Slovak phonology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For assistance with IPA transcriptions of Slovak for Wikipedia articles, see Help:IPA for Slovak.

This article is about the phonology and phonetics of the Slovak language.

Vowels[edit]

Monophthongs[edit]

Ranges for Standard Slovak monophthongs, from Pavlík (2004:95). Rounded front vowels are not shown.
Slovak monophthong phonemes[1][2]
Front Central Back
unrounded unrounded rounded
short long short long short long
Close i u
Mid e o ()
Open (æ) a

Symbols[edit]

  • The close vowels are variably transcribed with the symbols ⟨i, iː, u, uː⟩ (without diacritics)[3] and ⟨i̞, i̞ː, u̞, u̞ː⟩ (with a lowering diacritic).[4] This article uses the former set for simplicity.
  • The mid vowels are variably transcribed with the symbols ⟨e, eː, o, oː⟩,[5]ɛ, ɛː, ɔ, ɔː[6] and, most rarely, with ⟨e̞, e̞ː, ɔ̝, ɔ̝ː⟩.[7] This article uses the first set for simplicity.
  • The open central vowels are most often transcribed with the symbols ⟨a, aː⟩,[8] but Mistrík (1988) transcribes them with ⟨ɑ, ɑː⟩, whereas Pavlík (2004) transcribes them as ⟨ɐ̞, ɐ̞ː⟩. This article uses the first set for simplicity.

Phonetic realization[edit]

  • The close vowels /i, iː, u, uː/ vary in their height between close [i, , u, ] and near-close [ɪ, ɪː, ʊ, ʊː], with the near-close realization being the most usual. The backness of /i, iː/ varies between fully front [i ~ ɪ̟, iː ~ ɪ̟ː] and near-front [i̠ ~ ɪ, i̠ː ~ ɪː], just as the backness of /u, uː/ varies between fully back [u ~ ʊ̠, uː ~ ʊ̠ː] and near-back [u̟ ~ ʊ, u̟ː ~ ʊː].[9][10]
  • There is not a full agreement about the quality of the mid vowels /e, eː, o, oː/:
    • According to Kráľ (1988), Mistrík (1988) and Hanulíková & Hamann (2010), the mid vowels are true-mid [, e̞ː, , o̞ː].[11][12][13] However, the first of these authors lists other possible pronunciations:
      • Long /eː, oː/ are realized as close-mid [, ] in southern dialects spoken near the river Ipeľ, as well as - under Hungarian influence - in some other speakers. He does not report the occurrence of the close-mid realizations [e, o] of the short /e, o/.[12]
      • Open-mid realizations [ɛ, ɛː, ɔ, ɔː] are rare.[12]
    • According to Pavlík (2004):
      • /e, eː/ vary in their height between close-mid [e, ] and true-mid [, e̞ː], with the true-mid realization being the most usual. The backness of these vowels varies between fully front [e ~ e̞, eː ~ e̞ː] and near-front [e̠ ~ e̠˕, e̠ː ~ e̠˕ː]. The open-mid realizations [ɛ, ɛː] do not occur in standard Slovak.[14]
      • /o, oː/ vary between true-mid [, o̞ː] and open-mid [ɔ, ɔː], with the true-mid realization being the most usual. The backness of these vowels varies between fully back [o̞ ~ ɔ, o̞ ~ ɔ] and near-back [o̟˕ ~ ɔ̟, o̟˕ː ~ ɔ̟ː]. The close-mid realizations [o, ] do not occur in standard Slovak.[14]
  • Speakers often fail at attempts to pronounce /æ/, pronouncing a vowel that is phonetically too close to either /e/ or /a/.[15]
  • There is not a complete agreement about the quality of the vowels transcribed /a, aː/:

Other notes[edit]

  • Vowel length is not phonemic in Eastern dialects,[1] which have only five vowel phonemes (/i, u, e, o, a/, some speakers also have /æ/).
  • In Western dialects, vowels that are short due to the rhythmical law are often realized as long, and thus violating that law.[19]
  • /y, yː, ø, øː, oː/ occur only in loanwords.[1][20][21] Just as other mid vowels, /ø, øː/ are phonetically true-mid [ø̞, ø̞ː].[22] Among these vowels, only /oː/ is consistently realized in the correct manner, whereas the occurrence of the front rounded vowels /y, yː, ø, øː/ has been reported only by Kráľ (1988), who states that the front rounded vowels appear only in the high register and medium register. However, in the medium register, /y, yː/ and /ø, øː/ are often either too back, which results in realizations that are phonetically too close to, respectively, /u, uː/ and /o, oː/, or too weakly rounded, yielding vowels that are phonetically too close to, respectively, /i, iː/ and /e, eː/.[23]
  • /uː, eː/ do not occur after soft consonants, where they are replaced by the corresponding diphthongs /i̯u, i̯e/. The same is generally true for /aː/ (/i̯a/ after soft consonants), but the sequence /jaː/ may occur in some cases.[24]
  • Long /eː/ occurs only in loanwords, one native word (dcéra) and in adjective endings.[25]
  • /æ/ can only be short, and occurs only after /m, p, b, v/.[1][15] There is not a full agreement about its status in the standard language:
    • Kráľ (1988) states that the correct pronunciation of /æ/ is an important part of the high register, but in medium and low registers, /æ/ merges with /e/, or, in some cases, with /a/.[15]
    • Short (2002) states that only about 5% of speakers have /æ/ as a distinct phoneme, and that even when it is used in formal contexts, it is most often a dialect feature.[26]
    • Hanulíková & Hamann (2010) state that the use of /æ/ is becoming rare, and that it often merges with /e/.[1]

Diphthongs[edit]

Slovak diphthong phonemes[19][2]
Ending point
Front Central Back
Unrounded i̯e i̯a i̯u
Rounded u̯o
  • These diphthongs are variably transcribed as ⟨i̯e, i̯a, i̯u, u̯o⟩,[5]i̯ɛ, i̯a, i̯u, u̯ɔ⟩,[27]ɪ̯ɛ, ɪ̯a, ɪ̯ʊ, ʊ̯ɔ[28] and ⟨ĭ̞e̞, ĭ̞æ, ĭ̞ʊ, ŭ̞o̞⟩.[7] For simplicity, this article uses the first set of symbols.
  • All of the diphthongs are rising, i.e. their second elements have more prominence.[19][29]
  • The phonetic quality of Slovak diphthongs is as follows:
    • /i̯e/ has a starting point that, apart from the fact that it is non-syllabic, is practically the same as the /i/ monophthong (that is, close [i ~ ] or near-close [ɪ̟ ~ ɪ], with the near-close realization being the most usual), whereas its ending point is practically the same as the /e/ monophthong (that is, close-mid [e ~ ] or mid [ ~ e̠˕], with the mid realization being the most usual).[30]
    • /i̯a/ has a starting point that, apart from the fact that it is non-syllabic, is similar to the /i/ monophthong (that is, near-close [ɪ̟ ~ ɪ] or [e ~ ], with the near-close realization being the most usual), whereas its ending point is more similar to the /æ/ monophthong than the /a/ monophthong (that is, near-open near-front [æ̠] or open near-front []).[30]
    • /i̯u/ has a starting point that, apart from the fact that it is non-syllabic, is practically the same as the /i/ monophthong (that is, close [i ~ ] or near-close [ɪ̟ ~ ɪ], with the near-close realization being the most usual), whereas its ending point is somewhat more front than the /u/ monophthong (that is, close near-back [], near-close near-back [ʊ] or close-mid near-back [], with the near-close realization being the most usual).[30]
    • /u̯o/ has a starting point that, apart from the fact that it is non-syllabic, is practically the same as the /u/ monophthong (that is, close [ ~ u] or near-close [ʊ ~ ʊ̠], with the near-close realization being the most usual), whereas its ending point is similar to the /o/ monophthong (that is, close-mid [ ~ o] or mid [o̟˕ ~ ], with the mid realization being the most usual).[30]

Consonants[edit]

Slovak consonant phonemes[31]
Labial Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ
Plosive voiceless p t c k
voiced b d ɟ ɡ
Affricate voiceless ts
voiced dz
Continuant voiceless f s ʃ x
voiced v z ʒ j ɦ
Lateral plain l (ʎ)
geminated
Tap r
Trill
  • Voiceless stops and affricates are unaspirated.
  • Voiced stops and affricates are fully voiced.
  • /n/ is apical alveolar [].[32]
  • /t, d, t͡s, d͡z, s, z, ɲ, c, ɟ/ are laminal [t̻, d̻, t̻͡s̻, d̻͡z̻, s̻, z̻, ɲ̻, c̻, ɟ̻].[33]
  • /ʎ/ is palatalized laminal denti-alveolar [l̪ʲ],[43] palatalized laminal alveolar [l̻ʲ][31][43][44] or palatal [ʎ].[31][43][44] The palatal realization is the least common one.[31][44]
    • Pavlík (2004) describes an additional realization, namely a weakly palatalized apical alveolar approximant [l̺ʲ]. According to this scholar, the palatal realization [ʎ] is actually alveolo-palatal [ʎ̟].[45]
  • The /ʎ–l/ contrast is neutralized before front vowels, where only /l/ occurs. This neutralization is taken further in western dialects, in which /ʎ/ merges with /l/ in all environments.[31]
  • /l, r/ are apical alveolar [, ].[46]
    • /l/ is either neutral [l] or velarized [ɫ].[42]
    • Short /r/ is most often a tap [ɾ].[31]
  • Postalveolar /t͡ʃ, d͡ʒ, ʃ, ʒ/ are often pronounced hard, i.e. as laminal retroflex (flat postalveolar) [t͡ʂ, d͡ʐ, ʂ, ʐ],[31] as in Russian and Polish.
    • /d͡ʒ/ occurs mainly in loanwords.[31]
  • /v/ is realized as:
    • Voiced fricative [v] in onsets before voiced obstruents;[31]
    • Voiceless fricative [f] in onsets before voiceless obstruents;[47]
    • Variably as an approximant [ʋ] or a glide [ʊ̯] in coda;[31]
    • Approximant [ʋ] in all other cases.[31]
  • /j/ is an approximant, either palatal or alveolo-palatal.[48] Between close front vowels, it can be realized as a fricative [ʝ], whereas between open central vowels, it can be a quite lax approximant [j˕].[49]

Some additional notes includes the following (transcriptions in IPA unless otherwise stated):

  • /r, l/ can be syllabic: /r̩, l̩/. When they are long (indicated in the spelling with the acute accent: ŕ and ĺ), they are always syllabic, e.g. vlk (wolf), prst (finger), štvrť (quarter), krk (neck), bisyllabic vĺčavĺ-ča (wolfling), vŕbavŕ-ba (willow-tree), etc.
  • /m/ has the allophone [ɱ] in front of the labiodental fricatives /f/ and /v/.
  • /n/ in front of (post)alveolar fricatives has a postalveolar allophone [n̠].
  • /n/ can be [ŋ] in front of the velar plosives /k/ and /ɡ/.

Stress[edit]

In the standard language, the stress is always on the first syllable of a word (or on the preceding preposition, see below). This is not the case in certain dialects. Eastern dialects have penultimate stresses, which at times makes them difficult to understand for speakers of standard Slovak. Some of the north-central dialects have a weak stress on the first syllable, which becomes stronger and moves to the penultimate in certain cases. Monosyllabic conjunctions, monosyllabic short personal pronouns and auxiliary verb forms of the verb byť (to be) are usually unstressed.

Prepositions form a single prosodic unit with the following word, unless the word is long (four syllables or more) or the preposition stands at the beginning of a sentence.

Official transcriptions[edit]

Slovak linguists do not usually use IPA for phonetic transcription of their own language or others, but have their own system based on the Slovak alphabet. Many English language textbooks make use of this alternative transcription system. In the following table, pronunciation of each grapheme is given in this system as well as in the IPA.

grapheme IPA transcr. example
a /a/ a mama ('mother')
á /aː/ á láska ('love')
ä /æ/ e, ä mäso ('meat, flesh')
b /b/ b brat ('brother')
c /t͡s/ c cukor ('sugar')
č /t͡ʃ/ č čaj ('tea')
d /d/ d dom ('house')
ď /ɟ/ ď ďakovať ('to thank')
dz /d͡z/ ʒ bryndza ('sheep cheese')
/d͡ʒ/ ǯ em ('jam')
e /e/ e meno ('name')
é /eː/ é bazén ('pool')
f /f/ f farba ('colour')
g /ɡ/ g egreš ('gooseberry')
h /ɦ/ h hlava ('head')
ch /x/ x chlieb ('bread')
i /i/ i pivo ('beer')
í /iː/ í gombík ('button')
j /j/ j jahoda ('strawberry')
k /k/ k kniha ('book')
l /l/, /l̩/ l plot ('fence')
ĺ /l̩ː/ ĺ mĺkvy ('prone to silence') About this sound [ˈml̩ːkvi] 
ľ /ʎ/ ľ moľa ('clothes moth') About this sound [ˈmoʎa] 
m /m/ m pomoc ('n. help')
n /n/ n nos ('nose')
ň /ɲ/ ň studňa ('n. well')
o /o/ o kostol ('church')
ó /oː/ ó balón ('balloon')
ô /u̯o/ ŭo kôň ('horse') About this sound [ˈku̯oɲ] 
p /p/ p lopta ('ball')
q /kv/ kv
r /r/, /r̩/ r more ('sea')
ŕ /r̩ː/ ŕ vŕba ('willow tree')
s /s/ s strom ('tree')
š /ʃ/ š myš ('mouse')
t /t/ t stolička ('chair')
ť /c/ ť ťava ('camel')
u /u/ u ruka ('arm')
ú /uː/ ú dúha ('rainbow')
v /v/ v veža ('tower')
w v whiskey ('whiskey')
x /ks/ ks xylofón ('xylophone')
y /i/ i syr ('cheese')
ý /iː/ í rým ('rhyme')
z /z/ z koza ('goat')
ž /ʒ/ ž žaba ('frog')

Sample[edit]

The sample text is a reading of The North Wind and the Sun. The transcription is based on a recording of a 28-year-old female speaker of Standard Slovak from Bratislava.[50]

Phonemic transcription[edit]

/ˈras sa ˈseveraːk a ˈsl̩nko ˈɦaːdali | ˈkto z ɲix je ˈsilɲejʃiː || ˈf tom ˈzbadali ˈpot͡sestneːɦo | ˈktoriː ˈkraːt͡ʃal ˈzakritiː ˈplaːʃcom || ˈdoɦodli sa | ʒe ˈsilɲejʃiː je ˈten | kto ˈako ˈpr̩viː ˈdokaːʒe | ˈabi si ˈpot͡sestniː ˈvizli̯ekol ˈplaːʃc || ˈa tak ˈzat͡ʃal ˈseveraːk ˈfuːkac zo ˈfʃetkiːx ˈsiːl | ˈale t͡ʃiːm vi̯at͡s ˈfuːkal | ˈtiːm vi̯at͡s sa ˈpot͡sestniː ˈzakriːval ˈplaːʃcom || ˈnakoɲi̯et͡s sa ˈseveraːk ˈvzdal ˈzbitot͡ʃnej ˈnaːmaɦi || ˈpotom ˈsl̩nko ˈzat͡ʃalo ˈsvi̯ecic a ˈɦri̯ac || ˈza maluː ˈxviːʎku ˈbolo ˈpot͡sestneːmu ˈceplo | a ˈvizli̯ekol si ˈplaːʃc || ˈseveraːk ˈmusel ˈnakoɲi̯et͡s ˈuznac | ʒe ˈsl̩nko je ˈsilɲejʃi̯e ˈako on/

Phonetic transcription[edit]

[ˈras sa ˈseʋeraːk a ˈsl̩ŋko ˈɦaːdali | ˈkto z ɲiɣ je ˈsilɲejʃiː || ˈf tom ˈzbadali ˈpot͡sestneːɦo | ˈktoriː ˈkraːt͡ʃal ˈzakritiː ˈplaːʃcom || ˈdohodli sa | ʒe ˈsilɲejʃiː je ˈten | kto ˈako ˈpr̩ʋiː ˈdokaːʒe | ˈabi si ˈpot͡sestniː ˈʋizli̯ekol ˈplaːʃc || ˈa taɡ ˈzat͡ʃal ˈseʋeraːk ˈfuːkaɟ zo ˈfʃetkiːx ˈsiːl | ˈale t͡ʃiːm ʋi̯at͡s ˈfuːkal | ˈtiːm ʋi̯at͡s sa ˈpot͡sestniː ˈzakriːʋal ˈplaːʃcom || ˈnakoɲi̯et͡s sa ˈseveraːɡ ˈvzdal ˈzbitot͡ʃnej ˈnaːmaɦi || ˈpotom ˈsl̩ŋko ˈzat͡ʃalo ˈsʋi̯ecic a ˈɦri̯ac || ˈza maluː ˈxʋiːʎku ˈbolo ˈpot͡sestneːmu ˈceplo | a ˈʋizli̯ekol si ˈplaːʃc || ˈseveraːk ˈmusel ˈnakoɲi̯et͡s ˈuznac | ʒe ˈsl̩ŋko je ˈsilɲejʃi̯e ˈako on][51]

Orthographic version[edit]

Raz sa severák a slnko hádali, kto z nich je silnejší. V tom zbadali pocestného, ktorý kráčal zakrytý plášťom. Dohodli sa, že silnejší je ten, kto ako prvý dokáže, aby si pocestný vyzliekol plášť. A tak začal severák fúkať zo všetkých síl, ale čím viac fúkal, tým viac sa pocestný zakrýval plášťom. Nakoniec sa severák vzdal zbytočnej námahy. Potom slnko začalo svietiť a hriať. Za malú chvíľku bolo pocestnému teplo a vyzliekol si plášť. Severák musel nakoniec uznať, že slnko je silnejšie ako on.[52]

See also[edit]

Slovak orthography

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Hanulíková & Hamann (2010), p. 375.
  2. ^ a b Kráľ (1988), p. 51.
  3. ^ For example by Mistrík (1988), Rubach (1993), Short (2002) and Krech et al. (2009).
  4. ^ For example by Pavlík (2004) and Hanulíková & Hamann (2010).
  5. ^ a b For example by Mistrík (1988) and Short (2002).
  6. ^ For example by Rubach (1993), Krech et al. (2009) and Hanulíková & Hamann (2010).
  7. ^ a b For example by Pavlík (2004).
  8. ^ For example by Rubach (1993), Short (2002), Krech et al. (2009) and Hanulíková & Hamann (2010).
  9. ^ Pavlík (2004), pp. 93, 95.
  10. ^ Both Mistrík (1988:13) and Hanulíková & Hamann (2010:375) agree that the usual height of these vowels is near-close.
  11. ^ a b See the auditory vowel chart in Mistrík (1988:13).
  12. ^ a b c Kráľ (1988), p. 92.
  13. ^ See the auditory and formant vowel charts in Hanulíková & Hamann (2010:375).
  14. ^ a b Pavlík (2004), pp. 93–95.
  15. ^ a b c Kráľ (1988), p. 55.
  16. ^ Kráľ (1988), p. 54.
  17. ^ See the auditory vowel chart in Hanulíková & Hamann (2010:375).
  18. ^ Pavlík (2004), pp. 94–95.
  19. ^ a b c Hanulíková & Hamann (2010), p. 376.
  20. ^ Mistrík (1988), p. 12.
  21. ^ Kráľ (1988), pp. 64–65.
  22. ^ Kráľ (1988), p. 64.
  23. ^ Kráľ (1988), pp. 57, 64–65, 103.
  24. ^ Short (2002), pp. 534–535.
  25. ^ Short (2002), p. 535.
  26. ^ Short (2002), p. 534.
  27. ^ For example by Krech et al. (2009).
  28. ^ For example by Hanulíková & Hamann (2010).
  29. ^ Pavlík (2004), p. 95.
  30. ^ a b c d Pavlík (2004), p. 97.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Hanulíková & Hamann (2010), p. 374.
  32. ^ Kráľ (1988:73). The author describes /n/ as apical alveolar, but the corresponding image shows a laminal denti-alveolar pronunciation (which he does not discuss).
  33. ^ Kráľ (1988), pp. 72, 74–75, 80–82.
  34. ^ Kráľ (1988), p. 72.
  35. ^ Pavlík (2004), pp. 98–99.
  36. ^ Kráľ (1988), pp. 74–75.
  37. ^ Pavlík (2004), pp. 103–104.
  38. ^ Dvončová, Jenča & Kráľ (1969:?), cited in Hanulíková & Hamann (2010:374)
  39. ^ Pauliny (1979), p. 112.
  40. ^ a b Kráľ (1988), pp. 81–82.
  41. ^ Recasens (2013), pp. 11, 13.
  42. ^ a b Kráľ (1988), p. 80.
  43. ^ a b c Kráľ (1988), p. 82.
  44. ^ a b c Dvončová, Jenča & Kráľ (1969), pp. 94–95.
  45. ^ Pavlík (2004), p. 105.
  46. ^ Kráľ (1988), pp. 78–79.
  47. ^ Hanulíková & Hamann (2010), pp. 374, 376.
  48. ^ Recasens (2013), p. 15.
  49. ^ Pavlík (2004), p. 106.
  50. ^ Hanulíková & Hamann (2010), p. 373.
  51. ^ Based on the transcription in Hanulíková & Hamann (2010:377). Some symbols were changed to keep the article consistent - see the section above.
  52. ^ Hanulíková & Hamann (2010), p. 377.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Dvončová, Jana; Jenča, Gejza; Kráľ, Ábel (1969), Atlas slovenských hlások, Bratislava: Vydavateľstvo Slovenskej akadémie vied 
  • Hanulíková, Adriana; Hamann, Silke (2010), "Slovak" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 40 (3): 373–378, doi:10.1017/S0025100310000162 
  • Kráľ, Ábel (1988), Pravidlá slovenskej výslovnosti, Bratislava: Slovenské pedagogické nakladateľstvo 
  • Krech, Eva Maria; Stock, Eberhard; Hirschfeld, Ursula; Anders, Lutz-Christian (2009), "7.3.15 Slowakisch", Deutsches Aussprachewörterbuch, Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 978-3-11-018202-6 
  • Mistrík, Jozef (1988) [First published 1982], A Grammar of Contemporary Slovak (2nd ed.), Bratislava: Slovenské pedagogické nakladateľstvo 
  • Pauliny, Eugen (1979), Slovenská fonológia, Bratislava: Slovenské pedagogické nakladateľstvo 
  • Pavlík, Radoslav (2004), "Slovenské hlásky a medzinárodná fonetická abeceda" (PDF), Jazykovedný časopis, 55: 87–109 
  • Recasens, Daniel (2013), "On the articulatory classification of (alveolo)palatal consonants" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (1): 1–22, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000199 
  • Rubach, Jerzy (1993), The Lexical Phonology of Slovak, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0198240006 
  • Short, David (2002), "Slovak", in Comrie, Bernard; Corbett, Greville G., The Slavonic Languages, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 533–592, ISBN 9780415280785 

Further reading[edit]