This article is about the phonology of the Latgalian language.
- Phonologically, /ɨ/ is a back counterpart of /i/. As they occur in complementary distribution, they can be regarded as allophones of a single /i/ phoneme.
- Long /ɛː, ɔː/ are rare and occur only in interjections. The phonological long counterparts of the short /ɛ, ɔ/ are the diphthongs /iɛ, uɔ/.
- There are very few minimal pairs for the /ɛ–æ/ opposition. In some dialects, [æ] is simply an allophone of /ɛ/.
- /a, aː/ are phonetically central [ä, äː].
- In contrast to other diphthongs, /iɛ, uɔ/ are monophonemic.
- /ui, ɔi/ occur only in some words.
- /iu, ɨu, ɛi, æi, ai, au/ are very common.
- Some dialects merge /iu/ and /ɨu/ into [ɛu].
- Some dialects merge /au/ and /ɔu/ into [ɔu].
- /ɔu/ occurs only in onomatopoeias and loanwords.
- /m, mʲ, p, pʲ, b, bʲ/ are bilabial, whereas /f, v, vʲ/ are labiodental.
- /f/ occurs only in some loanwords, such as ortografeja 'orthography'. In other loanwords, it is replaced by /p/, as in kopejs 'coffee'.
- /v, vʲ/ are traditionally classified as approximants [ʋ, ʋʲ] which phonetically may be fricatives [v, vʲ].
- /t͡ʃʲ, d͡ʒʲ, ʃʲ, ʒʲ/ occur only in some non-standard dialects, with the fricatives /ʃʲ, ʒʲ/ being more common than the affricates /t͡ʃʲ, d͡ʒʲ/.
- /x/ occurs only in some loanwords, such as tehnologeja 'technology'. In other loanwords, it is replaced by /k/, as in kokejs 'hockey'.
- /w, wʲ/ are labialized velar.
- The phonemic status of /wʲ/ and especially /jʲ/ is questionable.
- /rʲ/ occurs only in a minority of non-standard dialects.
The stress is most often on the first syllable.
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.
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.
- Nau, Nicole (2011), A short grammar of Latgalian, Munich: Lincom Europa, ISBN 978-3-86288-055-3