Soft consonants

mcibor

Senior Member
My friend found this, we think, error on wikipedia:

"soft consonants are spelt either ć, , ń, ś, ź, or ci, dzi, ni, si, zi (the difference is purely orthographic: ć, ń etc. are spelt before a consonant or word-finally while ci, ni etc. are spelt before a vowel; simple c, dz, n, s, z are spelt before i.)"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_language

Do you agree?

I think, that the example:
słońce - sun
słonice - female elephants

shows clear difference
But how to rephrase it?

"soft consonants are spelt either ć, , ń, ś, ź, or ci, dzi, ni, si, zi (the difference is, that in the later, vowel i is spoken as well: ć, ń etc. are spelt before a consonant or word-finally while ci, ni etc. are spelt before a vowel or when alone.)"

otherwise my surname (Cibor) could be pronounced zzibor (as in pizzicato), which is wrong (it's a rusizism)
??
Michał
 
  • Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    My friend found this, we think, error on wikipedia:

    "soft consonants are spelt either ć, , ń, ś, ź, or ci, dzi, ni, si, zi (the difference is purely orthographic: ć, ń etc. are spelt before a consonant or word-finally while ci, ni etc. are spelt before a vowel; simple c, dz, n, s, z are spelt before i.)"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_language

    Do you agree?

    I think, that the example:
    słońce - sun
    słonice - female elephants

    shows clear difference
    But how to rephrase it?

    "soft consonants are spelt either ć, , ń, ś, ź, or ci, dzi, ni, si, zi (the difference is, that in the later, vowel i is spoken as well: ć, ń etc. are spelt before a consonant or word-finally while ci, ni etc. are spelt before a vowel or when alone.)"

    otherwise my surname (Cibor) could be pronounced zzibor (as in pizzicato), which is wrong (it's a rusizism)
    ??
    Michał
    I've got some more doubts:
    I'd say that the difference isn't purely orthographic, although this may be the case in many instances, an example that is coming to my mind at the moment is rather drastic, so sorry if someone feels offended, but none was intended:
    ćpa vs cipa

    I can automatically discern the difference hearing any of them and not seeing which of those words was put down, my opinion is that (almost?) each native speaker would right away tell which word they are hearing. IMHO there's a clearly audible quantitative difference. I think that the /i/ sound is pronounced in both cases, but the difference is reflected, nevertheless.

    Another quibble I have is that I can quickly think of examples that contradict the "rule" saying that the i-ending ones are not written at the end of a word (or did I misunderstand something?):
    cień vs cieni
    [This is a perfect example to my first quibble, btw.]

    Another one the i-ending ones are also spelt in front of consonants:
    nikt

    And the last part of the excerpt:
    dzwon
    Dzadz (nazwisko)
    spać
    zmóc
    cwał



    Tom
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    [...]

    otherwise my surname (Cibor) could be pronounced zzibor (as in pizzicato), which is wrong (it's a rusizism)
    ??
    Michał
    This got me thinking, could you please elaborate on how you came up with such pronunciation? Each time I pronounce [cibor] I always say [tsi] (well more or less [ts] as there's no separate sign in IPA for our /c/), but I can't imagine how a Polish native speaker would pronounce it with double [z].



    Tom
     

    mcibor

    Senior Member
    This got me thinking, could you please elaborate on how you came up with such pronunciation? Each time I pronounce [cibor] I always say [tsi] (well more or less [ts] as there's no separate sign in IPA for our /c/), but I can't imagine how a Polish native speaker would pronounce it with double [z].

    Tom
    You are correct, only you forgot / don't know how to pronounce pizzicato. zz is pronounced as in pizza (with single ts sound). And I forgot about the ts sound. My fault. My math teacher (60 year old) pronounced it like that, which I really didn't like.

    Outsider: thanks for correcting my English, had to be really tired writing so many mistakes.

    Back to the topic, as we all agreed, the wikipedia text contains some mistakes. Could you please then point me in the right direction to correct it?

    For me ć and ci (and other pairs) it is the same sound, but ć is short and ci is long.
    Yes, moreover ci can be accented and ć can't. But still the difference in not pure orthographic, as is nowadays u and ó.

    Thanks
    Michał Ćibor ;)
     
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