On the allophonic behaviour of German /x/ vs /k/ - an EPG investigation

Research output: Working paper


Facts about the phonotactics and the allophonic behaviour of German /x/ vs /k/ are summarized and discussed concerning the question of categorical vs gradual assimilation. It is concluded that the different allophonic variation of /x/ vs /k/ can more appropriately be described in terms of a difference in articulatory control rather than in assimilation. This difference is associated with a stronger allophonic separation for /x/ than for /k/: /x/ (in contrast to /k/) has allophonic categories which can be described as different speech sounds as perceived by native speakers. It is hypothesized that these allophonic categories are manifested in production through a larger articulatory distance between the most anterior and the most posterior allophone for /x/ than for /k/. The hypothesis is tested successfully by an analysis of /x/ vs /k/ in four subjects using EPG.


  • Gilbert Ambrazaitis
  • Tina John
External organisations
  • External Organization - Unknown
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • assimilation, gradual, allophone, articulatory control, EPG, categorical
Original languageEnglish
PublisherInstitut für Phonetik und digitale Sprachverarbeitung, Universität Kiel
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameArbeitsberichte des Instituts für Phonetik und digitale Sprachverarbeitung der Universität Kiel (AIPUK)
ISSN (Print)0172-8156

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Linguistics and Phonetics (015010003)