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According to the letters the sounds in the beginning of "jung" is [ju] and in the beginning of "jünger" is [jy].

While is there synaeresis (even "j" is regarded as a consonant) combining [ju] or [jy] into the same vowel [y]?

And are the vowels got loose in these words, so we get [ø]?

  • The last line seems to be a separate question, and I don't understand that one. What is get loose supposed to mean? – guidot Aug 23 '18 at 7:08
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German has a relatively strict mapping between sounds and letters. You can find this mapping-rules in this document, in § 1: Regeln und Wörterverzeichnis

Some of these rules are:

  • The short vowels [ʊ] and [u] and the long vowel [u:] are written with the letter »u«
    ([u:] sometimes also as »uh«)
  • The short vowels [ʏ] and [y] and the long vowel [y:] are written with the letter »ü«
    ([y:] sometimes also as »üh«)
  • The short vowels [œ] and [ø] and the long vowel [ø:] are written with the letter »ö«

Examples:

  • Mund = [mʊnt]
  • zuvor = [ʦuˈfoːɐ̯]
  • gut = [ɡuːt]
  • Kuh = [kuː]
  • hübsch = [hʏpʃ]
  • Büro = [byˈʀoː]
  • trüb = [tʀyːp]
  • kühl = [kyːl]
  • löschen = [ˈlœʃn̩]
  • Ökonomie = [ˌøkonoˈmiː]
  • schön = [ʃøːn]

Conclusions of this rules are (for German words only):

  • The letter u is never pronounced as [ʏ], [y], [y:], [œ], [ø] or [ø:].
  • The letter ü is never pronounced as [ʊ], [u], [u:], [œ], [ø] or [ø:].
  • The letter ö is never pronounced as [ʊ], [u], [u:], [ʏ], [y] or [y:].

Note, that this rules apply only for German words. There are exceptions for foreign words like »Buffet« = [bʏˈfeː] which are pronounced very similar to the pronunciation in their original language (French in case of Buffet).

Jung is a German word, which means, that it obeys these rules. So, the pronunciation of jung and jünger are:

  • jung = [jʊŋ]
  • jünger = [ˈjʏŋɐ]

Note, that in German there also exist some minimal pairs for [ʊ]-[ʏ]

  • Mutter - Mütter (mother, mothers)

    [ˈmʊtɐ] - [ˈmʏtɐ]

  • drucken - drücken (print, press)

    [ˈdʀʊkn̩] - [ˈdʀʏkn̩]

I have heart some northern dialects, where the letter »i« sometimes is pronounced as [ʏ] instead of [ɪ] (»Fische« = [fʏʃə] instead of [fɪʃə]), but I'm not aware of any German dialect, where »u« is pronounced like »ü« or vice versa. And I also don't know any German dialect, where »u« or »ü« would sound like »ö«.

In German there also is no synaeresis that would eliminate the consonant [j] before any vowel.

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  • 1
    There are some north-german dialects (or rather more, regional specialties) that pronounce "i" as "ü" or even close to "ö" - "Kirche/Kürche/Körche" (Braunschweig area). I have, however, never heard this in "jünger". – tofro Aug 23 '18 at 7:15
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I have never heard of ju and jü pronounced the same. (I am not native, but live here for a while) In German language the written form and the pronounced sounds have a clear and strong connection. You might have heard somebody speaking in dialect.

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