* Slovenian

Note: in the representation of Slovenian orthography below, c^ z^ s^ stand for c z s with a superscript hacek (caron). If your browser is Unicode-compliant, go instead to the Unicode version.


In Standard Slovenian there are long and short vowels. The former are stressed only and the latter may be stressed or unstressed.

Long vowels (7):

SAMPA Symbol	Orthography	Transcription	English gloss
i:		pila		"pi:la		file
e:		pet		"pe:t		five
E:		teta		"tE:ta		aunt
a:		mama		"ma:ma		mother
O:		voda		"vO:da		water
o:		pot		"po:t		path
u:		sus^a		"su:Sa		drought

Short vowels:


The Standard Slovenian consonant system comprises 6 sonorants, 6 fricatives, 6 plosives and 3 affricates.


In Standard Slovenian the sonorants do not affect the voicing of the non-sonorant consonants standing in front of them. The sonorants are all voiced and do not have voiceless counterparts (the only exception is the allophone of /v/: [W]).

SAMPA Symbol	Orthography	Transcription	English gloss
m   		miza		"mi:za		table
n		noc^		"no:tS		night
l   		leto		"le:tO		year
r   		riba		"ri:ba		fish
v   		voda		"vO:da		water
j   		jeza		"je:za		anger

The sonorants have positional allophones as follows:


The non-sonorants undergo changes of voice according to their position. Voiced obstruents can stand only before vowels, sonorants and voiced obstruents in the same word. Final obstruents are obligatorily voiceless. Prepositions, however, are treated as enclitics, belonging phonetically with the following word, and may therefore end with a voiced obstruent.

Stress and Accent

In Standard Slovenian, the accent is possible on every syllable of a word. The position of the accent in some cases, however, depends on certain rules.

In Slovenian, there are two types of accentuation defined as standard. One involves differences in stress (as exemplified above), the other is tonal. Depending on regional background, speakers use one or the other, but not both. The four possibilities in the second, tonal, type of accentuation are as follows:

The above account was written by Zdravko Kacic and Melita Zemljak.

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Maintained by J.C. Wells. Created 1998 Dec 04, last modified 1999 04 29