y and í

Discussion in 'Grammar & Pronunciation' started by 1500, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. 1500

    1500 Active Member

    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.
  2. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member


    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.
  3. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. janaslav

    janaslav Member

    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!

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