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IPA says [ˈʃʀaɪ̯bn̩]
Is the "e" here fully suppressed? I thought there supposed to be a schwa sound here. It sounds "schreibn".

The same with the verbs machen and lachen in IPA it shows no schwa. Also in the word Laden but i can't spot the exact rule here.

Is there any rule to when the "e" is almost not heard?

Thanks

  • I thought the schwa sounds were transcribed in brackets so you can put it in and leave it out and you'll still have it there even if you try not pronouncing a vowel – Andrew James May 8 '18 at 14:42
  • Don't understand what u mean. No schwa in schreiben – Tomas May 8 '18 at 14:47
  • German L1 here: if not trying hard to be heard\understood (shouting, dictating), the pronounciation is correct. Do you have an example of the (...)en - construction leading to a vocalized e? – bukwyrm May 8 '18 at 14:54
  • Z.b: Rechnen Mädchen, Lenden – Tomas May 8 '18 at 14:57
  • This question can not be answered authoritatively because we do not have fixed pronunciation rules. Each region is different. See german.stackexchange.com/questions/904/… – Takkat May 9 '18 at 13:24
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The word schreiben has a so called Reduktionssilbe. In such syllables, the Schwa is often reduced or even deleted in everyday speech.

reduced Schwa: -e, -em, -es, -est

reduced Tiefschwa: -er, -ern, -ert, -erst

no Schwa at all: -en, -el, -eln, -elt, -elst

Especially Southern speakers often delete the Schwa and replace the Tiefschwa with a.

Swiss German has it mixed, with the Schwa in leading syllables replaced by e. You can tell apart Swiss German speakers from other Alemanians (e.g. Germany's Freiburg region) by that one feature.

  • Great explanation! Are Mädchen, Lenden, Rechnen are Ausname? There IPA says there is a schwa – Tomas May 8 '18 at 15:06
  • Lenden isn't an exception, the Schwa in the reduction syllable is reduced to zero. In Rechnen there isn't a reduction syllable, it's Rech-nen, not Rechn-en. Similar for Mäd-chen, though many speakers also reduce the Schwa there. Where do you look up these IPA pronounciation helps? Duden? – Janka May 8 '18 at 15:46
  • Wiktionary actually – Tomas May 8 '18 at 16:23
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    Wiktionary is done by volunteers working on individual articles. Housekeeping tasks as working on consistent pronounciation helps are often enough disputed and reverted by article authors. You cannot rely on that. – Janka May 8 '18 at 17:06
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    Now that I think again, I may have put you on the wrong track. Reduction syllables include the leading consonant, but there are consonant combinations which call for a normal syllable as -nen. – Janka May 8 '18 at 17:17
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There are two different pronunciations for »schreiben« but non of them contains a vowel in its last syllable. Both contain a vocalized consonant. The two variations are:

  • [ˈʃʀaɪ̯bn̩]
  • [ˈʃʀaɪ̯bm̩]

When ever the consonant before an unstressed »∙en« at the end of a word is a stop-consonant, then the syllable is pronounced with a vocalized [n]. In some cases there is an additional second variation, either with a vocalized [m], a vocalized [ŋ] or a schwa. But the version with a vocalized [n] is always correct too.

Stop-consonants are:

  • voiced: b, d, g
  • voiceless: p, t, k

∙ben, ∙pen

If the last syllabe is an unstressed »∙ben« it is pronounced as [bn̩]:

  • haben [ˈhaːbn̩]
  • geben [ˈɡeːbn̩]
  • leben [ˈleːbn̩]
  • sterben [ˈʃtɛʁbn̩]

If immediately before this unstressed syllable is the diphthong [aɪ̯] (most often written as »ei«, rarely written as »ai«, very rarely written as »ey« or »ay«) then many speakers speak a vocalized [m] instead of the vocalized [n]:

  • bleiben [ˈblaɪ̯bn̩], [ˈblaɪ̯bm̩]
  • schreiben [ˈʃʀaɪ̯bn̩], [ˈʃʀaɪ̯bm̩]
  • treiben [ˈtʀaɪ̯bn̩], [ˈtʀaɪ̯bm̩]

If the last syllabel is »∙pen« you also have a vocalized n, but sometimes you also find an additional version with a schwa or a vocalized m. But the vocalized n (without a real vowel) is always an option:

  • stoppen [ˈʃtɔpn̩] [ˈʃtɔpən]
  • Wappen [ˈvapn̩]
  • schnappen [ˈʃnapn̩], [ˈʃnapm̩]
  • pumpen [ˈpʊmpn̩]
  • tippen [ˈtɪpn̩], [ˈtɪpm̩]
  • dopen [ˈdoːpn̩]
  • stülpen [ˈʃtʏlpn̩]

∙den, ∙ten

Always [n̩] for »∙den«:

  • werden [ˈveːɐ̯dn̩]
  • finden [ˈfɪndn̩]
  • verschieden [fɛɐ̯ˈʃiːdn̩]
  • scheiden [ˈʃaɪ̯dn̩]
  • laden [ˈlaːdn̩]
  • gründen [ˈɡʀʏndn̩]

and for »∙ten«, whereas you also can find a schwa sometimes:

  • halten [ˈhaltn̩]
  • richten [ˈʀɪçtn̩]
  • bieten [ˈbiːtn̩], [ˈbiːtən]
  • arbeiten [ˈaʁbaɪ̯tn̩]
  • kosten [ˈkɔstn̩]
  • selten [ˈzɛltn̩]

∙gen, ∙ken

Very similar is »∙gen«, but here you also can find a vocalized [ŋ] (ng in "sing")

  • sagen [ˈzaːɡn̩], [ˈzaːɡŋ̩]
  • gegen [ˈɡeːɡn̩], [ˈɡeːɡŋ̩]
  • zeigen [ˈʦaɪ̯ɡn̩], [ˈʦaɪ̯ɡŋ̩]
  • liegen [ˈliːɡn̩], [ˈliːɡŋ̩]
  • sorgen [ˈzɔʁɡn̩]

»∙ken« also is spoken with vocalized n:

  • wirken [ˈvɪʁkn̩]
  • denken [ˈdɛŋkn̩]
  • stecken [ˈʃtɛkn̩]
  • drucken [ˈdʀʊkn̩]
  • Rücken [ˈʀʏkn̩]

In comments you also asked for »Mädchen, Lenden, rechnen, laden« and »machen«:

»Lenden« and »laden« match the pattern above, so its:

  • Lenden [ˈlɛndn̩], [ˈlɛndən]
  • laden [ˈlaːdn̩]

»Mädchen« and »rechnen« do not match:

  • Mädchen [ˈmɛːtçən]
  • rechnen [ˈʀɛçnən]

But »∙chen« needs some more explanation, as you can see here:

  • machen [ˈmaχn̩]

The rule is: When ch in »∙chen« is spoken as [χ], then »∙chen« is pronounced as [χn̩] or [χŋ̩]. But when it is [ç], then it always is [çən]

Note, that »ch« can be pronounced as [ç] like in »ich« [ɪç] or as [χ] like in »ach« [aχ]. (That's why those consonants are called *»Ich-Laut« and »Ach-Laut«)

Rule of thumb:

  • [ç] comes after e, i, ei, ai and eu (Pech, ich, Teich, Laich, euch)
  • [χ] comes after a, o, u and au (Dach, doch, Buch, auch)

But when ch is in the diminutive-postfix »∙chen«, it is always pronounced as [ç], regardless of whatever stands before it.

  • Frauchen [ˈfʀaʊ̯çən]

Compare with

  • rauchen [ˈʀaʊ̯χn̩], [ˈʀaʊ̯χŋ̩]
  • Hast Du irgendeine Referenz außerhalb von Wiktionary, die belegt, dass und wo das stimmhafte m geprochen wird? Ich habe [ˈʃʀaɪ̯bm̩] so noch nicht gehört. – Takkat May 9 '18 at 10:27
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    Ich kann nur meine eigene Expertise als Muttersprachler beisteuern, und kann bestätigen, dass zumindest im Osten Österreichs [ˈʃʀaɪ̯bm̩] durchaus gängig ist, wobei aber b und m so sehr miteinander verschmelzen, dass sie fast schon wie ein Laut wirken. Ich würde das fast schon so ˈʃʀaɪ̯m̩ (also sogar das b weglassen, obwohl man es noch rudimentär hört) – Hubert Schölnast May 9 '18 at 10:32
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    Ich höre ˈʃʀaɪ̯m̩ (mit m aber weggelassenem b) und ähnliche Wörter, die auf -en enden, sehr oft in und um Magdeburg. – Björn Friedrich May 9 '18 at 11:26
  • @BjörnFriedrich Genau [ˈʃʀaɪ̯m̩] ohne b kenne ich auch. Bei uns z.B. sagen alle Schwaben [ˈʃʀəɪ̯bən]. Solange wir aber keine verbindlichen Regeln haben soltlen wir hier nicht Dialektfärbungen behandeln... würde das nur zu ewig langen und unübersichtlichen Antworten führen. – Takkat May 9 '18 at 13:20
  • @Takkat: Zumindest ich habe nicht von einer Dialektfärbung geschrieben, sondern von einer standarddeutschen Aussprache. Es sollte sich ja mittlerweile herumgesprochen haben, dass es keinen 100%ig einheitlichen Standard der deutschen Sprache gibt. Ausgebildete Radiosprecher in Dresden sprechen anders als jene in Zürich, jene in Köln sprechen anderes als die in Wien, und die in Bozen sprechen anders als die in Kiel. Jedesmal anders, aber jedesmal Hochdeutsch. – Hubert Schölnast May 10 '18 at 19:59

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