Pronunciation and Spelling
(Parnunsia e Ortografìa)

Vowels (Vocal)

The spelling system we use in these pages generally uses 7 letters (a, e, i, o, ö, u, ü) to denote its 8 vowels ([a], [], [e], [i], [], [ø], [u], [y]).

The letter a denotes a single sound, while the letter e may denote either an open [] (written è when it doesn't preceedes a double consonant - es: "quèst" but "quell") or a closed [e] sound (notice that the open vowel [] occurs in stressed syllables only); the pronunciation of the open and closed sounds may vary from one part of the region to the other.

The letters i and u, on the other hand, have vocal ([i] and [y]) and semivocal ([j] and [w]) values; moreover the letter i may be silent in its function to palatalize a preceding c, g, or sc.

Lombard vowels in word final position can be either short or long, and this difference is phonemic: to do is pronounced [fa], faa done (m) is pronounced [fa:], and fall to do it is pronounced [fal:].

Long vowels generally occurs in open syllables or in syllables whose coda is a single consonant.

The glide with which English vowels frequently end should be, anyway, avoided.

The approximate English equivalents are as follows:

Elision (Elision)

The hiatus to be avoided, some function words drop their vowel before a word beginning with another
vowel. In these cases the apostrophe (l'apostruf) is generally used to indicate this dropping, cf.:

el amis => líamis the friend (male);
la amisa => líamisa the friend (female);
ona universitaa => oníuniversitaa a university;
de Italia => díItalia of Italy.

Consonants (Consonant)

The consonants b, f, m, n, v are pronounced as in English.

The other consonants need special treatment.

Remember that all final stops are devoiced.

Consonantic Digraphs

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© Zdravko Batzarov