Albanian: Gj and Q

lietus

Member
USA
American English
I see these sounds described with the IPA characters /ɟ/ and /c/ all over the internet, but that doesn't seem possible to me. I've been talking to a Hungarian friend of mine, her language having these sounds, and she agrees that they sound quite different from the letters Gy and Ty (to which they would correspond) in Hungarian. I'm thinking now that perhaps /ɟʑ/ and /cɕ/ would be more accurate representations of these sounds in Albanian. I'm not sure how many around here speak Albanian or are familiar with it... but I'm interested in hearing other opinions on this, since I've never had similar problems with any language's sounds before.
 
  • statista

    New Member
    italian, albanian
    I am Albanian, and I can say that what you found is perfectly right. GJ is pronounced /ɟ/ and Q is pronounced /c/. they are very difficult sounds to pronounce for non-native albanian speaker. you can consider GJ as a mixture of /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ and Q as a mixture of /ʃ/ and /tʃ/
     

    iobyo

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    As someone who has heard a lot of Albanian spoken, I agree that the Albanian GJ and Q sound quite different from the Macedonian and Hungarian palatal plosives (pronounced the same in the latter two). To me they sound more like /ʥ/ and /ʨ/, respectively (i.e. as affricates).
     
    Last edited:

    lietus

    Member
    USA
    American English
    That's what I think, too... but I wanted to sort of compromise, so instead of /dʑ/ and /tɕ/ I used /ɟʑ/ and /cɕ/, which to me makes more sense anyway. :D
     

    iobyo

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    lietus, I read that the Albanian Gj and Q differ in pronunciation from dialect to dialect; some Gheg speakers pronounce Gj as /dʑ/, Q as /tɕ/, Dj as /ɟ/ and Tj as /c/. So I think it's safe to assume that while the primary values are /ɟ/ and /c/, they could be anywhere between /ɟ/-/ɟʑ/-/dʑ/ and /c/-/cɕ/-/tɕ/.
     

    lietus

    Member
    USA
    American English
    I've even asked Tosk speakers to pronounce gj and q for me, and it still sounds more like /ɟʑ/ and /cɕ/ than /ɟ/ and /c/. I have heard some random things about Gheg, but never found any really comprehensive information regarding its pronunciation. I always thought affricating gj and q was a Gheg thing, but then I started hearing Tosks pronounce it the same way and started to get confused. Eventually I started this thread :)
     

    Linnets

    Senior Member
    Italian phonetician Luciano Canepari says Tosk q is pronounced [kç] and gj [gʝ] (they could be written also [cç] and [ɟʝ]); they are both palatal affricates, the first unvoiced, the second voiced. In Gheg they are definitely stops: [c] and [ɟ], respectively.
     
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