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This article is about the phonology of the German language based on Standard German. It deals with current phonology and phonetics as well as with historical developments thereof, including geographical variants (for details, see the articles on History of German and German dialects).
- The front rounded vowels (excluding /ʏ/) are centralized; in addition, /øː œ/ are lowered ([ø̞̈ː œ̞̈]).
- The schwa [ə] occurs only in unstressed syllables, for instance in besetzen [bəˈzɛt͡sən] ('occupy'). It is often considered a complementary allophone together with [ɛ], which cannot occur in unstressed syllables. If a sonorant follows in the syllable coda, the schwa often disappears so that the sonorant becomes syllabic, for instance Kissen [ˈkʰɪsn̩] ('pillow'), Esel [ˈeːzl̩] ('donkey'). Before /r/, this is realized as [ɐ] in many varieties, for instance besser [ˈbɛsɐ] ('better').
- The long open-mid front unrounded vowel [ɛː] does not exist in many varieties of Standard German and is rendered as the close-mid front unrounded vowel [eː], so that both Ähre ('ear of grain') and Ehre ('honour') are pronounced [ˈeːrə] (instead of "Ähre" being [ˈɛːrə]) and both Bären ('bears') and Beeren ('berries') are pronounced [ˈbeːrən] (instead of "Bären" being [ˈbɛːrən]). It is debated whether [ɛː] is a distinct phoneme or even exists (except when consciously self-censoring speech), for several reasons:
- The existence of a phoneme /ɛː/ is an irregularity in a vowel system that otherwise has pairs of long and tense vs. short and lax vowels such as [oː] vs. [ɔ];
- The use of [ɛː] in Standard German is more due to hypercorrection and the synthetically created pronunciation traditionally used on stage (Bühnendeutsch) than to a consistent dialectal difference. Although some dialects (Mundarten) do have an opposition of [eː] vs. [ɛː], there is little agreement across dialects as to exactly which lexical items should be pronounced with [eː] and which with [ɛː];
- The use of [ɛː] is a spelling pronunciation rather than an original feature of the language. It is an attempt to "speak as is printed" (sprechen wie gedruckt) and to differentiate the spellings ⟨e⟩ and ⟨ä⟩ (that is, users of the language attempt to justify the appearance of e and ä in writing by making them distinct in the spoken language);
- Speakers with an otherwise fairly standard idiolect find it rather difficult to utter longer passages with all the [eː]s and [ɛː]s in the right places; such persons apparently have to picture the spellings of the words in question, which impedes the flow of speech.
Although there is also a length contrast, vowels are often analyzed according to a tenseness contrast, with long /iː yː uː eː øː oː/ being the tense vowels and short /ɪ ʏ ʊ ɛ œ ɔ/ their lax counterparts. Like the English checked vowels, the German lax vowels require a following consonant, with the notable exception of [ɛː] (which is absent in many varieties). /a/ is sometimes considered the lax counterpart of tense /aː/ in order to maintain this tense/lax division. Short [i y u e ø o] occur in unstressed syllables of loanwords, for instance in Psychometrie [psyçomeˈtriː] ('psychometry'). They are usually considered allophones of tense vowels, which cannot occur in unstressed syllables.
In northern German varieties influenced by Low German, long /aː/ is often backed and even slightly rounded [ɒː], while short /a/ has a tendency to be pronounced with a strongly fronted quality, almost approaching [æ]. These varieties also consistently lack /ɛː/, and use only /eː/ in its place. Therefore, these varieties could be analysed as lacking contrasting vowel quantity entirely.
The German diphthongs are /aɪ̯ aʊ̯ ɔʏ̯/, as in Ei /aɪ̯/ ('egg'), Sau /zaʊ̯/ ('sow'), and neu /nɔʏ̯/ ('new'). There is dialectal variation in how these diphthongs are pronounced: /aɪ̯/ may vary in pronunciation between [aɪ̯] and [ae̯]; /aʊ̯/ between [aʊ̯] and [ao̯]; and /ɔʏ̯/ being pronounced [ɔʏ̯] (mostly in Switzerland), [ɔø̯], [ɔɪ̯], and [ɔe̯].
Marginally, there are other diphthongs, for instance
- [ʊɪ̯] in interjections such as pfui [p͡fʊɪ̯],
and in loanwords, among others, [œɪ̯ ɔʊ̯ ɛɪ̯ o̯a] as in
- Feuilleton [fœɪ̯ˈtɔ̃], often [føːiˈtʰɔŋ], [fœɪəˈtʰɔŋ],
- Homepage [ˈhɔʊ̯mˌpʰɛɪ̯d͡ʒ], often [ˈhoːmˌpʰeːt͡ʃ],
- Croissant [kʁo̯aˈsɑ̃], [kʁwaˈsɑ̃], [kʀwaˈsaŋ], [kʀɔˈsɔŋ].
Usually, these are not counted among the German diphthongs as German speakers often feel they are distinct marks of "foreign words" (Fremdwörter).
In the varieties where speakers vocalize /r/ to [ɐ] in the syllable coda, a diphthong ending in [ɐ̯] may be formed with virtually every vowel, for instance in Tor [tʰoːɐ̯] ('gate') or in Würde [ˈvʏɐ̯də] ('dignity').
With approximately 25 phonemes, the German consonant system exhibits an average number of consonants in comparison with other languages. One of the more noteworthy ones is the unusual affricate /p͡f/.
|Stop||p b||t d||k ɡ||(ʔ)|
|Fricative||f v||s z||ʃ ʒ||ç||x||ʁ||h|
- The voiceless stops /p/, /t/, /k/ are aspirated except when preceded by a sibilant. The obstruents /b d ɡ z ʒ/ are devoiced [b̥ d̥ ɡ̊ z̥ ʒ̊] in the Southern varieties.
- In Austria, intervocalic /b d g/ can be lenited to fricatives [β ð ɣ] in casual speech.
- In standard usage and careful speech, [ʔ] occurs before word stems that begin with a vowel. Although not usually considered a phoneme, it may have phonemic value: will ich /vɪl ʔɪç/ ("will I") vs. willig /vɪlɪç/ ("willing"). In colloquial and dialectal speech, however, /ʔ/ is very often omitted, especially when the word beginning with a vowel is unstressed.
- The phonemic status of affricates is controversial. The majority view accepts /p͡f/ and /t͡s/, but not /t͡ʃ/ or the non-native /d͡ʒ/; some accept none, some accept all, and some accept all [clarify] such as /ps/. [d͡ʒ] and [ʒ] occur only in words of foreign origin. In certain varieties, they are replaced by [t͡ʃ] and [ʃ] altogether.
- [ʋ] is occasionally considered to be an allophone of /v/, especially in Southern varieties of German.
- [ç] and [x] are traditionally regarded as allophones after front vowels and back vowels, respectively. For a more detailed analysis see below at ich-Laut and ach-Laut. According to some analyses, [χ] is an allophone of /x/ after /a aː/ and according to some also after /ʊ ɔ aʊ̯/.
- [r], [ʁ] and [ʀ] are in free variation with one another. [r] is used mainly in Bavarian and Franconian varieties and in classical singing. Elsewhere, it is either not used at all or a recessive feature often confined to the elderly rural population. In the syllable coda, the allophone [ɐ] is used in most varieties, except in the South-West.
- Some phonologists[who?] deny the phoneme /ŋ/ and use /nɡ/ instead, and /nk/ instead of /ŋk/. The phoneme sequence /nɡ/ is realized as [ŋɡ] when /ɡ/ can start a valid onset of the next syllable whose nucleus is a vowel other than unstressed /ə/, /ɪ/, or /ʊ/. It becomes [ŋ] otherwise. For example:
- diphthong /dɪftɔnɡ/ [dɪftɔŋ]
- diphthongieren /dɪftɔnɡirən/ [ˌdɪftɔŋˈɡiːɐn]
- Englisch /ɛnɡlɪʃ/ [ɛŋlɪʃ]
- Anglo /anɡlo/ [aŋɡlo]
- Ganges /ɡanɡəs/ [ɡaŋəs] ~ /ɡanɡɛs/ [ɡaŋɡɛs]
Ich-Laut and ach-Laut 
Ich-Laut is the voiceless palatal fricative [ç] (which is found in the word ich [ɪç] 'I'), and ach-Laut is voiceless velar fricative [x] (which is found in the word ach [ax] the interjection 'oh/alas'). Note that Laut [laʊ̯t] is the German word for 'sound, phone'. In German, these two sounds are allophones occurring in complementary distribution. The allophone [x] occurs after back vowels and /a aː/ (for instance in Buch [buːx] 'book'), the allophone [ç] after front vowels (for instance in mich [mɪç] 'me/myself') and consonants (for instance in Furcht [fʊrçt] 'fear').
In loanwords, the pronunciation of potential fricatives in onsets of stressed syllables vary: in the Northern varieties of standard German, it is [ç], while in Southern varieties, it is [kʰ], and in Western varieties, it is [ʃ] (for instance in China: [ˈçiːna] vs. [ˈkʰiːna] vs. [ˈʃiːna]).
The diminutive suffix -chen is always pronounced with an ich-Laut [-çən]. Usually, this ending triggers umlaut (compare for instance Hund 'dog' to Hündchen 'little dog'), so theoretically, it could only occur after front vowels. However, in some comparatively recent coinings, there is no longer an umlaut, for instance in the word Frauchen [ˈfraʊ̯çən] (a diminutive of Frau 'woman'), so that a back vowel is followed by [ç], even though normally it would be followed by a [x], as in rauchen [ˈraʊ̯xən] 'to smoke'. This exception to the allophonic distribution is considered by some to be an effect of the morphemic boundary. However, many phoneticians[who?] believe that this is an example of phonemicization, where erstwhile allophones undergo a split into separate phonemes.
The allophonic distribution of [ç] after front vowels and [x] after other vowels is also found in other languages, such as Scots, in the pronunciation of light. However, it is by no means inevitable: Dutch, Yiddish, and many Southern German dialects retain [x] in all positions. It is thus reasonable to assume that Old High German ih, the ancestor of modern ich, was pronounced with [x] rather than [ç]. And while it is impossible to know for certain whether Old English words such as niht (modern night) were pronounced with [x] or [ç], [ç] is likely (see Old English phonology).
Despite the phonetic history, the complementary distribution of [ç] and [x] in modern Standard German is better described as backing of /ç/ after a back vowel, rather than fronting of /x/ after a front vowel, because [ç] is used in onsets (Chemie [çemiː] 'chemistry') and after consonants (Molch [mɔlç] 'newt'), and is thus the underlying form of the phoneme. This is an example of assimilation.
According to Kohler, the German ach-Laut is further differentiated into two allophones, [x] and [χ]: [x] occurs after /uː oː/ (for instance in Buch [buːx] 'book') and [χ] after /a aː/ (for instance in Bach [baχ] 'brook'), while either [x] or [χ] may occur after /ʊ ɔ aʊ̯/, with [χ] predominating.
Fortis–lenis pairs 
Various German consonants occur in pairs at the same place of articulation and in the same manner of articulation, namely the pairs /p-b/, /t-d/, /k-ɡ/, /s-z/, /ʃ-ʒ/. These pairs are often called fortis–lenis pairs, since describing them as voiced–voiceless pairs is inadequate. With certain qualifications, /t͡ʃ-d͡ʒ, f-v/ are also considered fortis–lenis pairs.
The fortis stops /p, t, k/ are aspirated in most varieties (exceptions include Austro-Bavarian varieties). The aspiration is strongest in the onset of a stressed syllable (such as Taler [ˈtʰaːlər] 'thaler'), weaker in the onset of an unstressed syllable (such as Vater [ˈfaːtʰər] 'father'), and weakest in the syllable coda (such as in Saat [zaːtʰ] 'seed').
The lenis consonants /b, d, ɡ, z, ʒ/ are voiceless in most southern varieties of German. For clarity, they are often transcribed as [b̥, d̥, ɡ̊, z̥, ʒ̊]. The nature of the phonetic difference between the voiceless lenis consonants and the similarly voiceless fortis consonants is controversial. It is generally described as a difference in articulatory force, and occasionally as a difference in articulatory length; for the most part, it is assumed that one of these characteristics implies the other.
In various central and southern varieties, the opposition between fortis and lenis is neutralized in the syllable onset; sometimes just in the onset of stressed syllables, sometimes in all cases.
The pair /f-v/ is not considered a fortis–lenis pair, but a simple voiceless–voiced pair, as /v/ remains voiced in all varieties, including the Southern varieties that devoice the lenes (with however some exceptions. Generally, the southern /v/ is realized as the voiced approximant [ʋ]. However there are southern varieties which differentiate between a fortis /f/ (such as in sträflich [ˈʃtrɛːflɪç] 'culpable' from Middle High German stræflich) and a lenis /f/ ([v̥], such as in höflich [ˈhøːv̥lɪç] 'polite' from Middle High German hovelîch); this is analogous to the opposition of fortis /s/ ([s]) and lenis [z̥].
Coda devoicing 
In most varieties of German, the stops /b d ɡ/ are at most variably voiced. Therefore, it would be inaccurate to say that they devoice at the end of a syllable. It is more accurate to say that the opposition between fortis and lenis is neutralized in the syllable coda.
Fricatives, however, are truly and contrastively voiced. Therefore, these do undergo coda devoicing. It is disputed whether coda devoicing is due to a constraint which specifically operates on syllable codas or whether it arises from constraints which "protect voicing in privileged positions."
In western varieties including those of the Rhineland, coda fortis-lenis neutralization results in voicing rather than devoicing if the following word begins with a vowel. For example, mit uns becomes [mɪd‿ʊns] and darf ich becomes [daʁv‿ɪç]. The same sandhi phenomenon exists also as a general rule in the Luxembourgish language.
In a few southern varieties of German, such as Swiss German, neither coda devoicing nor coda fortis-lenis neutralization occurs.
Stress in German usually falls on the first syllable, with the following exceptions:
- Many loanwords, especially proper names, keep their original stress.
- Verbs of the "-ieren" group (e.g. studieren 'to study', kapitulieren 'to surrender', stolzieren 'to strut') receive stress on their penultimate (second to last) syllable.
- Compound adverbs, with her, hin, da, or wo as their first syllable part, receive stress on their second syllable.
Moreover, German makes a distinction in stress between separable prefixes (stress on prefix) and inseparable prefixes (stress on root) in verbs and words derived from such verbs. Therefore:
- Words beginning with be-, ge-, er-, ver-, zer-, ent-, emp- and a few others receive stress on the second syllable.
- Words beginning with ab-, auf-, ein-, vor-, and most other prepositional adverbs receive stress on their first syllable.
- Some prefixes, notably über-, unter-, and um-, can function as separable or inseparable prefixes, and are stressed and unstressed accordingly.
- Rarely, two homographs with such prefixes are formed. They are not strictly homophones. Consider the word, umschreiben. As um•schreiben (separable prefix), it means 'to rewrite', and is pronounced [ˈʊmʃʀaɪbən], and its associated noun, die Umschreibung also receives stress on the first syllable. On the other hand, umschreiben (inseparable prefix) is pronounced [ʊmˈʃʀaɪbən]. This word means 'to circumscribe', and its associated noun, die Umschreibung ('circumscription') also receives stress on the second syllable. Another example is the word umfahren. With stress on the root ([ʊmˈfaːʀən]) it means 'to drive around (an obstacle in the street)', and with stress on the prefix ([ˈʊmfaːʀən]) it means 'to drive over' or 'to collide with (an object on the street).'
Like all infants, German infants go through a babbling stage in the early phases of phonological acquisition, during which they produce the sounds they will later use in their first words. Phoneme inventories begin with stops, nasals, and vowels; (contrasting) short vowels and liquids appear next, followed by fricatives and affricates, and finally all other consonants and consonant clusters. Children begin to produce protowords near the end of their first year. These words do not approximate adult forms, yet have a specific and consistent meaning. Early word productions are phonetically simple and usually follow the syllable structure CV or CVC, although this generalization has been challenged. The first vowels produced are /ə/, /a/, and /aː/, followed by /e/, /i/, and /ɛ/, with rounded vowels emerging last. German children often use phonological processes to simplify their early word production. For example, they may delete an unstressed syllable (Schokolade ‘chocolate’ pronounced [ˈlaːdə]), or replace a fricative with a corresponding stop (Dach [dax] ‘roof’ pronounced [dak]). One case study found that a 17-month-old child acquiring German replaced the voiceless velar fricative [x] with the nearest available continuant [h], or deleted it altogether (Buch [buːx] ‘book’ pronounced [buh] or [buː]).
Vowel space development 
In 2009, Lintfert examined the development of vowel space of German speakers in their first three years of life. During the babbling stage, vowel distribution has no clear pattern. However, stressed and unstressed vowels already show different distributions in the vowel space. Once word production begins, stressed vowels expand in the vowel space, while the F1-F2 vowel space of unstressed vowels becomes more centralized. The majority of infants are then capable of stable production of F1. It should be noted that the variability of formant frequencies among individuals decreases with age. After 24 months, infants expand their vowel space individually at different rates. However, if the parents’ utterances possess a well-defined vowel space, their children produce clearly distinguished vowel classes earlier. By about three years old, children command the production of all vowels, and they attempt to produce the four cardinal vowels, /y/, /i/, /u/ and /a/, at the extreme limits of the F1-F2 vowel space (i.e., the height and backness of the vowels are made extreme by the infants).
Grammatical words 
Generally, closed-class grammatical words (e.g. articles and prepositions) are absent from children’s speech when they first begin to combine words. However, children as young as 18 months old show knowledge of these closed-class words when they prefer stories with them, compared to passages with them omitted. Therefore, the absence of these grammatical words cannot be due to perceptual problems. Researchers tested children’s comprehension of four grammatical words: bis [bɪs] ‘up to’, von [fɔn] ‘from’, das [das] ‘the' (neuter singular), and sein [zaɪ̯n] ‘his’. After first being familiarized with the words, eight-month-old children looked longer in the direction of a speaker playing a text passage that contained these previously heard words. However, this ability is absent in six-month-olds.
The acquisition of nasals in German differs from that of Dutch, a phonologically closely related language. German children produce proportionately more nasals in onset position (sounds before a vowel in a syllable) than Dutch children do. German children, once they reached 16 months old, also produced significantly more nasals in syllables containing schwas, when compared with Dutch-speaking children. This may reflect differences in the languages the children are being exposed to, although the researchers claim that the development of nasals likely cannot be seen apart from the more general phonological system the child is developing.
Phonotactic constraints and reading 
A 2006 study examined the acquisition of German in phonologically delayed children (specifically, issues with fronting of velars and stopping of fricatives) and whether they applied phonotactic constraints to word-initial consonant clusters containing these modified consonants. In many cases, the subjects (mean age = 5;1) avoided making phonotactic violations, opting instead for other consonants or clusters in their speech. This suggests that phonotactic constraints do apply to the speech of German children with phonological delay, at least in the case of word-initial consonant clusters. Additional research has also shown that spelling consistencies seen in German raise children’s phonemic awareness as they acquire reading skills.
Sound changes 
Sound changes and mergers 
A merger found mostly in Northern accents of German is that of /ɛː/ (spelled ä, äh) with /eː/ (spelled e, ee, or eh). Some speakers merge the two everywhere, some distinguish them everywhere, others keep /ɛː/ distinct only in conditional forms of strong verbs (for example they distinguish ich gäbe 'I would give' vs. ich gebe 'I give', but not Bären 'bears' vs. Beeren 'berries').
Another common merger is that of /ɡ/ at the end of a syllable with /ç/ or respectively /x/, for instance Krieg [ˈkʁiːç] ('war'), but Kriege [ˈkʁiːɡə] ('wars'); er lag [laːx] ('he lay'), but wir lagen [laːgən] ('we lay'). This pronunciation is frequent all over central and northern Germany. It is characteristic of regional languages and dialects, particularly Low German in the North, where ‹g› represents a fricative, becoming voiceless in the syllable coda, as is common in German (Final-obstruent devoicing). However common it is, this pronunciation is considered sub-standard. Only in one case, in the grammatical ending -ig (which corresponds to English -y), the fricative pronunciation of final ‹g› is prescribed by the Siebs standard, for instance wichtig [ˈvɪçtɪç] ('important'). The merger occurs neither in Austro-Bavarian and Alemannic German nor in the corresponding varieties of Standard German, and therefore in these dialects -ig is pronounced [ɪɡ̊].
Many speakers do not distinguish the affricate /pf/ from the simple fricative /f/ in the beginning of a word. The verb (er) fährt ('[he] travels') and the noun Pferd ('horse'_ are then equally pronounced [fɛɐ̯t]. This occurs especially in regions where /pf/ did not originally occur in the local dialects, i.e. northern and western Germany. Some speakers also have peculiar pronunciation for /pf/ in the middle or end of a word, replacing the [f] in /p͡f/ with a voiceless bilabial fricative, i.e. a consonant produced by pressing air flow through the tensed lips. Thereby Tropfen 'drop' becomes [ˈtʁɔp͡ɸn̩], rather than [ˈtʁɔpf͡n̩].
Many speakers who have a vocalization of [ʁ] after [a], merge this combination with long [aː] (i.e. [aʁ] > [aɐ] > [aː]). Hereby, Schaf ('sheep') and scharf ('sharp') are both pronounced [ʃaːf] (even though speakers sometimes falsely believe they still distinguish the two). However, in umlaut forms, the difference usually reoccurs: Schäfer [ʃɛːfɐ] vs. schärfer [ʃɛɐ̯fɐ]. Speakers with this merger also often use [aːç] (instead of formally normal [aːx]) where it stems from original [aʁç]. The word Archen ('arks') is thus pronounced [ʔaːçn], which makes a minimal pair with Aachen [ʔaːxn], making the difference between [ç] and [x] phonemic, rather than just allophonic, for these speakers.
In everyday speech, many more mergers occur, some of which are universal and some of which are typical for certain regions or dialect backgrounds. Overall, there is a strong tendency of reduction and contraction. For example, long vowels may be shortened, consonant clusters may be simplified, word-final [ə] may be dropped in some cases, and the suffix -en may be contracted with preceding consonants, e.g. [ham] for haben [ˈhaːbən] ('to have').
When stops occur between two nasals (one being syllabic), they may be replaced by a glottal stop though they still determine the nature of the nasal. Thus, Lampen ('lamps') changes from [ˈlampən] to [ˈlamʔm̥]; speakers are often unaware of this.
Middle High German 
The Middle High German vowels [ei] and [iː] developed into the modern Standard German diphthong [ai], and [ou] and [uː] developed into [au]. For example, Middle High German heiz and wîz ('hot' and 'white') became Standard German heiß and weiß. In other dialects, the Middle High German vowels developed differently: Bavarian hoaß and weiß, Ripuarian heeß and wieß, Swiss German heiss and wiiss, Yiddish heys and vays.
The Middle High German diphthongs [iə] and [uə] became the modern Standard German long vowels [iː] and [uː] after the Middle High German long vowels changed to diphthongs. In most Upper German dialects, the diphthongs are retained. A remnant of their former diphthong character is shown when [iː] continues to be written ie in German (as in Liebe 'love').
See also 
- Mangold (2005:37)
- von Polenz (2000:151, 175)
- For a detailed discussion of the German consonants from a synchronic and diachronic point of view, see Cercignani (1979).
- Map based on Trudgill (1974:220)
- Moosmüller (2007:6)
- e.g. Kohler (1990)
- e.g. Wiese (1996)
- See Wiese (1996:13–14) for discussion.
- Wiese (1996:217)
- Kohler (1977) and Kohler (1990), as cited in Wiese (1996:210)
- clarify] can devoice in nearly every place once the word has become common; w is devoiced in Möwe, Löwe. On the other hand, the keeping to the variety is so standard that doof [do:f] induced the writing "(der) doofe" even though the standard pronunciation of the latter word is [do'vɘ][
- Beckman, Jessen & Ringen (2009:233)
- Beckman, Jessen & Ringen (2009:264–265)
- >"Lautstruktur des Luxemburgischen - Wortübergreifende Phänomene". Retrieved 2013-05-15.
- Meibauer et al. (2007:261)
- Meibauer et al. (2007:263)
- Grijzenhout & Joppen (1998:1)
- Meibauer et al. (2007:264)
- Grijzenhout & Joppen (1998:12)
- Lintfert (2010:159)
- Lintfert (2010:138)
- Lintfert (2010:160)
- Höhle & Weissenborn (2003:122)
- Höhle & Weissenborn (2003:123)
- Höhle & Weissenborn (2003:125)
- Höhle & Weissenborn (2003:126)
- Altvater-Mackensen & Fikkert (2007:14)
- Altvater-Mackensen & Fikkert (2007:16)
- Altvater-Mackensen & Fikkert (2007:19)
- Altvater-Mackensen & Fikkert (2007:23)
- Ott, van de Vijner & Höhle (2006:323)
- Ott, van de Vijner & Höhle (2006:331)
- Goswami, Ziegler & Richardson (2005:362)
- Altvater-Mackensen, N.; Fikkert, P. (2007), "On the acquisition of nasals in Dutch and German", Linguistics in the Netherlands 24: 14–24
- Beckman, Jill; Jessen, Michael; Ringen, Catherine (2009), "German fricatives: coda devoicing or positional faithfulness?", Phonology (Cambridge University Press) 26 (2): 231–268, doi:10.1017/S0952675709990121
- Cercignani, Fausto (1979), The Consonants of German: Synchrony and Diachrony, Milano: Cisalpino
- Goswami, U.; Ziegler, J.; Richardson, U. (2005), "The effects of spelling consistency on phonological awareness: A comparison of English and German", Journal Of Experimental Child Psychology 92: 345–365, doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2005.06.002
- Grijzenhout, J.; Joppen, S. (1998), First Steps in the Acquisition of German Phonology: A Case Study
- Höhle, Barbara; Weissenborn, Jürgen (2003), "German–learning infants' ability to detect unstressed closed–class elements in continuous speech", Developmental Science 6: 122–127
- Kohler, Klaus J. (1977), Einführung in die Phonetik des Deutschen, Berlin: E. Schmidt
- Kohler, Klaus J. (1990), "German", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 20 (1): 48–50, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004084
- Krech, Eva Maria; Stock, Eberhard; Anders, Lutz-Christian (2009), Deutsches Aussprachewörterbuch, Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter
- Lintfert, Britta (2010), Phonetic and phonological development of stress in German (Doctoral thesis, Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany), pp. 138–160
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Further reading 
- Odom, William; Schollum, Benno (1997)), German for Singers (2nd ed.), New York: Schirmer Books, ISBN 978-0028646015
- Siebs, Theodor (1969), Deutsche Aussprache, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 978-3110003253
- Pronounce-German.com: provides free pronunciation of German words by a native speaker, tens of thousands included (Seems to still be in beta)
- Listen to the pronunciation of German first names