Help:IPA for Catalan
The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Catalan language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. There are two major standards, one of Catalan (based in Barcelona, encompassing most Eastern Catalan features) and one of Valencian (based in Southern Valencia, encompassing most Western Catalan features). Neither variant is preferred over the other at Wikipedia except in cases where a local pronunciation is clearly more relevant (such as a place in the Valencian Community or a Catalan artist).
See Catalan phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Catalan.
- Sounds with (*) are merged by young generations.
- Obstruents assimilate to the place of articulation of the following consonant and vowel. In syllables produced in utterance-final position (i.e. the coda), voiced obstruents become devoiced.
- Several dialects (in particular, Alguerese, Balearic, Standard and Traditional Valencian, and partly in Southern Catalan), as well as some cultivated Catalan speakers, contrast ‹b› /b/ and ‹v› /v/. Betacism (that is, merging of /b/ and /v/, into [b] and [β]) is general in the rest of Catalan areas, being especially common in Aragon and Catalonia (and now also Valencia). In Valencian, the ‹b› and ‹v› contrast is retained in the standard and in some traditional dialects; with betacism now being present everywhere, especially among young speakers and speakers from the largest cities and towns.
- Voiced stops /b, d, ɡ/ become lenited [β, ð, ɣ] (that is, fricatives or approximants of the same place of articulation) when in the syllable onset and after a continuant. Otherwise they are pronounced as voiced or devoiced stops, similar to English b, d, g and p, t, k. Exceptions include /d/ after a lateral consonant, and /b/ after /f/. In traditional non-betacist dialects, /b/ fails to lenite and /v/ may lenite to [ʋ] (often in complementary distribution with [w]).
- In Standard Catalan, as well as the rest of betacist dialects, the pronunciation of [β] is made by approximating the normal "v" sound between the two lips.
- The pronunciation of [ɣ] is made somewhat like the English "w", but with spread lips.
- Standard Catalan and Valencian orthographies distinguish between ‹ll› (representing /ʎ/) and ‹l·l› (representing a geminated /lː/). In regular speech gemination of ‹l·l› is ignored altogether.
- The sonorants /l/, phonetically [ɫ], and /n/ only contrast before vowels. Before consonants, they assimilate to the consonant's place of articulation (e.g. [m] occurs before a labial consonant, [ɲ] and [ʎ] before a palatal consonant, and [ŋ] before a velar consonant). Between a vowel and a pause, only [ɫ] and [n] are found.
- The rhotic consonants ‹r› /ɾ/ and ‹rr› /r/ only contrast between vowels. Otherwise, they are in complementary distribution as ‹r› with, [r] occurring word-initially, after /l/, /n/, and /s/, and in compounds; and [ɾ] after hard plosives (plus their soft counterparts) and /f/. Syllable-final /ɾ/ varies according to dialect, emphasis, morpheme or the following sound. In all Catalan dialects, except most of Valencian, /ɾ/ is lost in coda position in suffixes of nouns and adjectives denoting the masculine singular and in the infinitive suffixes of verbs, except when the following morpheme begins with a vowel (although this may vary).
- While /ʃ ʒ tʃ dʒ/ are often described simply as "postalveolar" by many sources, phonetic work done by Daniel Recasens shows the postalveolar sibilants to be alveolo-palatal ([ɕ], [ʑ], [tɕ] and [dʑ], respectively). Nevertheless, since ‹ʃ ʒ tʃ dʒ› are overwhelmingly used in the linguistic literature on Catalan and Valencian, those characters are also used at Wikipedia.
- Other than in loanwords and interjections, the letter ‹h› is always silent.
- All Catalan dialects contrast seven stressed vowels /a, ɛ, e, i, ɔ, o, u/ (except for Balearic dialects that contrast eight stressed vowels—i.e. /a, ɛ, e, i, ɔ, o, u/, plus /ə/: sec /ˈsək/). In unstressed position, the seven-way vowel contrast is reduced in all dialects.
- Eastern Catalan (Alguerese, Balearic, Central and Northern): /e/, /ɛ/, and /a/ reduce to [ə] (though in Alguerese /e/, /ɛ/, and /a/ merge to [a]) while /o/ and /ɔ/ reduce to [u] (however, in most of Majorcan /ɔ/ and /o/ merge to [o]).
- Western Catalan (North-Western and Valencian): /ɛ/ reduces to [e] and /ɔ/ reduces to [o]. Exceptionally there are some cases where unstressed ‹e› and ‹o› may reduce to [a] and [u] respectively.
- Unstressed ‹o› before [w], may merge with [ə] in Eastern dialects.
- The semivowels /w/ and /j/ can be combined with most vowels to form diphthongs and triphthongs.
- Burguet Ardiaca, Francesc (1980). Introducció a la fonologia, fonètica i ortografia del català (in Catalan). Mataró (Barcelona): Robrenyo. ISBN 84-7466-025-4.
- Carbonell, Joan F.; Llisterri, Joaquim (1992). "Catalan". Journal of the International Phonetic Association 22 (1-2): 53–56.
- Recasens i Vives, Daniel (1991). Fonètica descriptiva del català : assaig de caracterització de la pronúncia del vocalisme i consonantisme del català al segle XX (in Catalan). Institut d'Estudis Catalans. ISBN 8472831728.
- Romeu i Juvé, Xavier (1983). Manual de fonologia catalana (in Catalan). Barcelona: Barcanova. ISBN 847533119X.
- Veny, Joan (1978). Els Parlars (in Catalan). Barcelona: Dopesa. ISBN 8472353885.
- Wheeler, Max W (2005). The Phonology Of Catalan. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199258147.
- "L'estàndard oral valencià" (PDF) (in Catalan). Valencia: Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua (AVL).