Latgalian phonology

This article is about the phonology of the Latgalian language.



Monophthong phonemes of Latgalian[1]
Front Central Back
unrounded unrounded rounded
short long short long short long
Close i (ɨ) u
Mid ɛ (ɛː) ɔ (ɔː)
Open æ æː a


Diphthong phonemes of Latgalian[4]
Ending point
Front Back
Close (ui) iu ɨu uɔ
Mid ɛi (ɔi) (ɔu)
Open æi ai au


Consonant phonemes of Latgalian[7]
Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar
hard soft hard soft hard soft hard soft hard soft
Nasal m n
Stop voiceless p t k
voiced b d ɡ ɡʲ
Affricate voiceless t͡s t͡sʲ t͡ʃ (t͡ʃʲ)
voiced d͡z d͡zʲ d͡ʒ (d͡ʒʲ)
Fricative voiceless (f) s ʃ (ʃʲ) (x)
voiced v z ʒ (ʒʲ)
Approximant l j () w ()
Trill r ()



The stress is most often on the first syllable.[9]

Tonal accents

There are two phonemic tonal accents in Latgalian, which appear only on long syllables, i.e. those with a long vowel, a diphthong, or a sequence of a short vowel and a sonorant. These are falling (also called level) and broken (also called sharp). However, there are only a handful of minimal (or near-minimal) pairs, such as [rɛ̀itʲ] 'swallow' and [rɛ̂it] 'tomorrow', both written reit.[9]

Phonetically, both of the tonal accents are falling; the falling accent is realized as an even decrease in intensity and pitch, whereas the broken accent is realized as a sudden decrease in intensity and pitch.[9]


  1. 1 2 3 Nau (2011), p. 9.
  2. 1 2 Nau (2011), pp. 9–10.
  3. 1 2 Nau (2011), p. 10.
  4. Nau (2011), pp. 9–11.
  5. Nau (2011), pp. 10–11.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 Nau (2011), p. 11.
  7. Nau (2011), pp. 11–13.
  8. 1 2 3 Nau (2011), p. 12.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 Nau (2011), p. 13.


  • Nau, Nicole (2011), A short grammar of Latgalian, Munich: Lincom Europa, ISBN 978-3-86288-055-3 
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