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5

They both end with the same /t/ sound, that's true. However, to my perception, Rat tends to be pronounced with a significantly longer a than Rad. So basically Rad /ʁat/ Rat /ʁa:t/ This is at least the case in more western standard German (Rhine/Ruhr) in compounds like Stadtrat /'ʃtatʁa:t/ vs Fahrrad /'faʁat/. The longer a-sound has the effect that the t-...


21

In Standard German, a phenomenon called terminal devoicing (Auslautverhärtung in German) affects the pronunciation of word-final (or more generally: morpheme-final) consonants. It leads to the merging of the phoneme pairs b–p, d–t, w–f, g–k and /z/–/s/ (a phoneme pair not reflected in orthography). These are typically pronounced as if the unvoiced letter ...


0

It actually depends on where you are and who you are speaking to. I pronounce vierzehn with a long i and vier with an audible r sound (not the vocalic r which sounds somewhat like a or the a-shwa). Therefore, my pronunciations of vier and the vier in vierzehn are pretty much identical.* In other areas of Germany I have also heard the two occurances of vier ...


3

At first sight and checking out cognates in related Germanic languages, it would appear that the ei-form be a continental German innovation: English: two Swedish: två Danish/Norwegian: to However, digging deeper into the predecessors of these words reveals that Proto-Germanic like old Norse and Gothic had a set of three forms that depended on the genus ...


10

There's also actual etymology: Etymologie Zwei/Zwo - Juno/Julei TL;DR: Zwo is actually the old-German feminine form of German for two, which fell out of use until it found reuse for military communication. Befund differenzierende Aussprache zur besseren Unterscheidung 18" zwei / drei > zwo / drei > zweit > zwot vor 1960 ...


6

Aus Wikipedia: Mit dem Aufkommen elektronischer Sprechverbindungen (Telefon und Sprechfunk) bürgerte sich die Form zwo für zwei ein, um bei schlechter Übertragungsqualität das Wort besser vom ähnlich lautenden „drei“ unterscheiden zu können. Diese Lautung ging in Deutschland auf den allgemeinen geschäftlichen Verkehr und auf die Umgangssprache ...


8

Zwo can be used for zwei. It's mostly used to make sure you mean zwei, not drei. (For the same reason people sometimes say Juno and Julei instead of Juni und Juli.) To me, there is no difference in formality / informality, and neither are there social stigmas.



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