Prilep-Bitola dialect

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Dialectal divisions of Macedonia.

The Prilep-Bitola dialect (Macedonian: Прилепско-битолски дијалект, Prilepsko-bitolski dijalekt) is a member of the central subgroup of the western group of dialects of the Macedonian language. This dialect is spoken in much of the Pelagonia region (more specifically, the Bitola, Prilep, Kruševo and Demir Hisar municipalities), as well as by the Macedonian-speaking minority population in and around Florina (Lerin)[1][2] in neighbouring Greek Macedonia. The Prilep-Bitola dialect, along with other peripheral west-central dialects, provides much of the basis for modern Standard Macedonian.[3] Prestige dialects have developed in the cities of Bitola and Prilep.

Phonological characteristics[edit]

The phonological characteristics of the Bitola-Prilep dialect which can also be found in the other peripheral dialects are:

rǫka > рака /ˈraka/ ('hand')
  • except for the Prilep sub-dialects, Bitola sub-dialects have two phonemic lateral consonants (/ɫ/ and /l/, continuants of Proto-Slavic *l and *ĺ):
ex. Proto-Slavic *kĺučь > [ˈklut͡ʃ] in Bitola sub-dialects, [ˈkɫut͡ʃ] in Prilep sub-dialects
  • while most Macedonian dialects have a phonemic /f/ (in loanwords), many sub-dialects of the Prilep-Bitola dialect—with the exception of urban prestige dialects—instead have /v/:
Megleno-Romanian fustan /ˈfustan/ > вустан /ˈvustan/ ('ladies' dress')
Ottoman Turkish فوطة /ˈfuta/ > вута /ˈvuta/ ('apron')
Ottoman Turkish فرنا /ˈfuɾna/ > вурна /ˈvurna/ ('bakehouse, masonry oven')
  • the palatal affricates are typically prepalatalized: свеќа /ˈsvɛca/ ('candle') is realized as [ˈsvɛjca], меѓа /ˈmɛɟa/ ('border, frontier') is realized as [ˈmɛjɟa];
    • a similar features occurs with the palatal nasal: јадење /ˈjadɛɲɛ/ ('food') is realized as [ˈjadɛjnɛ];
  • the etymological /v/ in initial position has been lost in a number of instances:
    • in the sequences *vs- and *vz-, as is the case in the standard; e.g. сè /sɛ/ ('all') from the earlier *все, зема /ˈzɛma/ ('to take') from the earlier *взема;
    • in a handful of words where the pronunciation was "evened up" with that of their antonyms: натре /ˈnatrɛ/ from the earlier внатре /ˈvnatrɛ/ ('inside') as per надвор /ˈnadvɔr/ ('outside'), ногу /ˈnɔɡu/ from the earlier многу /ˈmnɔɡu/ ('much, a lot') as per малку /ˈmalku/ ('a little');
  • intervocalic consonant elision is typical of this dialect, and elided forms are in free variation with non-elided forms:
    • elision of the intervocalic /v/:
      • in the plural forms of monosyllabic nouns, e.g. лебо(в)и:[4]
/ˈlɛbɔvi//ˈlɛbɔi/ (realized as [ˈlɛbɔi̯] ~ [ˈlɛbɔj])
  • and in most other positions, e.g. то(в)ар:[5]
/ˈtɔvar//ˈtɔar/ (realized as [tɔa̯r])
  • certain short words (conjunctions, pronouns, determiners, etc.) have undergone further elision, ex.:
/ˈsɛga/ (→ /ˈsɛa/) → [sa(ː)] ('now')
*/ˈtɔva/ (→ /ˈtɔa/) → [tɔ(ː)] (indic. pron. 'that')
/ˈkɔga/ (→ /ˈkɔa/) → [kɔ(ː)] (interr. pron. 'when')
  • insertion of /t/ and /d/ into consonant clusters -/sr/- and -/zr/-, respectively; for example, /stram/ from the earlier /sram/ (срам, 'shame') and /zdrɛl/ from the earlier /zrɛl/ (зрел, 'ripe').


  • In the sub-dialect of Bukovo-Orehovo, especially among the oldest generations:
    • while [ɫ] is an allophone of /l/ in most dialects (occurring in all positions except before front vowels and /j/), in this dialect [ɣ] is used instead; ex.:
[ɡɣaː] for [ˈɡɫava] (глава, 'head') and [ˈsɣama] for [ˈsɫama] (слама, 'straw')
    • the phoneme /a/ mutates (is raised) to [ɛ̞] ([æ] ~ [ɛ]) when preceding an affricate or iotated consonant with the exception of suffixes; ex.:
чаша /ˈt͡ʃaʃa/ ('cup') is realized as [ˈt͡ʃɛ̞ʃa]
жаба /ˈʒaba/ ('frog') is realized as [ˈʒɛ̞ba]
    • the Proto-Slavic syllabic *l̥ has reflexed into /ə/, e.g. *sъlnьce > /ˈsənt͡sɛ/ ('sun'), *vьlkъ > /vək/ ('wolf').

Morphological characteristics[edit]

  • tripartite definite article pertaining to the position of the object (see Macedonian grammar);
  • merger of thematic е-group verbs to и-group verbs; e.g. јаде /ˈjade/јади /ˈjadi/ (3P sg. PRS of 'to eat');
  • the third-person personal pronouns: тој, та/таа/таја, то, тие/тија (he, she, it, they);
    • some of the outermost dialects of the Lerin subdialect have он, она, то, они;
  • imperfective verbs are typically derived from perfective verbs by means of the suffix –ва (e.g. зборва and боледва);
  • 'expansion' where other dialects have palatalization: падина ("to fall", sing. present third-person) versus the standard паѓа;
  • use of the oblique form for proper names;[6]
  • no distinction between masculine and feminine short possessive pronouns, i.e. consistent use of му and го for both genders and also the plural third person.

Typical Words[edit]

  • Чупе (/ˈt͡ʃupɛ/) – 'girl'
  • Преѓе (/ˈprɛɟɛ/), преѓеска (/ˈprɛɟɛska/) – 'recently, lately'
  • Модистра (/ˈmɔdistra/) – 'seamstress'
  • Бендиса (/ˈbɛndisa/) – 'to have a liking for something or someone', 'to fancy'
  • Сурат (/ˈsurat/) – 'face'
  • Плусне (/ˈplusnɛ/) – 'to fire (a rifle)'
  • Капнат (/ˈkapnat/) – 'exhausted'
  • Греда (/ˈgrɛda/) – 'plank', 'beam (of wood)'

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ author missing. Леринскиот говор. Македонски jазик, 1983, ХХХIV, стр. 23-49.
  2. ^ Hill, Peter. The Dialect of Gorno Kalenik 1991, Columbus, OH
  3. ^ Makedonska gramatika by Krume Kepeski Language, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Apr–Jun, 1951), pp. 180–187
  4. ^ Граматика на македонскиот литературен јазик, Блаже Конески, Култура, Скопје 1967, стр.68
  5. ^ Историја на македонскиот јазик, Блаже Конески, Култура, Скопје 1986, стр. 21
  6. ^ Friedman, Victor (1998), Macedonian: Comparative Grammar, Slavic and East European Language Research Center (SEELRC): p. 22

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