The <i>ach/ich</i> alternation and related phenomena in ‘standard’ and ‘colloquial’
The author addresses a number of issues in German and general phonology, using a specific problem in German phonology (the <i>ach/ich</i> alternation) as a springboard. These issues include especially the naturalness, or lack thereof, of the prescriptive standard in German, and the importance of colloquial pronunciations, as well as historical and dialect evidence, for phonological analyses of the “standard” language. Other important topics include the phonetic and phonological status of German /r/, the phonetic and phonological representation of palatals, the status of loanwords in phonological description, and, especially as regards the latter, the usefulness of Optimality Theory in capturing phonological facts.The book addresses itself to scholars from the fields of German and Germanic linguistics, as well as those concerned more generally with theoretical phonology (whether Lexical or Optimal). It may even appeal to the orthoëpists and lexicographers of modern German.