Zimmerer, Frank; Brandt, Erika; Andreeva, Bistra; Möbius, Bernd

Idiomatic or literal? Production of collocations in German read speech

Proc. Speech Prosody 2018, pp. 428-432, Poznan, 2018.

Collocations have been identified as an interesting field to study the effects of frequency of occurrence in language and speech. We report results of a production experiment including a duration analysis based on the production of German collocations. The collocations occurred in a condition where the phrase was produced with a literal meaning and in another condition where it was idiomatic. A durational difference was found for the collocations, which were reduced in the idiomatic condition. This difference was also observed for the function word und (‘and’) in collocations like Mord und Totschlag (‘murder and manslaughter’). However, an analysis of the vowel /U/ of the function word did not show a durational difference. Some explanations as to why speakers showed different patterns of reduction (not all collocations were produced with a shorter duration in the idiomatic condition by all speakers) and why not all speakers use the durational cue (one out of eight speakers produced the conditions identically) are proposed.