Are ś/ź/ć/dź/ and sz/ż/cz/dż rounded in Polish?

  • ornityna

    Member
    Polish
    These sounds are not rounded. The crucial difference between ś,ź,ć,dź and sz,ż,cz,dż is the position of the toungue. The former group is soft while the latter is hard.
    In order to pronounce ś,ź,ć,dź, you have to raise the front of the tongue (flat); in order to pronounce sz,ż,cz,dż, it is useful to say english [r] and, with the same tongue gesture, try to raise the tongue in order to produce the hushing sound.
    Lip rounding does not play a role here.
     

    LoveVanPersie

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, Hakka
    These sounds are not rounded. The crucial difference between ś,ź,ć,dź and sz,ż,cz,dż is the position of the toungue. The former group is soft while the latter is hard.
    In order to pronounce ś,ź,ć,dź, you have to raise the front of the tongue (flat); in order to pronounce sz,ż,cz,dż, it is useful to say english [r] and, with the same tongue gesture, try to raise the tongue in order to produce the hushing sound.
    Lip rounding does not play a role here.
    x and j in Mandarin (Pinyin) are also transcribed [ɕ] and [t͡ɕ] respectively, as are ś and ć in Polish. But they sound different from the two in Polish, probably because of the rounding. Listen [ɕi] and [t͡ɕi] in Mandarin.
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    In order to pronounce ś,ź,ć,dź, you have to raise the front of the tongue (flat);
    That's interesting... I remember that since I had been told that my soft consonants sound somewhat Ruthenian and my teacher advised me to articulate them further from the front, I tend to raise the central part of the tongue, while the front part is turned down and almoust touches the lower teeth.

    in order to pronounce sz,ż,cz,dż, it is useful to say english [r] and, with the same tongue gesture, try to raise the tongue in order to produce the hushing sound.
    Lip rounding does not play a role here.
    I noticed that when I attempt to produce a clear, hard hushing sound, I tend to round my lips. But I do not think it happens during a natural speach.
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    x and j in Mandarin (Pinyin) are also transcribed [ɕ] and [t͡ɕ] respectively, as are ś and ć in Polish. But they sound different from the two in Polish, probably because of the rounding. Listen [ɕi] and [t͡ɕi] in Mandarin.
    To my ear, the former sound, [ɕi], sounds like being articulated using the front of the tongue, while the Polish "ś" is articulated using the central part of the tongue, and raising it much stronger towards the palate.

    The [t͡ɕi] sound does not sound soft at all to me. I hear it almost as "ts-ee" - except that I do not think such a combination is possible in Polish, as "i" (='ee') softens the preciding consonant, while after hard c (=ts) a non-softening vowel must follow (a, e, o, u, y). But again - when I try to reproduce this sound, I use the front of my tongue, while when I produce a Polish 'ć' I use a central part instead. Slight rounding of the lips can be helpful, but I do not think it plays a major role here.
     

    2wrbk

    Member
    Polski
    I'd argue that rounding does play a role here, although it's not very significant. If you pronounce /ʃ, ʒ, tʃ, dʒ/ with the same type of rounding as /ɕ, ʑ, tɕ, dʑ/ the result sounds a bit strange, or at least idiolectal. To me, the former series typically have a slight rounding akin to that of the cardinal [œ] (if not even less than that). It's much less pronounced than the [ø]-like rounding of German postalveolars, but it's there. If they're completely unrounded, that gives them a somewhat unpleasant bidental coarticulation, which is slightly reminescent of one lisped variant of /ʃ, ʒ, tʃ, dʒ/ which you could transcribe with a superscript <f> (for the voiceless sounds) and <v> (for the voiced ones). Basically, these are [ʃ, ʒ, tʃ, dʒ] that sound in-between [ʃ, ʒ, tʃ, dʒ] and [f, v, pf, bv]. The unrounded [ʃ, ʒ, tʃ, dʒ] are similar to these variants and that's why I think that they're somewhat non-standard. The full unrounding sounds worse in the fricatives, the affricates are less affected by it.

    The alveolo-palatal sibilants are, to the best of my knowledge, categorically unrounded.

    Mandarin alveolo-palatals vary between being alveolo-palatal and palatalized alveolar (or palatalized dental, depending on how you classify the most anterior series of Mandarin sibilants). You can't afford to have such a variation in Polish. If you want to sound native, you must make your /ɕ, ʑ, tɕ, dʑ/ categorically alveolo-palatal, as the palatalized alveolar/dental versions sound to us like variants of /s, z, ts, dz/. They are too hard.
     
    Last edited:

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I have tried to produce very clear ś, ź, ć and dź, and this caused that my lips became very broad like i a smile, with only a thin opening, quite opposite of rounding. In the Mandarin pronunciation of [ɕi] I can hear a very clear to step sibilant (affricate), which I don't hear in Polish "affricates".
     

    yezyk

    Member
    Polish
    No.
    The former are pronounced with a flatter (and higher, with the middle closer to the palate) tongue.
    So you could say there is some "rounding" of the tongue for the latter (the tongue is a bit lower, and the tip goes up slightly, approximating the alveolar ridge).
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top