +0200
> From: Henrik Theiling<theiling@...>
> Subject: Re: Pronunciation of -chen in German
> Daniel Prohaska writes:
>> > I've got an alternative explanation. The diminutive suffix<-chen>
>> > is very much associated with the standard language as every region
>> > has it's own realisation of the standard suffixes<-chen> /Z@, S@,
>> > kj@/ and<-lein> /-li, -@l, -le, -l@, 6l/ etc. Since<-chen> is
>> > intrinsically standard, maybe this explains its "careful
>> > pronunciation". Dan
> Hmm, it doesn't feel marked*today*, but maybe the it once was more
> marked/careful and then it silently stuck. Good theory!
> I just noticed that the special case pronunciation is even found in
> lexicalised words where the -chen ending has lost its diminutive
> meaning like it_Mädchen_ ('girl'),_Rotkehlchen_ ('robin' (bird)),
> _Kaninchen_ ('rabbit'). I know there's an element of 'little' in all
> of those words, but it doesn't feel like a suffix anymore -- it's
> fully lexicalised and inseperable. Still, they are all with -[@n] for
> me instead of -[n=].