Manuela Lanwermeyer, Johanna Fanta-Jende, Alexandra N. Lenz, Katharina Korecky-Kröll
November 8, 2019
This paper focuses on phonetic variation within the standard German language register of Austria. While the norm status and a high socio-symbolic value are attributed to certain lexical variants of standard language in Austria, the norm and usage status of characteristic phonetic properties remain unclear, due to lack of empirical analyses. By investigating the relation between standard language norms and “standard usage” ( Gebrauchsstandard ) in Austria, our study aims to close this research gap by using the example of unstressed ‹-ig›. The analyses are based on data gathered from 52 speakers from two generations, covering all Austrian dialect regions. Elicitation settings varied from strongly standardized tasks with a graphic or visual stimulus (reading aloud tasks, picture naming tasks) to translation tasks (translation from dialect into standard) with oral stimuli. The results demonstrate that although ‹-ig› is predominantly pronounced like [ɪk], (socio-)linguistic factors as phonetic context, part of speech, setting, gender and regional background influence the ‹-ig›-variation. In total, the data suggest that German speaking Austrians are situated in a conflict between transnationally diverging norms and intra-nationally varying model speakers of German.