Learning pitch accent? [Serbo-Croatian]

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Daniel N.
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Re: Learning pitch accent? [Serbo-Croatian]

Postby Daniel N. » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:16 pm

Saim wrote:So when you're talking to BCSM natives it can be good to keep your ears peeled for those moments when they're emphasising individual words. In dubbed cartoons for children they also emphasise the intonation quite a lot so it doesn't make you go crazy it might be useful to listen to something like that (I found clips from Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh on YouTube, for example), it helped me a lot in the early-to-middle stages of training perception.

Many "BCMS" natives (e.g. ones from Zagreb, Rijeka, Pula, Niš etc) have no tones in their speech at all, so if you really pay attention, you will hear all kinds of pronunciations. Even for those who have tones, tone contours vary by the region - we can immediately hear when someone is from Bosnia.

As cartoons in Croatia are often dubbed by people from Zagreb, it's not uncommon to hear Zagreb stress, without any tones, and then another character in the same cartoon (dubbed by someone from another region) having near-standard stress.
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Saim
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Re: Learning pitch accent? [Serbo-Croatian]

Postby Saim » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:28 am

Daniel N. wrote:Many "BCMS" natives (e.g. ones from Zagreb, Rijeka, Pula, Niš etc) have no tones in their speech at all, so if you really pay attention, you will hear all kinds of pronunciations. Even for those who have tones, tone contours vary by the region - we can immediately hear when someone is from Bosnia.

As cartoons in Croatia are often dubbed by people from Zagreb, it's not uncommon to hear Zagreb stress, without any tones, and then another character in the same cartoon (dubbed by someone from another region) having near-standard stress.


Absolutely, I meant for anyone who is trying to learn the tonal system to pay attention to people speaking their "model" variety if it has tones. I have noticed that there is often Zagreb pronunciation in the Croatian dubs of cartoons, and I once remember reading a Croatian purist on the internet complaining about all the "Kajkavian nonsense on TV these days" (of course by Kajkavian they meant Zagreb-influenced standard, not actual Kajkavian). :P In the Serbian dubs of cartoons they have fairly standard pronunciation (at least as far as I can tell), although of course they often reduce unstressed long vowels to short vowels.

As for the differences between varieties that do have phonemic pitch, you're right that the contour is different, but in my experience as a non-native trying to learn pitch distinctions, listening to Bosnians also helped me in pitch perception, it seemed more-or-less transferrable between the different varieties, or at least when it comes to starting to perceive the basic falling/rising distinction. Of course for production you have to pick a specific variety and there's a lot of variation along all sorts of parametres.
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