Polish orthography

Polish orthography

:"For assistance in making phonetic transcriptions of Polish for Wikipedia articles, see ."The Polish alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet but uses diacritics, such as the "kreska" (graphically similar to an acute accent), the "kropka" (overdot), and the ogonek. It was the only major Slavic language written in the Latin alphabet that did not adopt a version of the Czech orthography; the latter dates back to the 14th century while the Polish script dates back as early as 1136 AD.Fact|date=June 2008

Note that Polish IPA|/ʂ/, IPA|/ʐ/, IPA|/t​͡ʂ/, IPA|/d​͡ʐ/ are laminal postalveolar and may perhaps be most accurately transcribed using the IPA retracted diacritic as IPA| [s̠] , IPA| [z̠] , IPA| [t​͡s̠] , IPA| [d​͡z̠] respectively. Also note that Polish "ń" (transcribed here IPA|/ɲ/) is not alveolo-palatal, having the same place of articulation as IPA|/ɕ/ and IPA|/ʑ/. The does not have a symbol for a nasal alveolo-palatal consonant.

Polish orthography also includes seven digraphs:

Although the Polish orthography is mostly morphophonemic, some sounds may be written in more than one way:

* as either h or ch
* as either ż or rz (though denotes an IPA|/rʐ/ cluster)
* as either u or ó
* soft consonants are spelt either ć, , ń, ś, ź, or ci, dzi, ni, si, zi, respectively (the difference is purely orthographic: ć, ń etc. are spelt before a consonant or word-finally while ci, ni etc. are spelt before a vowel; simple c, dz, n, s, z are spelt before i.)

The consonant pair "rz" is very rarely read as IPA|/rz/, rather than IPA|/ʐ/, as in the words "zamarzać" ('to get frozen'), "marznąć" ('to feel cold') or in the name "Tarzan".

The pronunciation of the geminates (doubled consonants) in Polish is clearly prolonged, as in Italian. For example, the word "panna" (young lady) is not pronounced the same as "pana" ('man's'). When pronouncing a word slowly and carefully, Polish speakers articulate and release each of the two consonants separately. Gemination is therefore rather a repetition of the consonant. This includes not only native Polish words (like "panna" or "oddech"), but also loan-words ("lasso", "attyka"). In Polish, geminates may appear in the beginning of a word, as in "czczenie" ('worshipping'), "dżdżownica" ('earth-worm'), "ssak" ('mammal'), "wwóz" ('importation'), "zstąpić" ('to descend'), and "zza" ('from behind').

See also

* Polish alphabet
* Polish language
* Polish phonology
* History of Polish orthography


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