Slovak: kto pronounced as gdo

Tisztul_A_Visztula

Senior Member
Hungarian
First I heard “gdo” in a Hungarian village by a local who spoke Slovak. I thought it was just a rare dialectic form of “kto”. But since then I was hearing it a lot of times and start to feel that it is a general phenomenon. As a sideinfo I know that in Slovak there is the assimilation rule of “spoluhlásky”, so “holub” is pronounced as “holup” or “riedky” as “rietky” etc. But in case of “kto” both “k” and “t” are “neznelé spoluhlásky”, so I guess saying it as “gdo” has maybe nothing to do with the assimilation.

1. Or is there any sort of double assimilation involving a vowel ? I mean because of “o” “t” becomes “d”, and because of that “k” becomes “g”?

2. If so and before a vowel there is always an assimilation see “k obloku” as “gobloku” then a pure “to” would be pronounced as “do” which would cause a lot of confusion in understanding short words like these two, and anyway I never heard “to” pronounced this way.

3. “Kto” is pronounced as “gdo”, but is the the same with all the words starting with “kt”, like “ktorý, ktosi, ktohovie”, and also those where “kt” is in the middle of a word, like “niekto, nikto, niktoš”?

4. Special case :) : nektár is pronounced like nektár, isn’t it?
 
  • Marek_D

    Member
    Slovak
    I thought it was just a rare dialectic form of “kto” .... start to feel that it is a general phenomenon.
    "Gdo" is a common enough pronunciation, but it is considered informal. You wouldn't really hear newsreaders or reporters pronounce it that way.

    “holub” is pronounced as “holup”
    Not always. I think "holub" is one of those examples in which the pronunciation depends on whether the sound that follows is voiced or unvoiced/voiceless.
    E.g. in the phrase "holub tam je" it is indeed pronounced "holuP", but, if the next sound was voiced; e.g. "holub znie", then you'd just pronounce it "holuB").

    I guess saying it as “gdo” has maybe nothing to do with the assimilation.
    I think you're right in saying that.

    a pure “to” would be pronounced as “do”
    No.

    is the the same with all the words starting with “kt”, like “ktorý, ktosi, ktohovie”, and also those where “kt” is in the middle of a word, like “niekto, nikto, niktoš”?
    You could only do that with ktosi/gdosi, ktohovie/gdohovie, niekto/niegdo, and nikto/nigdo. Again, "[gd-]" = informal.

    4. Special case :) : nektár is pronounced like nektár, isn’t it?
    Yes.
     

    Irbis

    Senior Member
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    Yes, "kdo" in standard in Slovene, but it was also written as "gdo" occasionally in 15th century. And "gdo" was also used in Prekmurje dialect near Hungarian border.
    And in colloquial writing "gdo" is sometimes written instead "kdo".
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    You could only do that with ktosi/gdosi, ktohovie/gdohovie, niekto/niegdo, and nikto/nigdo. Again, "[gd-]" = informal.
    First, thanks formthenreally detailed answer.

    I got that ktorý and its form are not part of this “game”, but it is a bit strange that you did not list niktoš, too.

    So I made search here NIKTOŠ for an etimology, but surprisingly I found a more evident answer under the section of Slovník slovenských nárečí A – K, L – P z r. 1994, 2006.

    niktoš m. (ňigdoš, ňichtoš)”
     

    vianie

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    2. If so and before a vowel there is always an assimilation see “k obloku” as “gobloku”
    It doesn't works this way always (or everywhere). Again, in the West you can hear "v aute" as "f_aute" or "z okna" as "s_okna" with a glottal stop in its midst.

    "Gdo" is a common enough pronunciation, but it is considered informal. You wouldn't really hear newsreaders or reporters pronounce it that way.
    That's true. However there are many public figures who reguralry say "gdo", especially politicians come to my mind.

    I personally say "kto", but when I speak faster, familiarly and I'm not so concentrated I easily switch to "gdo".

    I guess, in all these cases it has arisen by interference with kde, where d is etymological.
    In Czech theres's a pronoun kdekdo meaning numerous persons without further determination.
     
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    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    Yes, "kdo" in standard in Slovene, but it was also written as "gdo" occasionally in 15th century. And "gdo" was also used in Prekmurje dialect near Hungarian border.
    And in colloquial writing "gdo" is sometimes written instead "kdo".

    It is written kdo but pronounced gdo everywhere, no matter the location or the level of formality. (You can’t pronounce kd as written according to Slovenian phonotactics).
     

    Marek_D

    Member
    Slovak
    but it is a bit strange that you did not list niktoš, too
    I wasn't too sure about "niktoš", to be completely honest. The word itself already sounds a bit old-fashioned/archaic as it is. You'll mostly find it in books, but I highly doubt it's still part of many people's active vocabulary these days.

    "Nigdoš" sounds...a bit off to me. Maybe it's the presence of "š" (a voiceless consonant) at the end, or the fact that I haven't really heard (m)any people pronounce it that way before, who knows! If someone out there actually says "nigdoš" on a regular basis then I think there's a good chance that person also has an accent or speaks in some sort of a dialect as well.

    That's true. However there are many public figures who reguralry say "gdo", especially politicians come to my mind.
    Of course. Many/most public figures (including politicians) speak informally (or even use dialect words) sometimes. "Gdo" is one of those examples that are so common nowadays that they hardly strike anyone as being "informal" anymore. Similar to using "jak" instead of "ako", or saying "napadlo ma" instead of "napadlo mi".
     
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    Marek_D

    Member
    Slovak
    I found ňigdoš and ňichtoš, but not ňigtoš.
    Sorry, I actually meant "nigdoš" (I've corrected my previous post now). Also, just for clarity: the first sound is "ň", but I keep writing "n" out of habit (we don't put accent marks [by "accent marks", I am specifically referring to what we call a "mäkčeň" : ˇ in Slovak] over de/te/ne/le/di/ti/ni/li).

    Regarding "ňichtoš", I have never heard that in my life.
     
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    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Also, just for clarity: the first sound is "ň", but I keep writing "n" out of habit (we don't put accent marks
    Sure, I knew it. But I found these words in these forms on the link I inserted. I thought that some of the Slovak words has kept its archaic form. Or do you mean that these are simply mistakes in that dictionary?
     

    Marek_D

    Member
    Slovak
    I found these words in these forms on the link I inserted
    It says it's from the "Slovník slovenských nárečí" though ("The Slovak Dialect Dictionary")
    For the most part, I can only answer questions about standard Slovak. Dialects are a whole different story - not just in Slovak, but in pretty much any other language as well.

    I thought that some of the Slovak words has kept its archaic form.
    Not that I'm aware of. I can't think of any examples where we would still put a "mäkčeň" over d/n/t when followed by e/é/i/í.
    The word "ňigdoš" is listed in your source as a dialect word. It is not an official word in standard Slovak. Which kind of reaffirms what I originally said in my post earlier [this was before I even clicked on the link you had provided] when I said:

    If someone out there actually says "nigdoš" on a regular basis then I think there's a good chance that person also has an accent or speaks in some sort of a dialect as well.
     
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