Strč prst skrz krk

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Waveform and spectrogram for the Czech expression.

Strč prst skrz krk (About this sound[str̩tʃ pr̩st skr̩s kr̩k] ) is a Czech and Slovak tongue-twister meaning "stick a finger through the throat".[1]

The sentence is well known for being a semantically and syntactically valid clause without a single vowel, the nucleus of each syllable being a syllabic r, a common feature among many Slavic languages. It is often used as an example of such a phrase when learning Czech or Slovak as a foreign language.[1]

In fact, both Czech and Slovak have two syllabic liquid consonants, the other being syllabic l. (There is also the syllabic bilabial nasal m in sedm in Czech.) As a result, there are plenty of words without vowels. Examples of long words of this type are scvrnkls, čtvrthrst,[2] and čtvrtsmršť,[3] the latter two being artificial occasionalisms.

There are other examples of vowelless sentences in Czech and Slovak, such as "Prd krt skrz drn, zprv zhlt hrst zrn" meaning "A mole farted through grass, having swallowed a handful of grains".[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b (in French) "Le virelangue - jazykolam : strč prst skrz krk" - Radio Prague article about the phrase
  2. ^ Wilson, James (2010). "Moravians in Prague: A Sociolinguistic Study of Dialect Contact in the Czech Republic". ISBN 9783631586945.
  3. ^ http://www.ujc.cas.cz/jazykova-poradna/porfaq.html#nej Archived 2013-03-09 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Czechia Has Won The Czech Republic Name Debate", Francis Tapon, Forbes, May 22, 2017