How do new phonemes enter a language

Structure and characteristics of the written German language

Written Language Acquisition and Teaching pp 49-61 | Cite as


The German writing is based on a phonological system, i.e. the different characters relate to aspects of the phonetic form of words. However, the letters do not correspond to the sounds of the spoken language in a 1: 1 assignment. In this respect, German is only referred to as a “loudoriented“Alphabet writing. The relationship between letters and sounds is far more complex than an experienced user of the written language is usually aware of. A correspondence between spoken and written language does not exist on the level of sounds and letters, but on the level of phonemes and graphemes. The term “phoneme” is consequently only inadequately translated as “sound”.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Augst, G .: The letter. In: DUDEN: Grammar of German contemporary language, Mannheim etc. 1984, pp. 59–87.Google Scholar
  2. Augst, G .: written vocabulary. Studies and word lists on the orthographic lexicon for schoolchildren and adults, Frankfurt a.M. 1989. Google Scholar
  3. Augst, G./Schaeder, B .: Basic rules of German orthography, Soest (Lehrplaninstitut) 1998.Google Scholar
  4. Augst, G./Dehn, M: Spelling and spelling lessons. Ability - teaching - learning, Stuttgart etc. 1998. (especially chapter 2 "The basic rules of German spelling" only those spelling rules are explained here which are important for primary school lessons) Google Scholar
  5. Bunting, K.-D. Among other things: Handbook of German Spelling. Rules, exercises, tips, Berlin 2000.Google Scholar
  6. Kohrt, M .: Theoretical Aspects of German Orthography, Tübingen 1987.Google Scholar
  7. Lewandowski, Th .: Linguistic Dictionary, Heidelberg, Wiesbaden 1994.Google Scholar
  8. Maas, U .: Basic features of German orthography, Tübingen 1992.Google Scholar
  9. Naumann, C.L .: Plea for working with basic vocabulary. In: Naegele, I.M./Valtin, R. (ed.): LRS in classes 1–10, Weinheim, Basel 1989, pp. 181–185.Google Scholar
  10. Naumann, C.L .: Limiting chaos through learning guides. Help from the orthography structure for learning to spell. In: Büchner, 1. (Ed.): Contributions 1997/1998 of the German Society for Reading and Writing, Hamburg 1998. S. 78–99.Google Scholar
  11. Naumann, C.L .: Orientation Vocabulary. The most important words and rules for spelling grades 1–6, Weinhciml Basel 1999.Google Scholar
  12. Naumann, C.L .: Orientation vocabulary - encouragement from the limitation and structure of orthography. In: Valtin, R. (ed.): Spell learning in grades 1–6, Frankfurt a. M. 2000, pp. 82-85. Google Scholar
  13. Thomé, G .: Linguistic and psycholinguistic foundations of orthography: writing and learning to write. In: Valtin, R. (ed.): Learning to write in classes 1–6, Frankfurt a.M. 2000, pp. 12–16.Google Scholar
  14. Valtin, R .: Writing lemen with the block letters. In: Valtin, R. (ed.): Learning to spell in grades 1–6. Basics and didactic aids, Frankfurt a.M. 2000, pp. 111–115.Google Scholar
  15. Volmert, J. (Ed.): Basic course in linguistics. An introduction to linguistics for teacher training courses, Munich 1995.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Leske + Budrich, Opladen 2004

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available