On the (in)fissibility of intervocalic consonants in Norwegian and German: Evidence from a word game

  • Martin Krämer University of Tromsø
  • Barbara Vogt University of Trieste
Keywords: phonology, word game, geminates, German, Norwegian


The syllabification of word- or morpheme-internal consonants, especially those preceded by short vowels, in Germanic languages has been subject to various analyses and there is generally not much consensus on the analysis of single string-internal consonants in these languages. This paper presents the results of a study based on a word game, carried out with German and Norwegian subjects, that provides evidence for a differential analysis of string-internal syllable junctures and consonants in these two languages. We conclude that in German a consonant preceded by a short/lax stressed vowel is best analysed as short and ambisyllabic while in Norwegian a consonant in the same environment is a geminate that contributes weight to the preceding syllable via its mora even though it is parsed in the following syllable. The analysis highlights the need for orthogonal syllable and moraic representations.