Bulgarian: Pronunciation of L

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by DarkChild, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. DarkChild Senior Member

    I've been wondering where the difference in L pronunciation comes from.

    It is a harder L (which is slowly but surely becoming like W) before consonants, а, о , у, ъ and at the end of a word. Softer as in Spanish before e and и. There's also a third palatalized L when followed by ь, ю and я.

    What is the origin of these differences in pronunciation?
  2. iobyo Senior Member

    Bitola, Macedonia
    The first variant, [ɫ], is from PSl. *l (*lopata → лопата), the second is from either PSl. *l or *ĺ (i.e. they have both merged to [l] before front vowels; ex. *lice → лице, *poĺe → поле), and the third is from *ĺ (*mysĺǫ → мисля). The third variant might also be from lateral + *-ьj-, but I'm not too sure as far as Bulgarian is concerned. I'm also not sure how Bulgarian treats laterals in loanwords; some are soft (абсолютен, еволюция) while others aren't (бътерфлай).
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  3. DarkChild Senior Member

    Loanwords are treated the same way as all others.

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