Slovenian: Schwa before l and v

2wrbk

Member
Polski
Hello. Does the diphthong [əu̯] (as in topel "warm", but I think it can also be spelled as ev) appear in both stressed and unstressed syllables or is it unstressed by definition? Also, can the schwa occur before a non-vocalized [l] and [v]? If so, can these combinations appear in both stressed and unstressed environments, or are there constraints?
 
  • Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    Hello again! It can be spelled ev yes, for example mrtev /ˈmərtəu̯/ ("dead").

    A case of this diphthong appearing in a stressed position is pekel /pəˈkəu̯/, gen. pekla /pəˈkla/ ("hell"). In line with the general tendency in modern (central) Slovenian to move the stress back, this word is more commonly pronounced /ˈpəkəu̯/, gen. /ˈpəkla/. There is also sel /ˈsəu̯/, gen. sla /ˈsla/ ("messenger, courier") although this word is a bit bookish and archaic and an average speaker will probably say /ˈsɛl/ when encountering this word in print.

    I believe it is not possible for the schwa to occur before a non-vocalized [l] and [v] as this would mean something is following them, so the schwa is redundant and disappears. A possible case would be the Czech town of Plzeň which we pronounce as /ˈpəlzɛn/. There are of course dialectal words with this sequence like the famous [ˈvəlki] ("big") in Štajerska dialects, but this is a different story altogether.
     

    2wrbk

    Member
    Polski
    Thanks.

    So, would you say that stressed [əu̯] is rare? That's my understanding of your message.

    Yeah, that makes sense. I suppose another example of the stressed /əl/ sequence is the river of Vltava /ˈvəltava/ (?), again in the Czech Republic. That's my guess anyway since it's pronounced with a syllabic /l/ in Serbo-Croatian.
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    Hm, I wouldn't say it is rare - it occurs in the very often used word šel (masuline past participle of "to go") and in all its derivatives (prišel, odšel, zašel, prešel etc.)

    Vltava is indeed pronounced like you presumed.
     

    iezik

    Senior Member
    Slovenian
    So, would you say that stressed [əu̯] is rare? That's my understanding of your message.

    Hm, I wouldn't say it is rare - it occurs in the very often used word šel (masuline past participle of "to go") and in all its derivatives (prišel, odšel, zašel, prešel etc.)

    Panceltic, a question or two for you.

    You're describing the standard language. This can be found in the grammars and in the dictionaries.

    For the everyday language, I would prefer to say that we either pronounce -el participles either as [eu̯] (approximating standard) or [ u] (more colloquially). I know that IPA allows several styles for annotating the same texts, but the sound of both letters /e/ in /prešel/ are similar to me and so I would use the same symbol. I haven't measured the formants, let's start with impressionistic annotation.

    Two examples from the internet that I would annotate as [eu̯]:

    1) Forvo "prišel" (there's only one Slovene pronunciation)
    2) Weather forecast at TV Slovenija (search for "vreme ob 22h 174598855") yesterday (28th Feb), time 0:35 the word "pretopel".

    So, now the questions:

    Do you consider these two pronuncations of /-el/ to be standard? How do you transcribe them?
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    Do you consider these two pronuncations of /-el/ to be standard? How do you transcribe them?

    I hear [ɛu̯] in both cases. (A word with [eu̯] that I can think of right now is imel.)

    I think that the difference in pronunciation is minimal really. I don't know if it can be considered as standard, but it is certainly common enough that I wouldn't recognise it as "wrong".
     
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