Any tips for spotting word stress?

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Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby Schalksnarr » 2012-04-14, 2:29

One of the things I find most difficult about Bulgarian pronunciation is to decide which syllable to stress in a written word.

I know that surnames ending in "-oв" and "-eв", as well as adjectives ending in "-ен", never carry stress on the last syllable. The rest I must learn by imitiation. Therefore, I should be very grateful if you could tell me some other rules.
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Re: Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby language learner » 2012-04-20, 7:52

There are no rules for deciding where the stress is just by looking at the word - you should learn it by heart. I recall there were some patterns for changing of the stress when inflecting the word. The one I can recall right now is that neuter nouns that end in -о and in plural replace it with -а are most probably stressed on that -а in plural.

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Re: Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby paruha » 2012-04-22, 7:23

Also, I don't agree on the rule for surnames that you posted. I've always objected when I hear "Иванов" or "Тодоров". And I've never heard "Петров", for example.
I'd rather use the last syllable in these cases. However, that's not true for all cases - "Стоянов" is fine, no stress on "ов".
Защо да харчим пари, които нямаме, за да купим неща, които не са ни нужни, така че да впечатлим хора, които не харесваме?

I don't even remember what standard deviation is.
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Re: Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby Schalksnarr » 2012-05-10, 1:37

All right! Thank you both!
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Re: Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby Psi-Lord » 2012-05-11, 2:10

A couple of guidelines I could gather from my books (with the stressed vowels marked in red):

1. Neuter nouns ending in -е keep the accent on the same syllable in both singular and plural (кебапче > кебапчета; купе > купета);

2. the neuter plural ending -а, as имен pointed out, is almost always accented, regardless of the accent in the singular (място > места; езеро > езера);

3. the -е- in the neuter plural ending -ета is accented only if the singular ending -е is accented (момиче > момичета; момче > момчета);

4. the final -я of some neuter plural words is never accented (течение > течения);

5. the quantified ending of masculine nouns (i.e. the form singular masculine nouns take after e.g. numbers) is never accented (singular indefinite град, subject singular definite градът, object singular definite града, but quantified [два] града);

6. for monosyllabic masculine nouns that take -е in the plural, this -е is always accented (мъж > мъже);

7. the definite article -та is always accented when added to a feminine noun ending in a consonant, but is never accented when added to a feminine noun ending in -а (есен > есента, but книга > книгата).

There may be more, but the info is scattered across the chapters, so it’s hard to find everything. I’ll post more if I happen to find anything else.
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Re: Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby language learner » 2012-05-11, 10:03

7. the definite article -та is always accented when added to a feminine noun ending in a consonant,...

I just want to add that although that final та is stressed, some pronounce it тъ
есента [есент`ъ]
this isnt due to reduction; instead it comes from the old accusative form

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Re: Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby gothwolf » 2012-05-11, 10:44

имен wrote:
7. the definite article -та is always accented when added to a feminine noun ending in a consonant,...

I just want to add that although that final та is stressed, some pronounce it тъ
есента [есент`ъ]
this isnt due to reduction; instead it comes from the old accusative form


I'm not sure if that's the real reason for pronouncing the feminine article as [тъ]. It doesn't make any sense because the article has nothing to do with the case (especially Accusative).

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Re: Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby language learner » 2012-05-11, 11:23

Actually it does. Definite articles come from the postpositioned demonstrative pronouns тъ та то. Whereas тъ and то are the same in both nominative and accusative, the accusative of та is тѫ. The reflex of ѫ in standard language in all positions is ъ, so it makes a perfect sense.

On a side note, the verb endings for 1 person singular and 3 person plural present tense and also 3rd person plural imperfect and aorist all ended in ѫ
четѫ, пишѫт, давахѫ
they are spelled with an 'a' instead since all nouns in masculine used to end in a mute ъ as in човекъ, градъ, телевизоръ and it would create a lot of confusion if there were both mute and not mute final ъ. Now the mute final ъ is gone, but the verbs are still spelled in a different way than they are pronounced and there is no reason for that. A big misconception in our spelling that causes tons of hypercorrection.

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Re: Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby gothwolf » 2012-05-11, 12:56

имен wrote:Actually it does. Definite articles come from the postpositioned demonstrative pronouns тъ та то. Whereas тъ and то are the same in both nominative and accusative, the accusative of та is тѫ. The reflex of ѫ in standard language in all positions is ъ, so it makes a perfect sense.


I agree with that but isn't it stupid and illogical to take the accusative form of the demonstrative pronoun та to form a feminine definite article and to pronounce it as тѫ no matter in witch case is the noun? I mean if есента is subject still the definite article must be pronounced as the old accusative form of the demonstrative pronoun, or what?

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Re: Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby language learner » 2012-05-11, 15:21

gothwolf wrote:
имен wrote:Actually it does. Definite articles come from the postpositioned demonstrative pronouns тъ та то. Whereas тъ and то are the same in both nominative and accusative, the accusative of та is тѫ. The reflex of ѫ in standard language in all positions is ъ, so it makes a perfect sense.


I agree with that but isn't it stupid and illogical to take the accusative form of the demonstrative pronoun та to form a feminine definite article and to pronounce it as тѫ no matter in witch case is the noun? I mean if есента is subject still the definite article must be pronounced as the old accusative form of the demonstrative pronoun, or what?

The explanation is that when the case system was falling apart, the accusative was the case which was taking the functions of the disappearing cases - instrumental, locative, genitive and eventually dative.
Eventually there were only three cases left* - accusative, nominative and vocative. In most of the dialects the nominative took all of the former case functions and become the one upon which words were formed. But in some dialects it was the accusative that replaced nominative using the gained momentum and hence the definite article тъ. In those dialects all feminine nouns are pronounced with ъ at the end instead of a, no matter if they have vowel reduction or not.
It is interesting to note that due to analogy of the masculine definite article, in the dialect of Gabrovo the definite article for feminine nouns ending in a consonant is тът - есентът, свещтът, пролеттът, кръвтът.

*Those modern dialects which have dative and agglomerative (mixed accusative-genitive) case besides nominative and vocative are a different story.

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Re: Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby Schalksnarr » 2012-05-12, 18:26

What an interesting discussion, I'm taking notes ;) Thank you all for your kind answers!
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Re: Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby gothwolf » 2012-05-14, 6:51

Yes, I agree that was really interesting but where did you find this information from?

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Re: Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby language learner » 2012-05-14, 12:06

from here
you can also look here and here if you are further interested.

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Re: Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby Æren » 2012-05-17, 16:18

:congrats:
Браво за книжките! За едната не знаех, а другата я имах само в книжно тяло.

Still I found it strange that the Accusativbe form has been generalised in the demostrative pronouns ( > article-morpheme) (for femininum) only when the Nominative seems to be more expansive in the noun class.
:<3:  (pt )  (es-ES )  (fr )
:D  (uk )  (no)  (lt)  (de-AT)
:?  (fa )  (tl)  (tr )  (cs)  (ja)  (he )
:para:  (ir )  (hu )

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Re: Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby Schalksnarr » 2012-08-12, 3:11

Hey guys! Since this thread is devoted to stress, I'd like you to help me clear a doubt. If you click on this link: www.goethe-verlag.com/book2/EN/ENBG/ENBG009.HTM you'll find a list of Bulgarian sentences wich include audio files where two voices, one male and the other female, provide the correct pronunciation. If you pay attention to the sentence 'Aз продължавам да броя', you'll see that the man stresses броя in the second syllable (-я), whereas the woman stresses the first one (бро-) The same happens in the following column:
The man: Аз бро / Ти бро'иш / Той бро
The woman: Аз 'броя / Ти 'броиш / Той 'брои.

So, is the stress in this word alternative?

PS: Notice also that both voices pronounce the first броя on top of the list with the stress on the second syllable.
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Re: Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby gothwolf » 2012-08-12, 20:18

Yes, the woman mispronounces the verb. I think she's not a native speaker (because she has some sort of German accent). For sure the stress of "броя" should be on the second syllable. :yep:

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Re: Any tips for spotting word stress?

Postby Schalksnarr » 2012-08-12, 20:24

Thank you so much, gothwolf!
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