All Slavic languages: different pronunciations of the letter "L"

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by jadeite_85, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. jadeite_85 Senior Member

    Italy
    italian, slovene
    I've noticed that the "l" of the various slavic languages are differently pronounced. Croatian and even more Serbian have a somehow "hard l", that is still different to my ears from the Russian "hard l" which sounds to me more like the american "dark l".
    Slovene "l" is more like the Italian "l", but still a little bit different ( to my ears it is harder).

    How is the "l" pronounced in other Slavic languages? And most important could you explain me those differences and helping me pronounce them in the right manner and how does the IPA classify these different sounds?
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
  2. DarkChild Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    In Bulgarian L is pronounced in three different ways:

    1. Hard L - before every consonant, every vowel except "e" and "i", and at the end of a word. This sound very often is mispronounced by many Bulgarians and sounds like "w". Eg. Lula, Lodka, Papagal.
    2. Soft L - before "e" and "i", same as L in Spanish or Italian. Eg. Koleda, list.
    3. Even softer L - before "y" sound - eg. lyato, hlyab
     
  3. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    Russian
    In Russian "l" can be hard (velarized) or soft (palatalized), just as the most of consonants (with few exceptions which are either only soft or only hard). But unlike Bulgarian, the use of palatalized consonants is much more wide. In writing, the soft sign (ь) always indicates that the previous consonant is soft (if it can be soft).

    галка - [g'alkə] ("a jackdaw")
    галька - [g'alʲkə] ("pebbles", collective singular)

    Also consonants become soft (if they can) before "я", "ё", "ю", "е" (except the latest loanwords) and "и" vowel letters.

    лыка - [l'ɨkə] (genitive from "a bast" - "лыко")
    лика - [lʲ'ikə] (genitive from poetical "face" - "лик")
    клон - [klon] (a clone)
    клён - [klʲon] (a maple)
    лапа - [l'apə] (a paw)
    ляпа - [lʲ'æpə] (genitive from "a blunder" - "ляп")
    лук - [luk] (an onion; a bow)
    люк - [lʲuk] (a manhole)
    мэр - [meɾ] (a mayor)
    мер - [mʲeɾ] (genitive from "a measure", "an extent" - "мера")
     
  4. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Slovene "hard l" is pretty much standard IPA [l] while BCS "hard l" is a so-called "dark l" = [ɫ] (velarised): they sound completely different.
    BCS "soft l" on the other hand is similar to Slovene "soft l" <lj>, right? In IPA that'd be [ʎ]; only that in colloquial speech (both in Slovene and in BCS if I am not mistaken) this may loose palatalisation partially or almost completely so that it sounds not too different from [l] (which would mean a neutralisation of the phonological opposition of [ʎ l] in Slovene while in BCS they're still clearly different as BCS "hard l" is velrarised).

    Or that's how I thought that the "l"s of BCS and Slovene are pronounced; please correct me if I'm wrong. :)
     
  5. jadeite_85 Senior Member

    Italy
    italian, slovene
    So the IPA distinguishes between [l], [ɫ] and [ʎ].

    But to my ears Russian [ɫ] and BCS [ɫ] are different. I don't know if it is just me, but in my opinion they are not the same. And this is heard also when a Russian and a Serbian talk in Italian. When they say "luna" or "lago" they pronounce the "l" differently. The Serbian "l" is such a characteristic of this language to me.

    About "soft l". Russian doesn't use [ʎ] but [lʲ]. So there is a difference between Italian "gli", Slovenian "lj" and Russian palatalized "l"? At least I hear a small difference.

    Slovenian "l" is standard IPA and yet to me is a little bit harder. Maybe because in Trieste the "l" is pronounced in such a weird and unique manner, so I'm able to distinguish those differences. I don't know if you have ever heard speaking a person from Trieste? You'll hear a very peculiar "l", which I haven't spotted in any other language.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
  6. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Well, IPA [ʎ] and [lʲ] are almost identical anyway.
    For Italian "gli" [ʎ] is used in transcription, and I think in Slovene the same sound is used for phonetic transcription of "lj". In Russian [lʲ] is used because all sounds are either "soft" (palatalised) and "hard" (non-palatalised) in Russian; also soft "l" in Russian sounds slightly different - but that's only a nuance.

    I've once heard a Primorec Slovenian but his dialect was too difficult for me even to understand to focus on his pronunciation of "l".
    I am only fairly sure that there is no significant difference between my native (Austrian German) "l" and Slovene (hard) "l": to me they sound the same.
     
  7. jadeite_85 Senior Member

    Italy
    italian, slovene
    Oh, I didn't specify, I mean an Italian from Trieste speaking Italian with a peculiar "l"
     
  8. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    No, I never heard this peculiar Triestine "l" - therefore sorry but I have no clue what that could be in IPA. Slovene "hard l" (as spoken in Republic of Slovenia) anyway is pretty much standard, nothing peculiar about it.
     
  9. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    Russian
    "Hard" consonants are also velarized if possible, but this fact usually isn't reflected in transcription.
     
  10. phosphore Senior Member

    Serbian
    Serbian /l/ is somewhat "harder" than Italian /l/, but it is not velarised, certainly not like Russian or English dark /l/: dark /l/'s in Serbian underwent vocalisation somewhere in the 14th century. As to other Slavic speakers, /l/ of some Croatian speaker is closer to the Italian one, and the Czech pronounce /l/ the same way the Serbians do, I think.

    Your other point is also true. Serbian or Italian /ʎ/ is quite different than Russian /lʲ/: while Serbian /ʎ/ is really palatal, Russian /lʲ/ is only palatalised.
     
  11. bibax Senior Member

    Czechlands
    Czech (Prague)
    The Czech language lost the distinction between soft and hard L in the 15th century. A remnant is the difference in declension: učitel (originally soft l) is declined differently than ďábel (originally hard l), but the sound is the same. (Maybe there are some allophones, but not in the case učitel-ďábel).

    For the Czechs it is usually difficult to pronounce the palatalized L correctly. We usually pronounce it like the Czech L with inserted iota.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2009
  12. xpictianoc

    xpictianoc Senior Member

    Warsaw
    польщЪзна
    In Polish is quite easy :) We have "l" and "ł". Polish "l" should be pronunced like usual l (as far I know it's similar to Italian l and Spanish. "ł" is pronunced like english "w" and I think is very close to Bulgarian hard "l". In eastern slavic language the way of pronuncation is up to the vowel which is next to, in Polish we solved this problem and created "ł" :)
    BCS "l" is a little bit stronger than Polish "l" but it still much softer than Polish "ł" ... as regards BSC "lj" there is not equivalent in Polish and I have still problem to pronunce this consonant (is guess BSC lj is almost the same like Bulgarian "l" in frond of "y".
    Could Bulgarian моля be pronunced like моља? I don't hear y(j) in this word only very soft "l" (mol'a)
     
  13. DarkChild Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    Yes, you're right, there's no "y" slide in the word, only a very soft L. Actually, я=йа=ьа, so моля can be written as молйа or мольа (none of these are acceptable orthographically) and sound the same.
     
  14. DarkChild Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    Bulgarian hard L is really not supposed to sound like the Polish "ł", because Bulgarian hard L is pronounced with the tongue, while "ł" is pronounced with lips, but the similarity comes from a very common speech defect where many people can't pronounce the hard L with their tongue and compensate by making the sound with their lips so it ends up sounding like w. This feature is so widespread that this sound might become a standard sound in the language (because now it isn't). I admit, I'm one of those with such a defect. :D
     
  15. vianie Senior Member

    Slovak
    In this case, the nearest to Slovak seems to be Serbian (and maybe other "yugo langs" too?). Our pronounciations of "l" and "lj" / " ľ " are practically the same ones.
    Czechs pronounce "l" (virtually as all our shared consonants) in a little bit finer way than Slovaks (they countervail it by their stronger outspoken vowels).
     
  16. xpictianoc

    xpictianoc Senior Member

    Warsaw
    польщЪзна
    Barev, vonts es?

    oh it's very interesting for me becouse from January I'm going to learn Bulgarian in Sofia :) Could you explain how to pronounce Bulgarian hard L?
     
  17. DarkChild Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    Lav em, tun inchbes es? :D

    I'm not exactly the best person to explain that since I can't do it properly myself lol, but you do it by placing your tongue on the hard palate where it meets the front teeth. But if you pronounce it as "ł" you'll be fine :D
     
  18. natasha2000

    natasha2000 Senior Member

    There is a mistake in the title. It is not a sound, it is a letter. The sounds are different pronunciations of this letter in different languages, which is the subject of this topic. Also, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to change from small caps l to capital letter L, since if you see only the title, it can be mixed with capital I.
     
  19. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    Russian
    I'm quite surprised that "l" can be mixed with "w" up in Bulgarian language. M.b. Bulgarian "l" itself is labialized (i.e. coarticulated with additional use of lips)? Otherwise I cannot get how it could happen at all. =( Russian velarized "l" reminds labiodental "v" a bit (which, of course, also exists in Russian), but labialized velar "w" from English?..... :confused:
     
  20. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Well yes, with introduction of the Polish "ł" we're actually beyond the mere "sound of l" already, you've got a point there (title changed).

    And when we're at it, in Slovene there has been a "spelling war" over spellings like "bravec" vs. "bralec" (see e. g. here); this is due to a phonological rule in Slovene: /l/ actually is pronounced like /v/ in certain positions (usually at the end of words or phonemes, regularly in participles: pisal, pisala = /pisav, pisala/ where /v/ is a non-syllabic ), and in some regions there is a substition of /v/ for /l/ even when /l/ is positioned between vowels.*)

    *) This of course is parallel to BCS "pisao, pisala" where a full vocalisation took effect.

    Mostly the "bralec" spellings (and pronunciations, at least as far as standard language is concerned) have prevailed but a couple of decades ago "bravec" spellings (and pronunciations) were fairly common.
    Some older dictionaries of Slovene still have those "bravec" spellings.

    Anyway, the point being, as far as this thread is concerned: Slovene /l/ may be pronounced like Slovene /v/ which is phonetically (in the positions concerned only!) non-syllabic (so, close to [w] = Polish "ł").
     
  21. jadeite_85 Senior Member

    Italy
    italian, slovene
    So there are at least 6 different pronounciations of the letter L in Slavic languages.

    -standard [l] in Slovene, Polish, some Croatian speakers and Czech?
    -somewhat harder [l] which IPA doesn't give a sign in BCS, Slovak and standard Bulgarian?
    -dark l [ɫ] in Russian
    -[ʎ] in Slovene, BCS, Slovak and Bulgarian
    -palatalized l [lʲ] in Russian
    -non-syllabic in Polish, Slovene and non standard Bulgarian

    Correct me if I'm wrong
     
  22. DarkChild Senior Member

    Bulgarian
    Since many people can't pronounce it properly with their tongue touching the palate behind their teeth, they use lips. The way I pronounce it is by touching my upper front teeth to the middle of the inside of my lower lip. Most of the time this compensated well enough and doesn't sound like W, but in some words make it very obvious like лула. Some people have a very obvious defect, though and sounds like W all the time.
     
  23. Azori

    Azori Senior Member

    Slovakia
    Slovak
    Slovak has l, ĺ and ľ.

    l [l] is more or less identical to the Czech l. May be syllabic in some words, e.g. vlk [vl̩k] (wolf)

    ĺ [l̩:] long syllabic l. Much like l but longer, e.g. vĺča [vl̩:t͡ʃa] (wolfling) It's pronounced as long as any long vowel in Slovak.

    ľ [ʎ] soft l. But many people (mainly from western, but also from central Slovakia) pronounce it as a non-palatal l.
     
  24. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Whatever
  25. phosphore Senior Member

    Serbian


    Actually, in Serbian (and Croatian) we have two letters: <l> or <л> and <lj> or <љ>. These two letters represent two phonemes: /l/ and /ʎ/. But in Russian there is only one letter, <л>, that represents either the phoneme /lʲ/, when it stands before the letters <я, е, ë, и, ю, ь>, either the phoneme /l/, with two realisations [l] and [ɫ], when it stands before the other letters.

    So you have:

    - [l], which is in some languages more apical, as in Serbian, in others more laminal, as in Slovene,
    - [ɫ] in Russian and [w] in Polish and Slovene,
    - [ʎ], as in Serbian or Slovene, and [lʲ], as in Russian.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  26. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    Russian
    I'm quite surprised that you placed these sounds in one group. [ɫ] is a velarized alveolar lateral approximant (i.e. velarized [l]), whereas [w] is a voiced labialized velar approximant. Russians, for example, sometimes mix English "v" and "w" up, but never mix up English "w" and "l"; that is because they interpret [w] as the Russian /в/ (/v/) phoneme, and [l] - as /л/ (/ɫ/).
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  27. phosphore Senior Member

    Serbian
    I put them together because they are historically related. Dark /l/'s quite often undergo changes headed towards vocalisation: compare Italian altro, Spanish otro and French autre or Serbian dao [dao], Polish dał [daw] and Russian дал [daɫ]. I am no expert at phonetics, so I could not explain properly why these changes occur, especially not in English, all I could say is that they take place when the contact between the tip of the tongue and the alveolar ridge is lost and this loss is probably caused by the lowering of the back of the tongue. Mixing-up of [v] and [w] is a whole different story.
     
  28. TriglavNationalPark

    TriglavNationalPark Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    Are the sounds represented by lj in BCS and Slovenian really the same sound? I know almost nothing about phonology, but when I hear BCS speakers pronounce familiar words such as Ljubljana (IPA: [lʲubˈlʲana]), the BCS lj seems to be different -- more palatalized.



    In some Slovenian dialects, this occurs in other positions as well: Je šwa (= je šla).
     
  29. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    Russian
    Indeed, the only thing I want to say is that sounds [ɫ] and [w] are very different (unlike [ʎ] and [lʲ])
    Well, I personally do not need to go so far: it is enough to compare Russian "дал" and Ukrainian "дав" [dav/daw] or Belarussian "даў" [daw]. :)

    P.S.: But it is a phonematic, not just phonetic change.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  30. phosphore Senior Member

    Serbian
    You are right. I know nothing about Slovene but nevertheless I have noticed that your pronunciation of Ljubljana is quite different from ours. I guess I assigned [ʎ] to Slovene because someone before me did the same thing.
     
  31. jadeite_85 Senior Member

    Italy
    italian, slovene
    Thanks, that's a definition I was looking for :). There is an apical [l] and a laminal [l]. Are there some Slovene dialects with a more apical [l]?

    I was always thaught in school that the correct pronunciation in Slovene of L+J was [ʎ], so the same as in Italian and Serbian. I hear some Slovenian speakers that say Lublana instead of Ljubljana, but I guess that's not considered standard.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  32. TriglavNationalPark

    TriglavNationalPark Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    The unpalatalized "Lublana" definitely isn't standard (although it is, funnily enough, very common in Ljubljana itself), but I'm wondering if the standard Slovenian lj is different than the Serbian lj.

    I'm IPA-illiterate, so I'm having a hard time understanding the difference between [lʲ] and [ʎ] (except that the latter is more palatalized, I presume); I don't know which one best represents the Slovenian lj. The IPA transcription of Ljubljana above uses [lʲ], but the source for that is Wikipedia, and even Wikipedia can get things wrong. ;)
     
  33. phosphore Senior Member

    Serbian
    Well, firstly it is phonetic and the phonology may or may not be involved afterwards :)
     
  34. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    To quote all recent posts concerning this question: I think the actual transcription of this "soft lj" in Slovene and BCS is more or less "arbitrary".
    One always should keep in mind that [lʲ] and [ʎ] are closely related sounds; yes, Russian <ль> is different from BCS <lj>, but this isn't the reason why the Russian sound is transcribed [lʲ] - the reason for this is rather that in Russian there is regular palatalisation for most consonants, and for palatalisation [ʲ] is used in phonetical notation.

    Technically, one could as well use [lʲ] for transcription of BCS <lj>: as is the case (as has been mentioned) for Slovene which is in phonemics much closer to BCS than any other Slavic language - even though Slovene and BCS <lj> too differ: ideally, a phonetical transcription should have only one symbol for one sound but with the many different shades there exist between languages such narrow transcriptions are rarely used (one would have to use many diacritics to achieve this).
    So "standard IPA" notation [lʲ] and [ʎ] is not very exact to begin with - because those symbols anyway are used for different sounds in "conventional" notation systems as used in different countries; that's why we won't achieve much by discussing the letters used in "conventional" notation systems.

    As I see it, the finer details are, conerning Russian, BCS and Slovene:

    - Russian [lʲ] is a palatalised "l", which in the case of "l" means a slightly advanced pronunciation (a "fronted" l, pronounced not far behind teeth and alveoles), as opposed to "ordinary l" which is more or less velarised (I've accessed some audio samples, it seems the degree of velarisation depends on phonetical context).
    Russian [lʲ] actually in some positions is quite close to ordinary IPA [l] (especially if followed by a consonant, while when followed by a palatal consonant - as in e. g. <лет> - the difference is more clearly audible): if "ordinary l" in Russian would be pronounced like German [l] then it would be quite difficult to distinguish [l] and [lʲ] clearly.
    But as palatalised "l" is in opposition to "dark l" there's no mistaking both phonemes in Russian.

    - BCS [ʎ] too is in opposition to a more or less velarised "ordinary l" (one may argue that BCS "ordinary l" = <l> is more or less velarised than its Russian counterpart, or probably there are indeed different pronunciations of "l" in Serbian and Croatian, but there can be no doubt that BCS "l" is not a standard IPA [l].*)
    As far as pronunciation is concerned I think I've heard from native speakers different versions of BCS <lj>: some clearly pronounce it as [ʎ] (clearly palatal "l", similar to Italian "gli"), and some pronounce it more like in Slovene. But I might be wrong here.
    In any case BCS <lj> clearly would be differentiated from ordinary <l> as the latter is more or less velarised.

    *) I've looked up some phrases on Omniglot**) - and at least with the speakers there the Croatian voice seems to velarise only slightly while the Serbian voices velarise stronger; however, in some cases the same speakers are used for Croatian and Serbian version so that probably isn't significant.
    **) This is a link to an audio file, which of course according to our rules needs moderator approval before posting.
    So in all fairness, and to make discussion easier: it is okay to link to the Omniglot audio files in this thread if you also want to quote some, for the sake of this topic. :) (You can switch this site to versions of most other Slavic languages: just scroll down and click the language.) In this case you don't need to ask beforehand.


    - Slovene [lj] is in contrast rather "l" followed by a slight "j": so not quite the Russian one nor the clearly palatal [ʎ] as used by many BCS speakers (and also as used in Italian, of course). Or so I think.
    The problem is that many Slovene speakers (noticeably, as already has been mentioned, those from the capital Ljubljana itself) substitute "lj" with ordinary "l" (and thus pronounce the capital "Lublana", which of course is substandard as Triglav has mentioned).
    Thus, the pronunciation of <lj> as "l" followed by "j" (rather than "true" [ʎ]) could be an error by those native speakers themselves (those who don't have the sound in their dialect), and it might be that in correct pronunciation of standard language <lj> actually should be pronounced more like [ʎ] (but if this is so I think you rarely hear this from native speakers).
    Anyway, be that as it may - "ordinary l" in Slovene is pretty much standard IPA [l], thus the auditive difference between <lj> and <l> is by far less pronounced than in Russian and BCS - and thus it is no wonder that merging of both phonemes into one occurs (as is common in colloquial speech).


    (I only hope I've got the basics about "l" in those three languages more or less right; for me the problem is that I'm not a native speaker of none of these languages. :))
     
  35. TriglavNationalPark

    TriglavNationalPark Senior Member

    Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    Wow, thank you so much for your thorough explanation, Sokol! :cool:
     
  36. jadeite_85 Senior Member

    Italy
    italian, slovene
    Thanks Sokol, I've found your explanation very useful. :)

    About LJ in Slovene, I'm reading the Žagar grammar and I haven't found any [ʎ]or [lʲ]. In fact it seems that Žagar implies that L + J is a combination of sounds rather than a single phoneme.

    Jože Toporišič in his Slovenska Slovnica says: "Zvočnik L ima pred pisanim J (ki stoji na koncu besede ali v isti besedi pred soglasnikom) v knjižnem jeziku predviden tudi izgovor s privzdignjenim srednjim delom jezika (prim. polj, poljski). Prvi L se imenuje navadni (srednjeevropski), drugi mehčani (palatalizirani). Vendar namesto palataliziranega L v knjižnem jeziku običajno govorimo navadnega. T.i. trdi L, izgovorjen s hkratno pridvignjenostjo zadnje jezične ploskve, ni knjižen."

    Navadni L is "standard L". Mehčani is "palatalized L" (so I guess as Sokol explained). However he says that instead of the palatalized one it is permitted to use the standard one even in standard Slovene.
    About the trdi L, that must be the Serbian one, so there have to be Slovene dialects which have this one.

    So I was wrong, but that is probably due to the strong Italian influence on Slovenian dialects in Italy. So it may be that Slovenes here pronounce lj as Italian gli.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  37. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    Russian
    Thanks, Sokol, your explanation was great. :)
    Sure; it is naturally the strongest before back vowels ([o], ), the weakest before front vowels ([a], [e/ɛ]), and before [i/ɪ] no "hard" phonemes are possible at all.
    You're right, especially taking into account that the German "l" seems so "soft" to Russians that they usually interpret it as "ль" already: "Luft" -> "люфт", "mal" -> "маль", etc.
     
  38. bobthebob Member

    Slovenian
    Yes, the L in Trieste is rather unique. I'd also call it softer than the Slovenian L, but also softer than the "standard" Italian L.
    The standard Slovenian L is definitely more similar to the standard Italian L than the one in Trieste.
    You can hear this "Trieste L" in Slovenia, but just occasionally and from people who live near there in the coastal region. For example the Pop TV reporters Iztok Presl and Edi Pucer use it sometimes.

    The Slovenians who live in Italy have an entirely different dialect, even to those just a few km over the border. And yes, you can hear this L/LJ difference. An Italian Slovenian (also someone from Goriška Brda) might sometimes say something close to "Jubjana" when referring to the capital, while those in Ljubljana will say "Lublana". The truth is somewhere in the middle (in Postojna, perhaps? :D).
     
  39. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Concerning this quote I understand that Žagar says Slovene <lj> is a combination of (supposedly "ordinary") "l" plus "j", and that Toporišič says it is a "palatalised l" which would mean either [lʲ] or [ʎ] (supposedly the latter) but that in standard language usually that which Žagar says is true: <lj> = "l" plus "j", right?

    That would be consistent with what I wrote and what I think I hear usually when listening to Slovene native speakers.
     
  40. WannaBeMe

    WannaBeMe Senior Member

    Wetzlar,Germany
    Serbian (ijekavian)
    Right now I am in Russia celebrating New Year with my Russian Girlfriend :) so I have got a chance to compare Serbian l and lj vs russian l and lj.
    Indeed Russian l is just a little bit darker than Serbian l but for shure those are closer than Serbian l vs Croatian l which is just like German l.
    Serbian lj is identical to Italian gl. Russian lj is palatalized and to me sounds like Bulgarian soft l plus ½ j which I can hear more separate from eachother then by Serbian. Incontrary Serbian lj is only one sound, thus we dont heare more l or j but totaly mixed l and j.
     
  41. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    Russian
    Sorry, but Russians don't hear "j" here at all. :) Maybe it is an illusion caused by the Russian vowels, which are often actually diphtongoids (it would be more correct to write down stressed [o] and [e] as [uo] and [ie], for example, to mark a slight float of articulation). Do you really hear [j] in the end of words "ель", "капель", "свирель", "кабель", "пароль"?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  42. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    I agree that Russian "l" is not followed by "j" except of course if followed by "e" or other vowels which by definition are preceded by "j". Russian "l" is just a more palatal "l" (but as such, as established above and confirmed by native speakers, quite close to standard IPA [l]).

    Also, WannaBeMe, I found it very interesting to have confirmation for Serbians velarising their "l"s strongly while Croatians don't - I never noticed this before.

    Does anybody know if the non-velar "l" of Croatian speech is only a feature of Kajkavian and Zagreb speech (or Kajkavian/Zagreb/Chakavian speech), or is this also the case in Bosnia?
    (My guess is that Bosnian speech at least is velarised. Actually I thought that most speakers even of Croatian provenience are velarising more or less, as said I didn't realise that there's a non-velar "l" in Croatian speech at all. :))
     
  43. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    Russian
    Yes, I totally forgot about this possibility. :) But, of course, it rather refers to orthography than to phonetics and phonology.

    P.S.: By the way, following "е" doesn't orthographically cause the appearing of [j] consonant ("е" = [je] after vowel letters, in the beginning of words and after "ь" or "ъ"; otherwise it just makes the previous consonant to be soft). The same is about "ё", "ю" and "я". The only difference with "ё" is that it is always stressed.

    лэ /лэ/ - [ɫɛ]
    ле /л'э/ - [lʲe]
    лье /л'й'э/ - [lʲje]
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  44. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Whatever
    Non-velar L is a feature of Dalmatian dialects, I'd say. I've listened a bit to Severina and Goran Ivanišević (both from Split) interviews: they soften the L audibly before front vowels, but I think it remains velarized before back vowels and consonants. Severina's interviewer, apparently from Zagreb, uses dark L all around.
     
  45. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Thank you, Duya - so I do not suffer from imagination in its terminal stage. :)

    I've listened to quite some Croatian speakers recently (but not recently, not for more than a year) and I always thought they'd use a more or less velar "l". Unfortunately, tennis player interviews which get broadcast in Austria are those given in English. :)
     
  46. ilocas2 Banned

    Czech
    According to this brief summary about Czech dialects - http://kcjl3.upol.cz/zshml/dialektologie_prednaska.pdf (other resources about dialects say similar things), there are more than one L in some Czech dialects.

    a short extract from it:

    Východomoravská nářečí (dř. moravskoslovenská)
    dvojí l – měkké a tvrdé, např. ľipa, hład ad.

    Eastern Moravian dialects (formerly Moravian-Slovak)
    two l's - soft and hard, f.e. ľipa, hład etc.



    Slezská nářečí (dř. lašská)
    dvojí l – střední a tvrdé, např. lipa, hład ad.

    Silesian dialects (formerly Lachian)
    two l's - middle and hard, f.e. lipa, hład etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
  47. Panceltic Senior Member

    Slovenščina
    In Slovene, there is only one [l] as far as I know - the normal one. Spelling "lj" indicates two sounds, [l] + [j]. If this combination appears at the and of the word, the [j] part is not pronounced at all. The same goes for "nj".

    Compare:
    written: kralj - kralja
    BCS: [kraʎ] - [kraʎa]
    Slovene: [kral] - [kralja]

    written: konj - konja
    BCS: [koɲ] - [koɲa]
    Slovene: [kon] - [konja]
     

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