Svenskt uttal / Swedish pronunciation

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onlyhuman

Re: Swedish r

Postby onlyhuman » 2014-05-22, 18:04

Johanna wrote:I made a recording: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/459 ... /Sj-tj.mp3
skina, människa, kanske, garage, känsla

Let me ask you another question. Why is människa not spoken the way it's actually written. I thought the sound of k changes when followed by i, ä, e, y but not a?! Is this an exception or something?

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Re: Swedish r

Postby Johanna » 2014-05-22, 18:46

dEhiN wrote:Johanna why do you pronounce the initial "k" in kanske [k], but the initial "k" in känsla as [ʃ]? Is it because of the vowel that follows?

Yes, before 'soft vowels' k turns into the tj-sound. That's the general rule anyway, there are exceptions, like in kille ('boy'), kör (the one meaning 'choir', not 'drives') and ('queue'). Also, the rule only applies if the k and the vowel are in the same syllable.

Hard vowels: a, o, u, å
Soft vowels: e, i, y, ä, ö

So basically it's a back and central vs front thing.

dEhiN wrote:I recognize that like any language, Swedish has different dialects. But as a beginner learner of Swedish, it's overwhelming and confusing to learn about the regional/dialectal differences. So I don't know if there's a dialect of Swedish that is considered "standard" (maybe Central Swedish?) that is usually taught to SFL students. Is there such a dialect?

I know this was aimed at Jurgen, but I'll answer it anyway :).

Most people today don't speak a traditional dialect, but they do speak Standard Swedish with a regional accent at the very least, and often use some regional words and word forms. Luckily these accents aren't really that different for the most part, but you do have to learn the most basic differences in order to understand people, and as long as you don't venture into traditional dialects I'd say that would be the sj-sound and the tj-sound, and the [ɖ ɳ ʂ ʈ] vs [ʀd ʀn ʀs ʀt] thing.

We've covered the former pretty extensively in this thread already, but yes, by 'rd' and so on he meant the retroflexes. In Sweden, all the accents that have uvular r keep the r and the following consonant separate, all the others don't. Standard Finland Swedish also keep them separate.

'Thick l' is simply a retroflex l, but as long as you once again don't venture into the traditional dialects, and usually not even then, it's simply an allophone of /l/.

Anyway, me and Jurgen speak with accents that are as standard as they get in this country really, at least outside of TV newscasts. Or well, judging from what I've heard today, young people in Örebro seem to have that 'TV accent'...

onlyhuman wrote:Tusen tack! :!:

Varsågod :)

onlyhuman wrote:TYou pronounce the words kanske, garage, känsla the way I learned in adult high school and this sounds absolutely natural to me.

I hope I haven't misheard it but in skina and människa I hear a different sound than in the other words and exactly with this sound I've got big difficulties.

Yes. It's [x], and it's the same sound as if you were to say ach in the kind of Standard German taught to foreigners, or at least very close to it.

I guess the reason you have trouble pinpointing it is because it's never found in that position in German, at least not to my knowledge, and it also doesn't contrast with [ç], which is the sound in ich.

onlyhuman wrote:And....your voice is very nice and pleasant.

Tack så mycket :blush:

onlyhuman wrote:
Johanna wrote:I made a recording: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/459 ... /Sj-tj.mp3
skina, människa, kanske, garage, känsla

Let me ask you another question. Why is människa not spoken the way it's actually written. I thought the sound of k changes when followed by i, ä, e, y but not a?! Is this an exception or something?

Well, in this case it's the digraph sk, but you're right in that the pronunciation doesn't follow the spelling, since it should be skj before hard vowels in order to get the sj-sound and not stay /sk/.

If I recall correctly from a discussion we had years ago the word was actually spelt 'människia' long ago, but for some reason the i was simply dropped instead of turning into a j like in other words.
Swedish (sv) native; English (en) good; Norwegian (no) read fluently, understand well, speak badly; Danish (dk) read fluently, understand badly, can't speak; Faroese (fo) read some, understand a bit, speak a few sentences; German (de) French (fr) Spanish (es) forgetting; heritage language, want to understand and speak but can't.

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Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2014-05-22, 19:51

dEhiN wrote: So I don't know if there's a dialect of Swedish that is considered "standard" (maybe Central Swedish?) that is usually taught to SFL students. Is there such a dialect?

There has been an official form of Swedish (rikssvenska), that was taught to foreigners, and that people working in radio and television had to use, but no one really spoke that way, although it has had an enormous influence on the development of the language in the past century. Nowadays, most people speak rikssvenska, but with a regional accent and some local words, so the grammar was fully adopted, but only half of the pronunciation.

I do not know what foreigners are taught these days, but as far as I have encountered it, there are still some differences between that, and real pronunciation.

dEhiN wrote:What's the difference between the thick l and the regular latin l?

The thick l sounds like some kind of r to you. It is a retroflex sound, and very frequent in normal speech, but it is regarded as substandard by the government, so you do not have to say it, though it is necessary to know about it if you want to understand spoken Swedish.

dEhiN wrote:Also, are the ordinary d/l/n/t letters pronounced dentally or alveolarly or a mix? Because I know different languages pronounce the same latin letter differently. English d/t/n are alveolar while English l is usually dental. But French d/l/n/t are all alveolar and Spanish d/l/n/t are all dental.

English d/n/t are apico-alveolars (tip of the tongue against the alveolar) while Swedish/German/French d/n/t/l are lamino-alveolars (a little bit behind the tonguetip against the alveolar). The Swedish sounds can also be dentals, but mine are alveolars.

onlyhuman wrote:I hope I haven't misheard it but in skina and människa I hear a different sound than in the other words and exactly with this sound I've got big difficulties.

It is just a fricative version of k and g. What is the difficulty? I have met both Russians and Germans who have this very sound in their own languages, yet still they are unable to use it for Swedish. One Russian woman even used [x] for Swedish [h] and [h] for Swedish [x].
Chekhov wrote:I don't know about naive worldviews, but Jurgen Wullenwhatever pisses me off to no end because of his extreme pessimism and cynicism. You'd think the world was going to end imminently when talking to that guy.

Jag är rebell: jag sockrar teet, saltar maten, cyklar utan hjälm, och tänder glödlampor.
(Ovanstående var förut, nu försöker jag minska sockret och saltet.)

onlyhuman

Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby onlyhuman » 2014-05-23, 18:30

I think I've found an explanation for the strange pronounciation of "människa" on this site

http://www.spraknamnden.se/sprakladan/S ... ekttyp=lan


Kan människa också stavas mäniska och mänska?

Ordet stavas vanligen människa, men stavningen mänska förekommer också i vardagligare sammanhang.

Ordet har funnits i svenskan sedan medeltiden, och är lånat från lågtyska. Det är bildat till man, som ursprungligen betydde ’människa’. Den ursprungliga betydelsen av människa var sannolikt ’mänsklighet’, ’mänsklig natur’ e.d. Anledningen till att sk uttals med sj-ljud här beror troligen på att motsvarande lågtyska ord hade sj-uttal.


Johanna and Juergen, I don't understand all of it but it basically says the pronounciation of "människa" was influenced by Low German, right?

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Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby Johanna » 2014-05-23, 18:50

onlyhuman wrote:I think I've found an explanation for the strange pronounciation of "människa" on this site

http://www.spraknamnden.se/sprakladan/S ... ekttyp=lan


Kan människa också stavas mäniska och mänska?

Ordet stavas vanligen människa, men stavningen mänska förekommer också i vardagligare sammanhang.

Ordet har funnits i svenskan sedan medeltiden, och är lånat från lågtyska. Det är bildat till man, som ursprungligen betydde ’människa’. Den ursprungliga betydelsen av människa var sannolikt ’mänsklighet’, ’mänsklig natur’ e.d. Anledningen till att sk uttals med sj-ljud här beror troligen på att motsvarande lågtyska ord hade sj-uttal.

Johanna and Juergen, I don't understand all of it but it basically says the pronounciation of "människa" was influenced by Low German, right?

It says that the word itself is a loan from Low German and has existed in Swedish since Medieval times, that it's derived from man, which originally meant 'human' and that människa originally meant 'humanity', 'human nature' or similar. And finally that the reason why it has a sj-sound is probably that the corresponding Low German word had one.

It's still a bit weird that it's not spelt människja though, it's not like our orthography is purely etymological, and the spelling of many words have changed a lot over time, but on the other hand it's a pretty big mess so one more inconsistency was probably not a big deal when Swedish had its last spelling reform about a hundred years ago.
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Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-05-23, 18:54

Swedish isn't as bad as Danish but it's pretty wild at times. Not even English has about six ways to spell /j/. (Or does it?)

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Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2014-05-23, 21:34

mōdgethanc wrote:six ways to spell /j/

j jaga
g giva
gj gjuta
igi religion
hj hjälpa
lj ljud
i legion

... there might be more ...

And there are several ways to pronounce /j/.
Chekhov wrote:I don't know about naive worldviews, but Jurgen Wullenwhatever pisses me off to no end because of his extreme pessimism and cynicism. You'd think the world was going to end imminently when talking to that guy.

Jag är rebell: jag sockrar teet, saltar maten, cyklar utan hjälm, och tänder glödlampor.
(Ovanstående var förut, nu försöker jag minska sockret och saltet.)

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Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby Johanna » 2014-05-24, 16:15

Yeah, even if we only look at native spellings of /j/ there are a bunch:

j
g - before soft vowels, and after /l/ and /r/ in the syllable coda.
gj - before hard vowels.
hj
lj
dj - in Standard Sweden-Swedish, Finland-Swedish keeps the /d/.

Lack of comment means it doesn't matter what vowel follows.



The sj-sound sound has a few too, but it's not really that hard until we start taking loan words into account :P

sj
sk - before soft vowels.
skj - before hard vowels.
stj - only found in a handful of word roots, SAOL lists five.
stg - only found in compounds like västgöte, where the first part ends in -st and the second starts with a soft g.

But yeah, then we have stuff like show, geni, jour, schäfer, fascist, chans, diskussion, fusion, nation, konstruktion, Ahmed, Yasmine... And I'm pretty sure I forgot a bunch.



The tj-sound has three native spellings:

tj
k - before soft vowels.
kj - before hard vowels.

I don't think it has that many foreign spellings either, the only ones that come to mind are those in for example ciabatta and chatt.
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Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2014-05-24, 18:46

I made a recording (several, actually, but getting something to work the way you want ...)
http://www.speakpipe.com/voice-recorder/msg/4vszaa7zx6df5tzj
The same sj-sound as in Johanna's recording, followed by every vowel of rikssvenskan with these words:
skena skett
skina schism
sky skydd
skära skämmas
sjö sköld
sjal sjaskig
sjok choklad
skjuta sjunga
sjå shoppa

In rikssvenskan there are eight short and nine long vowels. The short e has been replaced by short ä, so skett above is really *skätt.

You will also note a number of thick-l (but those do not belong to official rikssvenska).
Chekhov wrote:I don't know about naive worldviews, but Jurgen Wullenwhatever pisses me off to no end because of his extreme pessimism and cynicism. You'd think the world was going to end imminently when talking to that guy.

Jag är rebell: jag sockrar teet, saltar maten, cyklar utan hjälm, och tänder glödlampor.
(Ovanstående var förut, nu försöker jag minska sockret och saltet.)

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Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2014-05-25, 5:14

It is only partially apparent from that recording, but the closest long vowels, i/y/u/o, and to a lesser extent e/å, are often followed by a fricative, [ʝ] for the front vowels i/y/e and [β] for the back vowels u/o/å.

Not exactly "front" and "back", since i/y/u are pronounced at the same place, and their difference is one of rounding: i unrounded, y rounded, u overrounded, but they are usually referred to as such, or alternatively "soft" and "hard" as Johanna wrote above.

The overrounding occurs with long u, long o, short o, long å, and for some speakers with long a.
Chekhov wrote:I don't know about naive worldviews, but Jurgen Wullenwhatever pisses me off to no end because of his extreme pessimism and cynicism. You'd think the world was going to end imminently when talking to that guy.

Jag är rebell: jag sockrar teet, saltar maten, cyklar utan hjälm, och tänder glödlampor.
(Ovanstående var förut, nu försöker jag minska sockret och saltet.)

onlyhuman

Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby onlyhuman » 2014-05-25, 6:31

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote: shoppa


God morgon och tack för ljudfilen.
Ordet "shoppa" låter för mig nästan som "hoppa". I en verklig konversation skulle jag inte veta vilken åv de två ord du sa.

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Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2014-05-25, 6:54

onlyhuman wrote:Ordet "shoppa" låter för mig nästan som "hoppa". I en verklig konversation skulle jag inte veta vilken åv de två ord vilket av de två orden du sa.

"shoppa hoppa"
http://www.speakpipe.com/voice-recorder/msg/x6ve609e3vt17ac1

vijayjohn wrote:I've always wondered whether stops in Swedish (and various other European languages) were dental or alveolar, too.

For me, they are alveolars, but it might not be generally so in Swedish. A girl in my Swedish class at university over a decade ago said that it was clearly audible that my "dentals" were alveolars, but I do not know about anyone else's. I should at least have asked about her place of articulation in that particular conversation, to get a relative view, but I did not think about that back then.
Chekhov wrote:I don't know about naive worldviews, but Jurgen Wullenwhatever pisses me off to no end because of his extreme pessimism and cynicism. You'd think the world was going to end imminently when talking to that guy.

Jag är rebell: jag sockrar teet, saltar maten, cyklar utan hjälm, och tänder glödlampor.
(Ovanstående var förut, nu försöker jag minska sockret och saltet.)

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Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-05-25, 7:18

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:For me, they are alveolars, but it might not be generally so in Swedish. A girl in my Swedish class at university over a decade ago said that it was clearly audible that my "dentals" were alveolars, but I do not know about anyone else's. I should at least have asked about her place of articulation in that particular conversation, to get a relative view, but I did not think about that back then.

I kind of get the impression that they're generally alveolar in Scandinavian (Germanic) languages (but yeah, I could be totally wrong here and I'm not sure about Finnish. Don't think I've heard enough of it yet). Or further back, when they're palatalized like in Danish. (And now I'm reminded of how the Danish word for 'thank you' sounds like the Malayalam word for 'jackfruit', and 'thank you very much' in Danish sounds like "mango jackfruit" in Malayalam. Sorry, I've brought that up before on another thread, but I just couldn't resist bringing it up again. Jackfruit for letting me get away with it. :lol:).
Is the Swedish alveolar d/t/n - retroflex rd/rt/rn distinction the same as you are used to from South Asian languages?

Well, maaaaybe. Idk. TBH, I don't think I know Scandinavian languages well enough to tell, but I feel like it's not quite the same. For one thing, it's usually dental vs. retroflex in South Asia, not alveolar vs. retroflex (so Malayalam is admittedly a bit of an anomaly here in contrasting all three). For another, I think in Scandinavian languages that have that distinction, you can often hear that rhotic very clearly before the retroflex consonant; I have never ever seen this in South Asian languages.

onlyhuman

Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby onlyhuman » 2014-05-25, 7:47

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:
onlyhuman wrote:Ordet "shoppa" låter för mig nästan som "hoppa". I en verklig konversation skulle jag inte veta vilken åv de två ord vilket av de två orden du sa.

"shoppa hoppa"
http://www.speakpipe.com/voice-recorder/msg/x6ve609e3vt17ac1



Tack så mycket! Skillnaden är jo stor! Ja måste träna mitt hörselsinne för att märka den i snabba konversationer. :yep:

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Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2014-05-25, 7:51

vijayjohn wrote:I think in Scandinavian languages that have that distinction, you can often hear that rhotic very clearly before the retroflex consonant

Can we? :? Hm.
http://www.speakpipe.com/voice-recorder/msg/9jkygi4i96jf0v97
höna hörna
fat fart
bod bord

In those varieties (southern, eastern) where r is clear before the stop, then there is not a retroflex sound involved.
Chekhov wrote:I don't know about naive worldviews, but Jurgen Wullenwhatever pisses me off to no end because of his extreme pessimism and cynicism. You'd think the world was going to end imminently when talking to that guy.

Jag är rebell: jag sockrar teet, saltar maten, cyklar utan hjälm, och tänder glödlampor.
(Ovanstående var förut, nu försöker jag minska sockret och saltet.)

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Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-05-25, 8:22

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:Can we? :? Hm.
http://www.speakpipe.com/voice-recorder/msg/9jkygi4i96jf0v97
höna hörna
fat fart
bod bord

In those varieties (southern, eastern) where r is clear before the stop, then there is not a retroflex sound involved.

Well, I don't know about you, but I can definitely hear it in hörna and fart. Not in bord, though. In fact, it's the main acoustic cue I had to use to tell that it was supposed to be retroflex. Compare the Malayalam words glossed here as 'virgin' and 'link in chain'. The word with the alveolar is more often used not to mean 'virgin' but rather to refer to the second month of the traditional calendar, from late September to early October.

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Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2014-05-25, 12:07

Ouch, the sound quality was awful in my recording. :(

But to say that a very small semblance of [ɹ] constitutes an /r/. :| In this case I suspect that it has to do with the distance from the vowel, so low vowels (a,ö) have a longer way to change into the retroflex than a high vowel (o), and during the switch a slight r-like vibration may occur. We will have to make more recordings to reach a conclusion, it seems.
Chekhov wrote:I don't know about naive worldviews, but Jurgen Wullenwhatever pisses me off to no end because of his extreme pessimism and cynicism. You'd think the world was going to end imminently when talking to that guy.

Jag är rebell: jag sockrar teet, saltar maten, cyklar utan hjälm, och tänder glödlampor.
(Ovanstående var förut, nu försöker jag minska sockret och saltet.)

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Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby TeneReef » 2014-05-25, 12:26

Here is the map:
Image


+


In some local varieties in the Stockholm area, an onset /r/ may be pronounced
as an apical fricative or approximant [ʐ], i.e.roligt /ru-lig2-t/ [2ˈʐu:lɪt] ‘fun’.

Phonology of Swedish'' (Tomas Riad, OUP), (page 68)
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Re: Swedish r

Postby TeneReef » 2014-05-25, 12:38

onlyhuman wrote:Words like stjärna are either "scherna" or "huerna" in my mouth :?


I pronounce the initial sj as [ʍ] (as in Scottish English whale) or [xʷ] or [hʷ]
in non-initial positions I use [ʂ]. :lol:

Swedes are understood in English even though most of them can't say [z] or [ d͡ʒ ] (using [ s ] and [ t͡ʃ] instead),
so, you shouldn't be feeling blue if you can't get [ɧ] right.
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Re: Swedish Pronunciation [formerly 'Swedish r']

Postby TeneReef » 2014-05-25, 12:57

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:For me, they are alveolars, but it might not be generally so in Swedish.

As for the coronals, /t/ is always dental [t̪], while /d/ varies between dental [d̪]
and alveolar [d], and there is alternation between the two across dialects (Livijn
2010). The /n/ is dental [n̪] or alveolar [n], but can only be alveolar if [d], too, is
alveolar. In the Central Swedish variety, dental pronunciation dominates for all
three coronal stops.


(''Phonology of Swedish'', Tomas Riad, OUP, page 46)
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