Macedonian: fixed accent ?

pastet89

Senior Member
bulgarian
Hi,
is it true, that in the Macedonian language there is a rule for a fixed accent, and it is:
the most possible front syllable, but not frontier than the third syllable, counted backwords?
Examples:
жéна /2nd backwords/
демокрáциja /3rd backwords/
Now I have heard that rule, but it sounds strange to me if I add the article at the end of the second word, as then it should read:
демокрaцѝjaта /3rd backwords/

Any comments on that?
Thanks!
 
  • uugsxq

    New Member
    Serbo-Croatian
    is it true, that in the Macedonian language there is a rule for a fixed accent, and it is:
    the most possible front syllable, but not frontier than the third syllable, counted backwords?

    In isolation, yes; in trisyllabic and polysyllabic words, stress falls on the antepenultimate syllable, and in disyllabic words it falls on the penultimate syllable. However, this stress pattern applies at the phrase level: су́во 'dry' and гро́зје '(collective) grapes,' but суво́‿грозје '(collective) raisins.' The latter constitutes a phrasal unit. There are lexical exceptions to this stress pattern (mostly foreign words); e.g. биоло́г.
     

    pastet89

    Senior Member
    bulgarian
    So what would be the accent respectively on:

    девоjка
    девоjката

    I am quite sure I have heard девójка by native Macedonians, дéвojка sounds too Serbian for me?
     

    uugsxq

    New Member
    Serbo-Croatian
    де́воjка
    дево́jката

    I am quite sure I have heard девójка by native Macedonians, дéвojка sounds too Serbian for me?

    Dialects outside of the Western region have different stress patterns, so it's possible that you did indeed hear дево́jка.

    Edit: I can confirm that it's pronounced дево́jка in Kratovo and диво́jка in Gevgelija.
     
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    123xyz

    Senior Member
    Macedonian
    As a native speaker, I confirm what uugsxq has said about the Macedonian stress system, but I feel that I need to clarify some points about phrasal units: It's not ALL phrasal units that cause shifts in stress, but rather ones that are more than the sum of their parts, i.e. that are stored separately in the mental lexicon (exceptions being sequences of content words and clitics such as certain short pronoun forms and the negation particle - the rules governing these exceptions are complex so I won't dwell on them). The unit "суво грозје" is an example of this because it's doesn't just refer to any grapes in a dry state (e.g. grapes which were wet but which were dried off with a towel afterwards) - raisins are in fact considered a separate kind of food. To borrow from colloquial speech, raisins are a thing. However, "зрело грозје" (mature grapes) is nothing more than a sequence of an adjective and a noun, so the two bisyllabic words are stressed on their first syllables, as they would be in isolation.

    Anyhow, I would like to point out that in the dialect of Skopje, we don't have prosodic units at all, such that we even pronounce "суво грозје" as a sequence of two bisyllabic words. Moreover, we judge the usage of prosodic units as overly formal or otherwise folksy. Nonetheless, prosodic units are definitely part of the standard language.

    As for "девојка", the standard stress is "ДЕвојка". The definite form is "деВОјката" (so, I'm confirming again what uugsxq says, not that there was a particular need, of course). In addition to being standard, these forms are the ones used in Skopje.

    As for "демокрација", the correct word is in fact "демократија", with a "т", and its definite form is indeed stressed as pastet89 has suggested (демоКРАтија > демокраТИјата). Even though this word is of Greek origin, it undergoes a shift in stress upon receiving a definite article.

    P.S. pastet89, you say that Macedonian has fixed stress, since it's almost always on the antipenultimate syllable, but I would rather call it dynamic, emphasizing its other aspect, namely it's tendency to move when affixes are introduced.
     
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