The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Lower Sorbian and Upper Sorbian pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see Template:IPA, and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

IPA Examples Nearest English equivalent


b bałma (U)[a] boot
bjakać (U)[a] beautiful
ɕ šćit (L)[a][b][c] sheep (L)
d d (U)[a] do
[d] media
dz licba (L)[a] lads
[a] jig (L)
ak (U)[a][c] jug
f fabula (U)[a] fool
[d] few
ɡ gag (U)[a] good
ɡʲ [d] argue
ɣ [a] good, but without the tongue touching the roof of the mouth
h habla (U) hood
[d] heed
j jadro (U) yes
k kabat (U)[a] scar
[d] skew
l lac (U) lack
[d] failure
m m (U) moot
mjaso (U) mute
n nabać (U) noon
hromadźernja (U) vinyard
ŋ [e] sang
ŋʲ [e] sing
p pad (U)[a] span
pjany (U)[a] spew
r ʁ rad (U)[f] American atom (L)
French rouge (U)
ʁʲ rjadka (U)[f] American catty (L)
French rime (U)
s sadło (U)[a] soup
ʃ šach (U)[a][c] rush
t tajić (U)[a] stand
[d] stew (RP)
[a][c] chip (L)
ts całta (U)[a] cats
ćahać (U)[a][c] chop
v vatikanski (U)[a] voodoo
[d] view
w wačka (U) boot, but without lips completely closed
wjaznyć (U) between wet and yet
x čichawa (U) loch (Scottish); ugh
[d] huge
z zabić (U)[a] zoo
ʑ [a][c] prestige (L)
ʒ žaba (U)[a][c] pleasure
IPA Examples Nearest English equivalent


a pask (U) father
ɛ pesimistiski (U)[d][g] met
ɪ pĕseń (U)[d][g][h] kit
i pisać (U)[g] meet
ɨ pysk (U)[g] roses (for some dialects)
ɔ posyć (U) off
ʊ póstniski (U)[h][i] pull
u pusty (U) pool
IPA Other


ˈ Primary stress. Stress tends to fall on the first syllable of a word.
. Syllable break.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w The contrast between the voiceless /p, pʲ, ɕ, t, tʃ, f, k, s, ʃ/ on the one hand and the voiced /b, bʲ, ʑ, d, dʒ, v, ɡ, z, ʒ/ on the other is neutralized before obstruents (with the former set occurring before voiceless obstruents and the latter set before the voiced ones), also across word boundaries. Phrase-final obstruents are all voiceless. The same applies to unpaired obstruents, so that the voiceless /ts/ and /x/ are voiced to [dz] and [ɣ] in the same contexts.
  2. ^ /ʃ/ before /tɕ/ is realized as [ɕ] in Lower Sorbian.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g The alveolo-palatal /ɕ, tɕ, ʑ/ occur only in Lower Sorbian, where they contrast with the flat postalveolar /ʃ, tʃ, ʒ/, as in Polish. Upper Sorbian has just one set of postalveolars, namely /ʃ, dʒ, tʃ, ʒ/, which are phonetically palato-alveolar, as in English and Italian.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k In unstressed positions, the /ɪ–ɛ/ contrast surfaces as a contrast between the palatalized [bʲ, dʲ, fʲ, ɡʲ, hʲ, , lʲ, mʲ, , pʲ, ʁʲ, tʲ, vʲ, , ] (in the case of following /ɪ/) and the plain [b, d, f, ɡ, h, k, l, m, n, p, ʁ, t, v, w, x] (in the case of following /ɛ/) as both vowels are realized as [ɛ]. Those palatalized allophones also appear before /i/ and stressed /ɪ/. Among the first set, only the nasal /mʲ, nʲ/, the labial /bʲ, pʲ, wʲ/ and the uvular /ʁʲ/ have a phonemic status.
  5. ^ a b [ŋ] and [ŋʲ] occur as allophones of /n/ and /nʲ/ before velar consonants.
  6. ^ a b In Upper Sorbian, the German uvular [ʁ] has displaced the traditional alveolar [r]. In Lower Sorbian, the latter is still more common than the uvular [ʁ]. The same applies to the palatalized variants.
  7. ^ a b c d The phonemic status of /ɛ/ and /ɨ/ on the one hand and /ɪ/ and /i/ on the other is problematic since they occur in complementary distribution, with /ɛ/ and /ɨ/ occurring after hard consonants and /ɪ/ and /i/ after soft consonants.
  8. ^ a b [ɪ] and the Upper Sorbian [ʊ] occur only in stressed syllables. In unstressed syllables, they merge with [ɛ] and [ɔ].
  9. ^ Upper Sorbian /ʊ/ corresponds to Lower Sorbian /ɨ/ or /ɛ/.


See also[edit]