BCS: Falling tone

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by PiotrR, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. PiotrR Member

    Chinese (Mandarin)
    Hello! Is it true that the only place in which the falling tone can occur in BCS is the first syllable? That's precisely what's written on the 16th page of "Bosnian Croatian Serbian - A Textbook with Excercises and Basic Grammar", and they say it's the reason why they don't mark falling tone in words.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  2. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Theoretically, yes. In practice, not quite: Neo-Shtokavian metatony is not as productive as it used to be, and there are many words, mostly loans and internationalisms, with falling accents on later syllables in vernacular. Some purist lectors, such as ones on RTS (Serbia) insist on the rule with their TV speakers, but the end result often sounds stilted (Aùstralija).

    Examples include:
    - some compounds (poljoprïvreda)
    - m. nouns on -ent (asistënt, eksponënt)
    - some 5-syllable f. nouns on -cija (erudîcija, distribûcija, institûcija)
    - some "isolates" (Austrâlija, paradäjz)
    and many more. (Pardon my improvised accent signs, typing from a mobile device.) For a more thorough list, see e.g:

    Pranjković, Ivo, 2001. Za demokratizaciju
    hrvatske ortoepske norme

    Some of his examples are exclusively Croatian, but many are valid across modern BCS area.
  3. PiotrR Member

    Chinese (Mandarin)
    Thanks for the thorough explanation! How does that relate to the declension though? I bet some change must be happening.
  4. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Did you mean, declension of exceptions I listed above? It is not much affected, as they are longish words whose stress in declension is not mobile anyway.

    One class of interest are bisyllabic words with long rising accent. In genitive plural, it normally changes to long falling:

    tvórac - tvȏrācā

    When they make second part of a compound, an accent shift is supposed to occur, to protect the falling accent:

    vatrogásac - vatrògāsācā, mirotvórac - miròtvōrācā, Crnogórac - Crnògōrācā, prvobórac - prvòbōrācā

    In practice, that seldom happens, and people tend to keep the falling accent:

    vatrogȃsācā, mirotvȏrācā, Crnogȏrācā, prvobȏrācā
  5. PiotrR Member

    Chinese (Mandarin)
    Yes, that's precisely what I meant. Thanks for the answer!

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