World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Belarusian phonology

Article Id: WHEBN0010084441
Reproduction Date:

Title: Belarusian phonology  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Belarusian language, American Sign Language phonology, Nepali phonology, Avestan phonology, Afrikaans phonology
Collection: Belarusian Language, Language Phonologies
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Belarusian phonology

The phonological system of the modern Belarusian language consists of at least 44 phonemes: 5 vowels and 39 consonants. Consonants may also be geminated. There is not absolute agreement on the number of phonemes, so that rarer or contextually variant sounds are included by some scholars.

Many consonants may form pairs that differ only in palatalization (called hard vs soft consonants, the latter being represented in the IPA with the symbol ʲ). In some of such pairs, the place of articulation is additionally changed (see distinctive features below). There are also unpaired consonants that have no corollary in palatalization.

Contents

  • Distinctive features 1
  • Vowels 2
  • Consonants 3
  • Notes 4
  • Sources 5

Distinctive features

As an East Slavic language, Belarusian phonology is very similar to Russian phonology, and also rather similar to Ukrainian phonology. The primary differences are:[1]

  • Akannye (Belarusian: аканне) – the merger of unstressed /o/ into /a/. Unlike in standard Russian (akanye), the pronunciation of the merged vowel is a clear open front unrounded vowel [a], including after soft consonants and /j/. (Ukrainian does not have this merger at all.)
  • Lack of ikanye. Unlike in Russian (but as in Ukrainian), there is no merger of unstressed /e/ and /i/, and no merger of unstressed /a ~ o/ with /i/ after soft consonants.
  • Unlike in Russian, there is no emphasized separation after the /j/ in the pronunciation of the iotified /ja/, /jo/, /je/ and /ji/.[2]
  • Tsyekannye (Belarusian: цеканне) and dzyekannye (Belarusian: дзеканне) – the pronunciation of Old East Slavic /tʲ/,/dʲ/ as soft affricates [tsʲ], [dzʲ]. (Note that many Russian speakers similarly affricate phonemic /tʲ/,/dʲ/, but this is not universal and not written.)
  • Relatively stronger palatalization of /sʲ/ and /zʲ/.[3]
  • Postalveolar consonants are all hard (laminal retroflex) while Russian and Ukrainian have both hard and soft postalveolars.
  • /rʲ/ has hardened and merged with /r/.
  • Unlike in standard Russian, phonemic /v/ and /l/ merge as [w] syllable-finally. This is reflected in the spelling, which uses a special symbol known as "non-syllabic u" (Belarusian: у нескладовae),[4] written as an ‹u› with a breve diacritic on top of it: ‹ў›,? ‹ŭ›.?

Note also that, unlike in Russian, Belarusian spelling closely represents surface phonology rather than the underlying morphophonology. For example, akannye, tsyekannye, dzyekannye and the [w] allophone of /v/ and /l/ are all written. The representation of akannye in particular introduces striking differences between Russian and Belarusian orthography.

Vowels

Belarusian script IPA Description Belarusian example
i /i/ close front unrounded лiст ('leaf')
э /ɛ/ open-mid front unrounded гэты ('this one')
ы [ɨ] close central unrounded мыш ('mouse')
a /a/ open central unrounded кат ('executioner')
у /u/ close back rounded шум ('noise')
о /ɔ/ open-mid back rounded кот ('cat')

As with Russian, [ɨ] is not a separate phoneme, but an allophone of /i/ occurring after non-palatalized consonants.[5]

Consonants

The consonants of Belarusian are as follows:[6]
Labial Alveolar
/Dental
Retro
-flex
Velar
plain pala. plain pala. plain pala.
Nasal m n̪ʲ
Stop p
b


k
(g)

(gʲ)
Affricate ts̪
dz̪
ts̪ʲ
dz̪ʲ
ʈʂ
ɖʐ
Fricative f
v

s
z

ʂ
ʐ
x
ɣ

ɣʲ
Approximant
(Lateral)
j (w)
l̪ʲ
Trill r

Similar to Dutch, the rare phonemes /ɡ/ and /ɡʲ/ are present only in several borrowed words (ганак [ˈɡanak], гузік [ˈɡuzik], гандаль [ˈɡandalʲ]), however, other borrowed words may still have the fricative pronunciation: геаграфія [ɣʲeaˈɣrafʲija] ('geography').

As a syllable coda, /v/ is pronounced [w] ([u̯], forming diphthongs) and is spelled ў.[7] There are also alternations between /l/ and this post-vocalic /v/; though restricted to the past tense of verbs,[8] [w] may derive etymologically from /l/ as with воўк [vɔwk] ('wolf'), which comes from Proto-Slavic *vьlkъ (as with Dutch goud "gold").

The geminated variations are transcribed as follows:

  • падарожжа [padaˈroʒʒa]
  • ззяць [zʲzʲatsʲ]
  • стагоддзе [staˈɣoddzʲe]
  • каханне [kaˈxanʲnʲe]
  • рассячы [rasʲˈsʲatʃɨ]
  • ліхалецце [lʲixaˈlʲettsʲe]
  • сярэднявечча [sʲarɛdnʲaˈvʲettʃa].

Notes

  1. ^ Sussex & Cubberly (2006:53)
  2. ^ Padluzhny (1989:53)
  3. ^ "Stronger than in Russian, weaker than in Polish", per Беларуская мова...
  4. ^ Padluzhny (1989:54)
  5. ^ Mayo (2002:890)
  6. ^ Mayo (2002:891)
  7. ^ S. Young (2006) "Belorussian". In the Encyclopedia of language and linguistics, 2nd ed.
  8. ^ Mayo (2002:899)

Sources

  • Belaruskaia mova, Vysheishaia shkola, 1991,  
  • Mayo, Peter (2002), "Belorussian", in  
  • Padluzhny, Ped (1989), Fanetyka belaruskai litaraturnai movy, p. 335,  
  • Sussex, Roland; Cubberly, Paul (2006), The Slavic Languages, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.