y and í

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1500
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y and í

Postby 1500 » 21-Aug-11 7:16

I've read that y and i are pronounced identically. But is this still true at the end of a word, especially with long í? For example, when Czech speakers pronounce "tady" and "není", the last sound seems to be slightly different--the i is maybe more nasal? I know about the softening of the i after the n--that's not it. The -y seems to sound a little like -e when I hear it pronounced.
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Alexx
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Postby Alexx » 21-Aug-11 12:03

Well,

y after d t n is pronounced "hard" way

i after d t n is pronounced "soft" way - or rather the "d t n" is pronounced like it was marked "ď, ť or ň in czech. English has no sound for those, try to pronounce it as dj, tj or nj (ñ in spanish).

This is regardles if it is marked with ´ (ý, í or i, y).

´ just makes the sound "longer", like the difference between english "ship" and "sheep".

I am quite sure that soon enought you will have more precise answer here.
I cesta může být cíl.
The journey is the goal.
wer
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Postby wer » 09-Sep-11 20:40

1500 wrote:I've read that y and i are pronounced identically. But is this still true at the end of a word, especially with long í? For example, when Czech speakers pronounce "tady" and "není", the last sound seems to be slightly different--the i is maybe more nasal? I know about the softening of the i after the n--that's not it. The -y seems to sound a little like -e when I hear it pronounced.

According to the standard pronunciation "i" and "y" are pronounced the same way and so are "í" and "ý", but "i/y" and "í/ý" differ not only in quantity but also slightly in quality. The difference in quality makes no difference for native speakers. (In other words, "í/ý" is long variant of the phonem "i/y", but not of the phone "i/y".)

The historical difference between "i" and "y" could be still perceptible in some substandard variants of Czech, in some dialects it is even phonemic contrast.
janaslav
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Postby janaslav » 10-Nov-11 10:13

I've compiled a couple of notes about Czech consonants and vowels - with a focus mainly on "soft" and "hard" consonants - which also concerns "i" and "y" (even though it's not focused primarily on pronunciation). Hope you'll find it helpful!
Jana

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