The Cerkno dialect (Slovene: cerkljansko narečje, cerkljanščina) is a Slovene dialect in the Rovte dialect group. It is spoken in mostly in the municipalities of Cerkno and Idrija in western Slovenia. Unlike many other dialects from the same dialect group, which have suffered a loss in the number of speakers due to emigration and urbanization, the Cerkno dialect remains widely spoken and it is recognized in the wider Slovenian Littoral region for its distinctive phonetic features.
It is spoken in the watersheds of the Trebuščica, Kanomljica, Idrijca (from Idrija to beyond Dolenja Trebuša), and Cerknica rivers. It includes the settlements of Cerkno, Šentviška Gora, Gorenji Novaki, Dolenji Novaki, Vojsko, Otalež, and Spodnja Idrija.
Phonological and morphological characteristics
The Cerkno dialect lacks pitch accent. The dialect has complete akanye, prominent quantitative contrasts between accented long and short vowels, shortened diphthongs, innovative Slovenian palatalization of k, g, h (e.g., ščìra < sekira 'axe'), and fronting of a > e. It has undergone the lenition of g > [ɦ], long yat > i, short ə > ò, w > j before e and i, and short accented i > è and u > ò. Final -b > ph/f and final -d > th/t. Soft l > (j)l, soft n > (j)n, and hard l > Ø.
- Smole, Vera. 1998. "Slovenska narečja." Enciklopedija Slovenije vol. 12, pp. 1–5. Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga, p. 2.
- Logar, Tine. 1996. Dialektološke in jezikovnozgodovinske razprave. Ljubljana: SAZU, p. 28.
- Toporišič, Jože. 1992. Enciklopedija slovenskega jezika. Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, p. 13.
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