vet tri puta

serbianfan

Senior Member
British English
In a previous thread we talked about how the ‘h’ in ‘odmah se vraćam' is likely to become weak or disappear in normal rapid speech. But I suppose if you ask speakers of BCS whether they drop the ‘h’ there, most will deny it, just as educated English speakers will maintain they never ‘drop their h’s’, but if you listen to how they actually talk, they will say e.g. ‘I got ’er a present f’r ’e birthday’.

English also has lots of elision and assimilation of other consonant sounds, e.g. ‘right place’ is normally pronounced as ‘ripe place’, and I expect BCS does too, although there are far fewer words ending in consonants. I thought of a couple of possible examples (maybe a native speaker can suggest some more): ‘već tri puta’ where I presume the ‘ć’ becomes a kind of ‘t’ when you say it quickly, and the useful phrase for someone who drinks coffee without sugar: ‘bez šećera’, which maybe becomes ‘beš šećera’ in rapid speech.
 
  • Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    What you're describing is called regressive assimilation (a voiced consonant causes the preceding unvoiced consonant to become voiced, and vice versa) and it is in fact completely natural and standard in BCS, even reflected in the orthography - compare the verb učiti with the noun udžbenik (< uč-benik) or the name of the country Srbija and the corresponding adjective srpski (< srb-ski).

    Certain sounds then also further assimilate (and are, for the most part, simplified into a single sound) by place of articulation, for example t+c > c, s+š > š, z+ž > ž, s+č > šč. For instance, sudac > suci (plural) (< sut-ci < sud-ci), bešuman (< bez-šuman), iživeti (< iz-živeti), iščupati (< is-čupati < iz-čupati).

    While these changes are generally orthographically visible, this only applies within words. Across word boundaries the changes are not written down, hence we write bez šećera but say "bešećera" (interestingly, google finds 5 hits for the adjective bešećerni "sugar-free" which is how I'd expect it to be written but seemingly it's not a common word).

    Regarding već tri puta, I am not sure if I have ever heard ć+t > t. In Čakavian, ć is actually a very soft t (IPA: [c]) so maybe it happens there but I don't think it's a regular feature in standard, even rapid, speech.
     
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    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thanks, Panceltic. Yes, I should have realised that 'vet tri puta' was unlikely, as we don't say in English 'mut trouble' for 'much trouble'. Still, you can't always assume that alliterations and elisions are going to be the same between languages. You give the example of 'učiti' and 'udžbenik' - well, I don't say "ridge boy" instead of 'rich boy". However, there will be a number of common patterns, because people's mouths, tongues and teeth are presumably the same all over the world!

    So 'već tri puta' stays the same, but what about 'već dugo' - does that become 'veđ dugo'?
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    Still, you can't always assume that alliterations and elisions are going to be the same between languages. You give the example of 'učiti' and 'udžbenik' - well, I don't say "ridge boy" instead of 'rich boy".

    Oh yes, absolutely. I should have specified that I was talking about this particular language only. I am 100% aware it is not a universal trait across languages :) It's not even present in all Slavic languages.

    'već dugo' - does that become 'veđ dugo'

    It absolutely does! Listen to this masterpiece by Josipa Lisac, where "već dugo" are the first words :)
     

    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thanks, nice song! I'll listen to some more songs by Josipa Lisac when I have time. More for pleasure and 'cultural background' than for learning the language, though. I mainly listen to normal everyday speech for that, e.g. interviews with people in Serbia on YouTube.
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    Another thing you might have already noticed is that the ending -ao often gets shortened to just -o in very casual speech.

    kao > k'o

    rekao > rek'o

    posao > pos'o
     

    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thanks - I hadn't noticed that but I'll look out for it next time I listen to a conversation on YouTube! :)
     

    Lazar_Bgd

    Member
    Serbian - Serbia
    Indeed, you can hear this in everyday, somewhat sloppy, speech:

    K’o da nije normalan! (= He seems to be out of his mind!)
    Zasp’o sam tek u 3 ujutru (= I fell asleep only at 3 in the morning)
    Prest’o sam da pušim (= I quit smoking)

    However there are cases when this never happens like in „pao sam“ or „stao sam“ probably to avoid confusion because „po“ and „sto“ are words in their own right.

    Also note the cases when the „i“ drops out:

    Izvol’te! (= Here you are / Yes, please!)
    Izvin’te molim Vas! (= I beg your pardon!)

    And you can also hear „Ućte!“ for „Uđite!“ (= Do come in!)
     

    mvkj

    New Member
    Serbian / Croatian / Bosnian
    A few clarifications:

    - već dugo never gets pronounced veđ dugo, even though it may sound so to a foreigner. Josipa Lisac has a VERY peculiar way of singing, and she often doesn't pronounce sounds correctly (which makes part of her charm and style)

    - k'o / zasp'o / prest'o etc. is indeed very common in spoken language, and many people even write ko / zaspo / presto etc. It is incorrect to write so but many people do it, either because they don't know it's wrong or because it looks better without an apostrophe and saves time. Even though I say these words often without A, I always write AO as 'O looks odd / nerdy in a casual chat

    - you can hardly ever hear izvin'te and uđ'te (indeed sounds more like ućte) in Serbia, but it is very common in Bosnia (an easy way to realise someone is Bosnia!). izvol'te can be heard in Serbia but not super common, especially in Belgrade where pronouncing all sounds and doing it sort of slowly is "fancy"
     

    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hmm... That's interesting about "već dugo vs. veđ dugo" - there seem to be different opinions about this. I hope you don't mind me saying this, mvkj, but could it be that you're not aware of how people really speak? Like if you ask the average Englishman whether he says 'ripe place' for 'right place'? Which people normally do, but they don't realise it.

    It would be interesting to have some other opinions on već dugo vs. veđ dugo and perhaps similar partial assimilations.
     

    mvkj

    New Member
    Serbian / Croatian / Bosnian
    When I pronounce već dugo I definitely make the mouth movement for ć and not đ. Even though to others it could sound something in between as it's pronounced as one word plus rather quickly. Maybe other native speakers will have a different opinion.

    However, there are other assimilations where I would agree that the pronunciation does not match the writing. That's usually with words where sound change is considered wrong by the official rules, however the pronunciation difficulty forces this change. ds/dt is a good example: correct spellings are predsednik, predstaviti as d should not change to t in front of s or š. However, people pretty much say ts/tš. Similar to ao/'o issue above, this is again something where people make mistakes when writing.

    Another example of missing sounds that you may already know is čet(i)ri. Correct version is only četiri, however četri is a much more common pronunciation. And again another thing where people make a mistake.
     

    Mačak pod šlemom

    Member
    Serbian
    As a native Serbian speaker, I agree with you, Panceltic. "Već dugo" would be pronounced "veđ dugo" in a fast (or, as already said, "sloppy") speech, which is a kind you can very often encounter everyday, of course. But it can be pronounced "već dugo" if you speak in a way that you save stress for every word, which is a way of speech many people do. It may be more common in some regions than others, though, I never gave it much thought, but it mostly depends on occasion. Both pronunciations are perfectly natural and I wouldn't bother myself too much about that. To cut the story short: if you speak fast you'll (naturally) assimilate sounds, if you speak slowly and stress every word they will most probably stay as they are.
     

    Милан

    Senior Member
    Serbian (Србија)
    A few clarifications:

    - već dugo never gets pronounced veđ dugo, even though it may sound so to a foreigner.

    - k'o / zasp'o / prest'o etc. is indeed very common in spoken language, and many people even write ko / zaspo / presto etc. It is incorrect to write so but many people do it, either because they don't know it's wrong or because it looks better without an apostrophe and saves time. Even though I say these words often without A, I always write AO as 'O looks odd / nerdy in a casual chat

    - you can hardly ever hear izvin'te and uđ'te (indeed sounds more like ućte) in Serbia, but it is very common in Bosnia (an easy way to realise someone is Bosnia!). izvol'te can be heard in Serbia but not super common, especially in Belgrade where pronouncing all sounds and doing it sort of slowly is "fancy"
    You are wrong, unfortunately in all 3 things you wrote.
    Već dugo is almost ALWAYS pronounced as veđdugo in normal speech, the only time it isn't pronounced like that is when you speak VERY slowly, but that happens rarely.

    Ko/zaspo/presto is the correct way of writing it down, there is one more possibility: kô/zaspô/prestô but Serbs are generally lazy, they don't even use ć, č, đ, š and ž let alone the circumflex. Most people think that writing it with the apostrophe is correct, but it isn't, at least not in this case.

    And finally, you clearly don't live in Vojvodina, we do omit our i's. We say kašte (<kaž'te) instead of kažite, doćte (<dođ'te), izvin'te, doću (doći ću), iću (ići ću), reću (reći ću), bute (<bud'te). But we don't do that with personal names, so Milica stays Milica while in Bosnia they do omit it and Milica changes to Mil'ca.
     
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