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Slovene ( or ), or alternatively Slovenian (; ''slovenski jezik'' or ''slovenščina''), is a South Slavic language spoken by the
Slovenes The Slovenes, also known as Slovenians ( sl, Slovenci ), are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research ta ...
. It is spoken by about 2.5 million speakers worldwide, the majority of whom live in
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, l ...

Slovenia
, where it is one of the three official languages. As Slovenia is part of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
, Slovene is also one of its 24 official and working languages.


Standard Slovene

Standard Slovene is the national
standard language A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety In sociolinguistics, a variety, also called an isolect or lect, is a specific form of a language or language cluster. This may include language ...
that was formed in the 18th and 19th century, based on Upper and
Lower Carniolan dialect group 400px, Map of regional groups of Slovene dialects The Lower Carniolan dialect group (''dolenjska narečna skupina''Smole, Vera. 1998. "Slovenska narečja." ''Enciklopedija Slovenije'' vol. 12, pp. 1–5. Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga, p. 2.) is a g ...
s, more specifically on language of
Ljubljana Ljubljana (also known by other historical names) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more for ...

Ljubljana
and its adjacent areas. The
Lower Carniolan dialect group 400px, Map of regional groups of Slovene dialects The Lower Carniolan dialect group (''dolenjska narečna skupina''Smole, Vera. 1998. "Slovenska narečja." ''Enciklopedija Slovenije'' vol. 12, pp. 1–5. Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga, p. 2.) is a g ...
was the dialect used by Primož Trubar while he also used Slovene as spoken in Ljubljana, since he lived in the city for more than 20 years. It was the speech of
Ljubljana Ljubljana (also known by other historical names) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more for ...

Ljubljana
that Trubar took as a foundation of what later became standard Slovene, with small addition of his native speech, that is
Lower Carniolan dialectThe Lower Carniolan dialect (''dolenjsko narečje'', ''dolenjščina'') is a major Slovene dialects, Slovene dialect in the Lower Carniolan dialect group. It is one of the two central Slovene dialects and was the original foundation for Slovene langu ...
Trubar's choice was later adopted also by other Protestant writers in the 16th century, and ultimately led to the formation of more standard language. The Upper dialect was also used by most authors during the language revival in the 18th and early 19th centuries, and was also the language spoken by
France Prešeren
France Prešeren
, who, like most of Slovene writers and poets, lived and worked in Ljubljana, where speech was growing closer to the Upper Carniolan dialect group. Unstandardized dialects are more preserved in regions of the
Slovene Lands The Slovene lands or Slovenian lands ( sl, Slovenske dežele or in short ) is the historical denomination for the territories in Central and Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern subregion of Europe Europe is a continent ...
where compulsory schooling was in languages other than Standard Slovene, as was the case with the
Carinthian Slovenes Carinthian Slovenes or Carinthian Slovenians ( sl, Koroški Slovenci; german: Kärntner Slowenen) are the Indigenous peoples, indigenous minority of Slovenes, Slovene ethnicity, living within borders of the Austrian state of Carinthia (state), Cari ...
in Austria, and the
Slovene minority in Italy Slovene minority in Italy ( it, Minoranza slovena in Italia, sl, Slovenska manjšina v Italiji), also known as Slovenes in Italy ( it, Sloveni in Italia, sl, Slovenci v Italiji) is the name given to Italian citizens who belong to the autochthono ...
. For example, the
Resian The Resian dialect (self-designation ''Rozajanski langač,'' or ''lengač,'' sl, rezijansko narečje, ) is a distinct dialect of Slovene spoken in the Resia Valley, Province of Udine The province of Udine ( it, provincia di Udine, fur, provin ...
and Torre (Ter) dialects in the Italian
Province of Udine The province of Udine ( it, provincia di Udine, fur, provincie di Udin, sl, videmska pokrajina, Resian: , german: Provinz Weiden) was a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term deriv ...
differ most from other Slovene dialects. The distinctive characteristics of Slovene are dual grammatical number, two accentual norms (one characterized by
pitch accent A pitch-accent language is a language that has word accents in which one syllable in a word or morpheme is more prominent than the others, but the accentuated syllable is indicated by a contrasting pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency ...
), and abundant inflection (a trait shared with many Slavic languages). Although Slovene is basically an SVO language, word order is very flexible, often adjusted for emphasis or stylistic reasons. Slovene has a
T–V distinction The T–V distinction is the contextual use of different pronouns that exists in some languages, and serves to convey formality or familiarity. Its name comes from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic lan ...
: second-person plural forms are used for individuals as a sign of respect.


Classification

Slovene is an
Indo-European language The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation ...
belonging to the Western subgroup of the South Slavic branch of the
Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European languages spoken primarily by the Slavs, Slavic peoples or their descendants. They are thought to descend from a proto-language called Proto-Slavic language, Proto- ...

Slavic languages
, together with
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
. It is close to the
Chakavian Chakavian or Čakavian (, , , sh-Latn, čakavski proper name: or own name: ''čokovski, čakavski, čekavski'') is a South Slavic regiolect or language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speec ...
and especially
Kajkavian dialect Kajkavian (Kajkavian noun: ''kajkavščina''; Shtokavian Shtokavian or Štokavian (; sh, / , ) is the prestige dialect of the pluricentric Serbo-Croatian language and the basis of its Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin standa ...
s of Serbo-Croatian, but further from the
Shtokavian dialect Shtokavian or Štokavian (; sh, / , ) is the prestige dialect In sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural Norm (sociology), norms, expectations, and cont ...
, the basis for the Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian standard languages.Greenberg, Marc L., ''A Short Reference Grammar of Slovene,'' (''LINCOM Studies in Slavic Linguistics'' 30). Munich: LINCOM, 2008. Furthermore, Slovene shares certain linguistic characteristics with all
South Slavic languages The South Slavic languages are one of three branches of the Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are spoken primarily by the or their descendants. They are thought to descend from a called , spo ...
, including those of the Eastern subgroup, such as
Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulgarians, a South Slavic ethnic group * Bulgarian language, a Slavic language * Bulgarian alphabet * A citizen of Bulgaria, see Demographics of Bulgaria * Bulg ...

Bulgarian
.
Mutual intelligibility In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic b ...
with varieties of Serbo-Croatian is hindered by differences in vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation,
Kajkavian Kajkavian (Kajkavian noun: ''kajkavščina''; Shtokavian adjective: ''kajkavski'' , noun: ''kajkavica'' or ''kajkavština'' ) is a South Slavic languages, South Slavic regiolect or language spoken primarily by Croats in much of Central Croatia, G ...
being the most
mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include p ...
. Slovene has some commonalities with the
West Slavic language The West Slavic languages are a subdivision of the Slavic language group. They include Polish, Czech, Slovak, Kashubian, Upper Sorbian and Lower Sorbian. The languages are spoken across a continuous region encompassing the Czech Republic ...
s.


History


Early history

Like all
Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European languages spoken primarily by the Slavs, Slavic peoples or their descendants. They are thought to descend from a proto-language called Proto-Slavic language, Proto- ...

Slavic languages
, Slovene traces its roots to the same proto-Slavic group of languages that produced
Old Church Slavonic Old Church Slavonic or Old Slavonic () was the first Slavic literary language A literary language is the form of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (S ...
. The earliest known examples of a distinct, written dialect connected to Slovene are from the ''
Freising manuscripts The Freising manuscriptsAlso ''Freising folia'', ''Freising fragments'', or ''Freising monuments''; german: Freisinger Denkmäler, la, Monumenta Frisingensia, sl, Brižinski spomeniki or are the first Latin-script continuous text in a Slavic l ...
,'' known in Slovene as ''Brižinski spomeniki''. The consensus estimate of their date of origin is between 972 and 1039 (most likely before 1000). These religious writings are among the oldest surviving manuscripts in any Slavic language. The ''Freising manuscripts'' are a record of a proto-Slovene that was spoken in a more scattered territory than modern Slovene, which included most of the present-day Austrian states of
Carinthia Carinthia (german: Kärnten ; sl, Koroška ) is the southernmost Austrian state or ''Land''. Situated within the Eastern Alps Eastern Alps is the name given to the eastern half of the Alps, usually defined as the area east of a line from L ...
and
Styria Styria (german: Steiermark ; Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also * Croat ...
, as well as
East Tyrol East Tyrol, occasionally East Tirol (german: Osttirol), is an exclave of the Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East A ...
, the in
South Tyrol it, Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano – Alto Adige lld, Provinzia Autonoma de Balsan/Bulsan – Südtirol , settlement_type = Autonomous The federal subject The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as ...
, and some areas of Upper and
Lower Austria Lower Austria (german: Niederösterreich; Austro-Bavarian Austro-Bavarian (also known as Austrian or Bavarian; or ; german: Bairisch ) is a West Germanic language spoken in parts of Bavaria and most of Austria. Before 1945, Austro-Bavarian w ...
. By the 15th century, most of the northern areas were gradually
Germanized Germanisation, or Germanization, is the spread of the German language The German language (, ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austri ...
: the northern border of the Slovene-speaking territory stabilized on the line going from north of
Klagenfurt Klagenfurt am WörtherseeLandesgesetzblatt 2008 vom 16. Jänner 2008, Stück 1, Nr. 1: ''Gesetz vom 25. Oktober 2007, mit dem die Kärntner Landesverfassung und das Klagenfurter Stadtrecht 1998 geändert werden.'/ref> (; ; sl, Celovec), usually ...
to south of
Villach Villach (; sl, Beljak, it, Villaco, fur, Vilac) is the seventh-largest city in Austria and the second-largest in the federal state of Carinthia (state), Carinthia. It is an important Junction (traffic), traffic junction for southern Austria and ...

Villach
and east of Hermagor in Carinthia, while in Styria it was pretty much identical with the current Austrian-Slovenian border. This linguistic border remained almost unchanged until the late 19th century, when a second process of Germanization took place, mostly in Carinthia. Between the 9th and 12th century, proto-Slovene spread into northern
Istria Istria ( ; Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also * Croatia (disambiguation) ...

Istria
and in the areas around
Trieste Trieste ( , ; sl, Trst ; german: Triest ) is a city and seaport The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (wher ...

Trieste
. During most of the Middle Ages, Slovene was a vernacular language of the peasantry, although it was also spoken in most of the towns on Slovenian territory, together with German or Italian. Although during this time, German emerged as the spoken language of the nobility, Slovene had some role in the courtly life of the Carinthian, Carniolan and Styrian nobility, as well. This is proved by the survival of certain ritual formulas in Slovene (such as the ritual installation of the Dukes of Carinthia). The words "Buge waz primi, gralva Venus!" ("God be With You, Queen Venus!"), with which
Bernhard von Spanheim Bernhard von Spanheim (or Sponheim; 1176 or 1181 – 4 January 1256), a member of the noble House of Sponheim, was Duchy of Carinthia, Duke of Carinthia for 54 years from 1202 until his death. A patron of chivalry and minnesang, Bernhard's reig ...
greeted the poet
Ulrich von Liechtenstein Ulrich von Liechtenstein (ca. 1200 – 26 January 1275) was a German minnesinger ''Minnesang'' (, "love song") was a tradition of lyric- and song-writing in Germany that flourished in the Middle High German period. This period of medieval Germa ...
, who was travelling around Europe in guise of Venus, upon his arrival in Carinthia in 1227 (or 1238), is another example of some level of Slovene knowledge among high nobility in the region. The first printed Slovene words, ''stara pravda'' (meaning 'old justice' or 'old laws'), appeared in 1515 in
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...

Vienna
in a poem of the German mercenaries who suppressed the Slovene peasant revolt: the term was presented as the peasants' motto and battle cry. Standard Slovene emerged in the second half of the 16th century, thanks to the works of Slovene Lutheran authors, who were active during the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity Western Christianity is one of two sub-divisions of Christianity Christianity is an Abra ...
. The most prominent authors from this period are Primož Trubar, who wrote the first books in Slovene; Adam Bohorič, the author of the first Slovene grammar; and
Jurij DalmatinJurij may refer to: *Jurij Alschitz (born 1947), theatre director, theatre and acting theorist who has lived in Berlin since 1992 * Jurij Brězan (1916–2006), Sorbian writer * Jurij Cherednikov (born 1964), Ukrainian-American author and software e ...
, who translated the entire
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Gree ...

Bible
into Slovene. From the high Middle Ages up to the dissolution of the
Austro-Hungarian Empire Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exer ...
in 1918, in the territory of present-day Slovenia,
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
was the language of the elite, and Slovene was the language of the common people. During this period, German had a strong influence on Slovene, and many Germanisms are preserved in contemporary colloquial Slovene. Many Slovene
scientist A scientist is a person who conducts scientific research The scientific method is an Empirical evidence, empirical method of acquiring knowledge that has characterized the development of science since at least the 17th century. It involves ...

scientist
s before the 1920s also wrote in foreign languages, mostly German, which was the ''
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from , , from the word , 'disco ...
'' of science throughout
Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of with both ...

Central Europe
at the time.


Recent history

During the rise of
Romantic nationalism Romantic nationalism (also national romanticism, organic nationalism, identity nationalism) is the form of nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis ...
in the 19th century, the cultural movements of
Illyrism The Illyrian movement ( hr, Ilirski pokret, sr, Илирски покрет, sl, Ilirsko gibanje) was a pan-South Slavs, South-Slavist cultural and political campaign with roots in the early modern period, and revived by a group of young Croatia ...
and
Pan-Slavism #REDIRECT Pan-Slavism Pan-Slavism, a movement which crystallized in the mid-19th century, is the political ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some pro ...

Pan-Slavism
brought words from
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
, specifically Croatian dialects, and
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A countr ...
into standard Slovene, mostly to replace words previously borrowed from German. Most of these innovations have remained, although some were dropped in later development. In the second half of the 19th century, many nationalist authors made an abundant use of Serbo-Croatian words: among them were
Fran Levstik Fran Levstik (28 September 1831 – 16 November 1887) was a Slovenes, Slovene writer, political activist, playwright and critic. He was one of the most prominent exponents of the Young Slovene political movement. Life and work He was born in ...
and , who wrote the first novel in Slovene in 1866. This tendency was reversed in the
Fin de siècle ''Fin de siècle'' () is a French term meaning "end of century", a term which typically encompasses both the meaning of the similar English idiom turn of the century Turn of the century, in its broadest sense, refers to the transition from ...
period by the first generation of modernist Slovene authors (most notably the writer
Ivan Cankar Ivan Cankar (, ) (10 May 1876 – 11 December 1918) was a Slovene writer, playwright, essayist, poet, and political activist. Together with Oton Župančič, Dragotin Kette, and Josip Murn, he is considered as the beginner of modernism , S ...

Ivan Cankar
), who resorted to a more "pure" and simple language without excessive Serbo-Croatian borrowings. During the
Kingdom of Yugoslavia The Kingdom of Yugoslavia ( sh, Kraljevina Jugoslavija / Краљевина Југославија; sl, Kraljevina Jugoslavija) was a state in Southeast Europe, Southeast and Central Europe that existed from 1918 until 1941. From 1918 to 1929 ...
in the 1920s and 1930s, the influence of Serbo-Croatian increased again. This was opposed by the younger generations of Slovene authors and intellectuals; among the most fierce opponents of an excessive Serbo-Croatian influence on Slovene were the intellectuals associated with the leftist journal ''
Sodobnost ''Sodobnost'' (Slovene language, Slovene for ''Modernity'' or ''Contemporary Time'') is a Slovenian literary magazine, literary and cultural magazine, established in 1933. It is considered the oldest of currently existing literary magazines in Slov ...
'', as well as some younger Catholic activists and authors. After 1945, numerous Serbo-Croatian words that had been used in the previous decades were dropped. The result was that a Slovene text from the 1910s is frequently closer to modern Slovene than a text from the 1920s and 1930s. Between 1920 and 1941, the official language of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was defined as "Serbo-Croato-Slovene", which was in practice merely Serbo-Croatian. In Slovenia however, Slovene remained in use in education and administration. Many state institutions used only Serbo-Croatian, and a Slovene–Serbo-Croatian bilingualism was applied in many spheres of public life in Slovenia. For examples, at the post offices, railways and in administrative offices, Serbo-Croatian was used alongside Slovene. However, state employees were expected to be able to speak Slovene in Slovenia. During the same time, western Slovenia (the
Slovenian Littoral The Slovene Littoral ( sl, Primorska, ; it, Litorale; german: Küstenland) is one of the five historical region, traditional regions of Slovenia. Its name recalls the former Austrian Littoral (''Avstrijsko Primorje''), the Habsburg Monarchy, Hab ...
and the western districts of
Inner Carniola Inner Carniola ( sl, Notranjska; german: Innerkrain) is a traditional region of Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe Central Europe is th ...
) was under Italian administration and submitted to a violent policy of
Fascist Italianization Italianization ( it, Italianizzazione; hr, talijanizacija; french: italianisation; sl, poitaljančevanje; german: Italianisierung; el, Ιταλοποίηση) is the spread of Italian culture, Italian language, language and Italian identity, i ...

Fascist Italianization
; the same policy was applied to Slovene speakers in
Venetian Slovenia Slavia Friulana, which means Friulian Slavia (or Beneška Slovenija in Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken ...
,
Gorizia Gorizia (; sl, Gorica , colloquially 'old Gorizia' to distinguish it from Nova Gorica; fur, label=Standard Friulian, Gurize, fur, label=Friulian language#Variants of Friulian, Southeastern Friulian, Guriza; vec, label=Venetian language#Regio ...

Gorizia
and
Trieste Trieste ( , ; sl, Trst ; german: Triest ) is a city and seaport The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (wher ...

Trieste
. Between 1923 and 1943, all public use of Slovene in these territories was strictly prohibited, and Slovene-language activists were persecuted by the state. After the Carinthian Plebiscite of 1920, a less severe policy of
Germanization Germanisation, or Germanization, is the spread of the German language German ( Standard High German: , ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern ...
took place in the Slovene-speaking areas of southern
Carinthia Carinthia (german: Kärnten ; sl, Koroška ) is the southernmost Austrian state or ''Land''. Situated within the Eastern Alps Eastern Alps is the name given to the eastern half of the Alps, usually defined as the area east of a line from L ...
which remained under Austrian administration. After the
Anschluss The ''Anschluss'' (, or ''Anschluß'' before the German orthography reform of 1996, "joining"), also known as the ''Anschluss Österreichs'' (, en, Annexation of Austria), was the annexation of Federal State of Austria, Austria into Nazi Ge ...

Anschluss
of 1938, the use of Slovene was strictly forbidden in Carinthia, as well. This accelerated a process of
language shift Language shift, also known as language transfer or language replacement or language assimilation, is the process whereby a speech community Arnold Lakhovsky, ''The Conversation'' (circa 1935) A speech community is a group of people who share a s ...
in Carinthia, which continued throughout the second half of the 20th century: according to the Austro-Hungarian census of 1910, around 21% of inhabitants of Carinthia spoke Slovene in their daily communication; by 1951, this figure dropped to less than 10%, and by 2001 to a mere 2.8%. During
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, Slovenia was divided among the Axis Powers of Fascist Italy,
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...

Nazi Germany
, and
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
. Each of the occupying powers tried to either discourage or entirely suppress Slovene. Following World War II, Slovenia became part of the
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, commonly referred to as SFR Yugoslavia or simply Yugoslavia, was a Socialist state, socialist country in Southeast Europe, Southeast and Central Europe that existed from its foundation in the afte ...
. Slovene was one of the official languages of the federation. In the territory of Slovenia, it was commonly used in almost all areas of public life. One important exception was the
Yugoslav army The Yugoslav People's Army ( sr, / ; hr, Jugoslavenska narodna armija, JNA; sl, Jugoslovanska ljudska armada, JLA; mk, Југословенска народна армија, ЈНА, Jugoslovenska narodna armija, JNA), also called the Yugosl ...
, where
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
was used exclusively, even in Slovenia. National independence has further fortified the language: since 1991, when Slovenia gained independence, Slovene has been used as an official language in all areas of public life. In 2004 it became one of the official languages of the European Union upon Slovenia's admission. Joža Mahnič, a literary historian and president of the publishing house ''
Slovenska matica 320px, The seat of the Slovene Society at Ljubljana.html"_;"title="Congress_Square_in_Ljubljana">Congress_Square_in_Ljubljana_ The_Slovene_Society_(_sl.html" ;"title="Ljubljana_.html" ;"title="Ljubljana.html" ;"title="Congress Square in Ljubljana ...
'', said in February 2008 that Slovene is a language rich enough to express everything, including the most sophisticated and specialised texts. In February 2010, , a prominent Slovene linguist, commented that, although Slovene is not an endangered language, its scope has been shrinking, especially in science and higher education.


Geographic distribution

The language is spoken by about 2.5 million people, mainly in Slovenia, but also by
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
national minorities in
Friuli-Venezia Giulia (man), it, Friulana (woman), it, Giuliano (man), it, Giuliana (woman) , population_note= , population_blank1_title= , population_blank1= , demographics_type1= , demographics1_footnotes= , demographics1_title1= , demographics1_info1= , d ...
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
(around 90,000 in
Venetian Slovenia Slavia Friulana, which means Friulian Slavia (or Beneška Slovenija in Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken ...
,
Resia ValleyResia may refer to: Locations in northern Italy * In the province of South Tyrol, within the Trentino-Alto Adige region: ** Resia (german: Reschen) Italian name of a frazione (subdivision) of the village Graun im Vinschgau ** Reschen Pass, border ...
,
Canale ValleyCanale may refer to: Places ;Italy * Canale, Piedmont, a ''comune'' in the Province of Cuneo * Canale, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, a ''frazione'' in the Province of Trento * Canale d'Agordo Canale d'Agordo (known as Forno di Canale until 1964 ...
,
Province of Trieste The Province of Trieste ( it, Provincia di Trieste, sl, Tržaška pokrajina; fur, provinzia di Triest) was a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , cou ...
and in those municipalities of the
Province of Gorizia The Province of Gorizia ( it, Provincia di Gorizia, fur, Provincie di Gurize; sl, Goriška pokrajina) was a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , count ...
bordering with Slovenia), in southern
Carinthia Carinthia (german: Kärnten ; sl, Koroška ) is the southernmost Austrian state or ''Land''. Situated within the Eastern Alps Eastern Alps is the name given to the eastern half of the Alps, usually defined as the area east of a line from L ...
, some parts of
Styria Styria (german: Steiermark ; Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also * Croat ...
in
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
(25,000) and in west part Croatian
Istria Istria ( ; Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also * Croatia (disambiguation) ...

Istria
bordering with Slovenia. It is also spoken in
Rijeka Rijeka ( , , ; hu, Fiume, it, Fiume ; local Chakavian Chakavian or Čakavian (, , , sh-Latn, čakavski proper name: or own name: ''čokovski, čakavski, čekavski'') is a South Slavic regiolect or language A language is a s ...

Rijeka
and
Zagreb Zagreb ( , , , ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smalle ...

Zagreb
(11,800-13,100), in southwestern
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
(3-5,000), in
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
(5,000), and by the Slovene diaspora throughout
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
and the rest of the world (around 300,000), particularly in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
(most notably
Ohio Ohio () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Co ...

Ohio
, home to an estimated 3,400 speakers),
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
,
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
and
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
.


Dialects

Slovene is sometimes characterized as the most diverse Slavic language in terms of
dialects The term dialect (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to b ...
, with different degrees of mutual intelligibility. Accounts of the number of dialects range from as few as seven dialects, often considered dialect groups or dialect bases that are further subdivided into as many as 50 dialects. Other sources characterize the number of dialects as nine or eight. The Slovene proverb "Every village has its own voice" (''Vsaka vas ima svoj glas'') depicts the differences in dialects. Although pronunciation differs greatly from area to area, those differences do not pose major obstacles to understanding. The standard language is mainly used in public presentations or on formal occasions. The
Prekmurje Prekmurje (; dialectically: ''Prèkmürsko'' or ''Prèkmüre''; hu, Muravidék) is a geographically, linguistically, culturally and ethnically defined region of Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia ...
dialect used to have a written norm of its own at one point. The
Resian The Resian dialect (self-designation ''Rozajanski langač,'' or ''lengač,'' sl, rezijansko narečje, ) is a distinct dialect of Slovene spoken in the Resia Valley, Province of Udine The province of Udine ( it, provincia di Udine, fur, provin ...
dialects have an independent written norm that is used by their regional state institutions. Speakers of those two dialects have considerable difficulties with being understood by speakers of other varieties of Slovene, needing
code-switching In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languag ...
to Standard Slovene. Other dialects are mutually intelligible when speakers avoid the excessive usage of regionalisms. Regionalisms are mostly limited to culinary and agricultural expressions, although there are many exceptions. Some
loanwords A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gesture ...
have become so deeply rooted in the local language that people have considerable difficulties in finding a standard expression for the dialect term (for instance, ''kovter'' meaning
blanket A blanket is a piece of soft cloth large enough either to cover or to enfold a great portion of the user's body. It is usually used when a person goes to sleep or is otherwise at rest. It traps radiant bodily heat that otherwise would be los ...

blanket
is ''prešita odeja'' in Standard Slovene, but the latter term is very rarely used in speech, being considered inappropriate for non-literary registers). Southwestern dialects incorporate a great deal of calques and
loanwords A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gesture ...
from Italian, whereas eastern and northwestern dialects are replete with lexemes of German origin. Usage of such words hinders intelligibility between dialects and is greatly discouraged in formal situations.


Phonology

Slovene has a
phoneme In phonology and linguistics, a phoneme is a unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another in a particular language. For example, in most List of dialects of English, dialects of English, with the notable exception of the West Midlan ...
set consisting of 21
consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that humans produce speech. Articulatory phoneticians explain how humans produce speech sounds via the interaction of d ...
s and 8
vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables ...

vowel
s.


Consonants

Slovene has 21 distinctive consonant phonemes. All
voiced Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics Phonetics is a branch of that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of s, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study th ...
obstruentAn obstruent () is a speech sound such as , , or that is formed by ''obstructing'' airflow. Obstruents contrast with sonorant In phonetics and phonology, a sonorant or resonant is a speech sound that is manner of articulation, produced with continuo ...
s are devoiced at the end of words unless immediately followed by a word beginning with a vowel or a voiced consonant. In consonant clusters, voicing distinction is neutralized and all consonants assimilate the voicing of the rightmost segment, i.e. the final consonant in the cluster. In this context, , and may occur as voiced allophones of , and , respectively (e.g. ''vŕh drevésa'' ). has several
allophones In phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of e ...
depending on context. * Before a vowel, pronunciation is labiodental, (also described as ). * After a vowel, pronunciation is bilabial and forms a diphthong. * At the beginning of a syllable, before a consonant (for example in ''vsi'' "all"), the pronunciation varies more widely by speaker and area. Many speakers convert into a full vowel in this position. For those speakers who retain a consonantal pronunciation, it is pronounced before a voiced consonant and before a voiceless consonant. Thus, ''vsi'' may be pronounced as disyllabic or monosyllabic . The sequences , and occur only before a vowel. Before a consonant or word-finally, they are reduced to , and respectively. This is reflected in the spelling in the case of , but not for and . Under certain (somewhat unpredictable) circumstances, at the end of a syllable may become , merging with the allophone of in that position.


Vowels

Slovene has an eight-vowel (or, according to Peter Jurgec, nine-vowel). He transcribes it as , but the vowel chart on page 2 shows that the phonetically correct symbol is . system, in comparison to the five-vowel system of Serbo-Croatian.


Grammar


Nouns

Slovene nouns retain six of the seven Slavic noun cases:
nominative In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as ...
,
accusative The accusative case (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) of a noun is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb. The same case is used in many languages for the objects of (some or all) prepositions. It is ...
,
genitive In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, a ...
,
dative In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as we ...
,
locative In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, a ...
and
instrumental An instrumental is a recording normally without any vocals, although it might include some inarticulate vocal The human voice consists of sound In physics, sound is a vibration that propagates as an acoustic wave, through a transmissio ...
. There is no distinct
vocative In grammar, the vocative Grammatical case, case (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) is a grammatical case which is used for a noun that identifies a person (animal, object, etc.) being addressed, or occasionally for the determiner (li ...
; the nominative is used in that role. Nouns, adjectives and pronouns have three numbers: singular, dual and plural. Nouns in Slovene are either masculine, feminine or neuter gender. In addition, there is a distinction between animate and inanimate nouns. This is only relevant for masculine nouns and only in the singular, at odds with some other Slavic languages, e.g. Russian, for which it is also relevant in the plural for all genders. Animate nouns have an accusative singular form that is identical to the genitive, while for inanimate nouns the accusative singular is the same as the nominative. Animacy is based mostly on semantics and is less rigid than gender. Generally speaking a noun is animate if it refers to something that is generally thought to have free will or the ability to move of its own accord. This includes all nouns for people and animals. All other nouns are inanimate, including plants and other non-moving life forms, and also groups of people or animals. However, there are some nouns for inanimate objects that are generally animate, which mostly include inanimate objects that are named after people or animals. This includes: * Dead people or animals * Makes of cars * Certain diseases (named after animals) * Certain devices (named after animals or people) * Works of art (named after their creator) * Chess pieces and playing cards (named for the people they represent) * Wines and mushrooms (named as
demonym A demonym (; from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ...
s)


Vocabulary


T–V distinction

Slovene, like most other European languages, has a
T–V distinction The T–V distinction is the contextual use of different pronouns that exists in some languages, and serves to convey formality or familiarity. Its name comes from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic lan ...
, or two forms of 'you' for formal and informal situations, respectively. Although informal address using the 2nd person singular ''ti'' form (known as ''tikanje'') is officially limited to friends and family, talk among children, and addressing animals, it is increasingly used among the middle generation to signal a relaxed attitude or lifestyle instead of its polite or formal counterpart using the 2nd person plural ''vi'' form (known as ''vikanje''). An additional nonstandard but widespread use of a singular participle combined with a plural auxiliary verb (known as ''polvikanje'') signals a somewhat more friendly and less formal attitude while maintaining politeness: * ''Vi ga niste videli.'' ('You did not see him': both the auxiliary verb ''niste'' and the participle ''videli'' are plural masculine. Standard usage.) * ''Vi ga niste videl/videla.'' ('You did not see him': the auxiliary verb ''niste'' is plural but the participle ''videl/videla'' is singular masculine/feminine. Nonstandard usage.) The use of nonstandard forms (''polvikanje'') might be frowned upon by many people and would not likely be used in a formal setting. The use of the 3rd person plural ''oni'' ('they') form (known as ''onikanje'' in both direct address and indirect reference; this is similar to using ''Sie'' in German) as an ultra-polite form is now archaic or dialectal. It is associated with servant-master relationships in older literature, the child-parent relationship in certain conservative rural communities, and parishioner-priest relationships.


Foreign words

Foreign words used in Slovene are of various types depending on the assimilation they have undergone. The types are: * ''sposojenka'' (loanword)fully assimilated; e.g. ''pica'' ('pizza'). * ''tujka'' (foreign word)partly assimilated, either in writing and syntax or in pronunciation; e.g. ''jazz'', ''wiki''. * ''polcitatna beseda ali besedna zveza'' (half-quoted word or phrase) – partly assimilated, either in writing and syntax or in pronunciation; e.g. ''Shakespeare'', but ''Shakespearja'' in genitive case. * ''citatna beseda ali besedna zveza'' (quoted word or phrase)kept as in original, although pronunciation may be altered to fit into speech flow; e.g. ''first lady'' in all cases. The loanwords are mostly from
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
and
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
, while the more recently borrowed and less assimilated words are typically from
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
.


Articles

There are no
definite In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languag ...
or
indefinite article Indefinite may refer to: * the opposite of definite in grammar ** indefinite article ** indefinite pronoun An indefinite pronoun is a pronoun In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the ...
s as in English (''a'', ''an'', ''the'') or
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
(''der'', ''die'', ''das'', ''ein'', ''eine''). A whole verb or a noun is described without articles and the
grammatical gender In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langua ...
is found from the word's termination. It is enough to say ''barka'' ('a' or 'the barge'), ''Noetova barka'' ('Noah's ark'). The gender is known in this case to be feminine. In
declension In linguistics, declension is the changing of the form of a word, generally to express its syntactic function in the sentence, by way of some inflection. The inflectional change of verbs is called Grammatical conjugation, conjugation. Declensions ...
s, endings are normally changed; see below. If one should like to somehow distinguish between definiteness or indefiniteness of a noun, one would say ''(prav/natanko/ravno) tista barka'' ('that/precise/exact barge') for 'the barge' and ''neka/ena barka'' ('some/a barge') for 'a barge'. Definiteness of a noun phrase can also be discernible through the ending of the accompanying adjective. One should say ''rdeči šotor'' (' xactly thatred tent') or ''rdeč šotor'' (' red tent'). This difference is observable only for masculine nouns in nominative or accusative case. Because of the lack of article in Slovene and audibly insignificant difference between the masculine adjective forms, most dialects do not distinguish between definite and indefinite variants of the adjective, leading to
hypercorrection In sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural Norm (sociology), norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used, and society's effect on language ...
when speakers try to use Standard Slovene.


Numbers


Writing system

This alphabet () was derived in the mid-1840s from the system created by Croatianist
Ljudevit Gaj Ljudevit Gaj (; born Ludwig Gay; 8 August 1809 – 20 April 1872) was a Croatian Linguistics, linguist, politician, journalist and writer. He was one of the central figures of the pan-Slavist Illyrian Movement. Biography Origin He was born in K ...

Ljudevit Gaj
. Intended for the
Serbo-Croatian language Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
(in all its varieties), it was patterned on the
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A countr ...
alphabet of the 1830s. Before that was, for example, written as , or

; as , , or ; sometimes as as a relic from the now modern Russian yery character , which is itself usually transliterated as ; as ; as ; as ; as , or . The standard Slovene orthography, used in almost all situations, uses only the letters of the
ISO basic Latin alphabet The ISO basic Latin alphabet is a Latin-script alphabet A Latin-script alphabet (Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet) is an alphabet that uses Letter (alphabet), letters of the Latin script. The 21-letter archaic Latin alphabet and the 23-lette ...
plus , , and : The orthography thus underdifferentiates several phonemic distinctions: * Stress, vowel length and tone are not distinguished, except with optional diacritics when it is necessary to distinguish between similar words with a different meaning. * The two distinct mid-vowels are also not distinguished, both written as simply and . * The schwa is also written as . However, the combination is written as simply between consonants and is thus distinguishable. * Vocalised ''l'' is written as , but cannot be predictably distinguished from in that position. In the tonemic varieties of Slovene, the ambiguity is even worse: ''e'' in a final syllable can stand for any of (although is rare). The reader is expected to gather the interpretation of the word from the context, as in these examples: * ''gol'': ** gȍł "naked" ** gọ̑l "goal" * ''jesen'': ** jésen "ash tree" ** jesẹ̑n "autumn" * ''kot'' ** kọ́t "angle" ** kot "as" * ''med'' ** med "between" ** mẹ̑d "honey" * ''pol'' ** pọ̑l "pole" ** pọ̑ł "half" ** pól "half an hour before (the hour)" * ''precej'' ** prȅcej "at once" (archaic) ** precẹ̑j or precȅj "a great deal (of)"


Diacritics

To compensate for the shortcomings of the standard orthography, Slovene also uses standardized
diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph The term glyph is used in typography File:metal movable type.jpg, 225px, Movable type being assembled on a composing stick using pieces that ...
s or accent marks to denote stress,
vowel length In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langua ...
and
pitch accent A pitch-accent language is a language that has word accents in which one syllable in a word or morpheme is more prominent than the others, but the accentuated syllable is indicated by a contrasting pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency ...
, much like the closely related
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
. However, as in Serbo-Croatian, use of such accent marks is restricted to dictionaries, language textbooks and linguistic publications. In normal writing, the diacritics are almost never used, except in a few minimal pairs where real ambiguity could arise. Two different and mutually incompatible systems of diacritics are used. The first is the simpler non-tonemic system, which can be applied to all Slovene dialects. It is more widely used and is the standard representation in dictionaries such as SSKJ. The tonemic system also includes tone as part of the representation. However, neither system reliably distinguishes schwa from the front mid-vowels, nor vocalised l from regular l . Some sources write these as ''ə'' and ''ł'', respectively, but this is not as common.


Non-tonemic diacritics

In the non-tonemic system, the distinction between the two mid-vowels is indicated, as well as the placement of stress and length of vowels: * Long stressed vowels are notated with an acute diacritic: ''á é í ó ú ŕ'' (IPA: ). * However, the rarer long stressed low-mid vowels and are notated with a circumflex: ''ê ô''. * Short stressed vowels are notated with a grave: ''à è ì ò ù'' (IPA: ). Some systems may also include ''ə̀'' for .


Tonemic diacritics

The tonemic system uses the diacritics somewhat differently from the non-tonemic system. The high-mid vowels and are written ''ẹ ọ'' with a subscript dot, while the low-mid vowels and are written as plain ''e o''. Pitch accent and length is indicated by four diacritical marks: * The
acute Acute may refer to: Science and technology * Acute angle ** Acute triangle ** Acute, a leaf shape in the glossary of leaf morphology#acute, glossary of leaf morphology * Acute (medicine), a disease that it is of short duration and of recent onset. ...

acute
( ´ ) indicates long and low pitch: ''á é ẹ́ í ó ọ́ ú ŕ'' (IPA: ). * The
inverted breve Inverted breve or arch is a diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter or basic glyph. The term derives from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the ...

inverted breve
(  ̑ ) indicates long and high pitch: ''ȃ ȇ ẹ̑ ȋ ȏ ọ̑ ȗ ȓ'' (IPA: ). * The
grave A grave is a location where a dead body A cadaver or corpse is a dead human body that is used by medical students A medical school is a tertiary educational institution, or part of such an institution, that teaches medicine, and award ...

grave
( ` ) indicates short and low pitch. This occurs only on ''è'' (IPA: ), optionally written as ''ə̀''. * The double grave (  ̏ ) indicates short and high pitch: ''ȁ ȅ ȉ ȍ ȕ'' (IPA: ). ''ȅ'' is also used for , optionally written as ''ə̏''. The schwa vowel is written ambiguously as ''e'', but its accentuation will sometimes distinguish it: a long vowel mark can never appear on a schwa, while a grave accent can appear only on a schwa. Thus, only ''ȅ'' and unstressed ''e'' are truly ambiguous.


Regulation

Standard Slovene spelling and grammar are defined by the Orthographic Committee and the Fran Ramovš Institute of the Slovene Language, which are both part of the
Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts The Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts ( sl, Slovenska akademija znanosti in umetnosti (SAZU)) is the national academy of Slovenia, which encompasses science and the arts and brings together the top Slovene researchers and artists as members of ...
(''Slovenska akademija znanosti in umetnosti'', SAZU). The newest reference book of standard Slovene spelling (and to some extent also grammar) is the ''Slovenski pravopis'' (''SP2001''; Slovene Normative Guide). The latest printed edition was published in 2001 (reprinted in 2003 with some corrections) and contains more than 130,000 dictionary entries. In 2003, an electronic version was published. The official dictionary of modern Slovene, which was also prepared by SAZU, is ''Slovar slovenskega knjižnega jezika'' (''SSKJ''; Standard Slovene Dictionary). It was published in five volumes by Državna Založba Slovenije between 1970 and 1991 and contains more than 100,000 entries and subentries with accentuation, part-of-speech labels, common collocations, and various qualifiers. In the 1990s, an electronic version of the dictionary was published and is available online. The SAZU considers SP2001 to be the normative source on Slovene. When dictionary entries in SP2001 and SSKJ differ, the SP2001 entry takes precedence. SP2001 is called a Spelling Dictionary by the European Network of e-Lexicography.


Sample

Below is the preamble of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is an international document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six p ...
in Slovene.
''Ker'' priznanje prirojenega dostojanstva ter enakih in neodtujljivih pravic vseh članov človeške družine pomeni temelj svobode, pravičnosti in miru v svetu, ''ker'' sta zanikanje in teptanje človekovih pravic pripeljala do barbarskih dejanj, ki so pretresla zavest človeštva, in ker je bila za najvišjo spoznana težnja človeštva, da bi nastopil svet, v katerem bodo ljudje uživali svobodo govora in prepričanja ter svobodo živeti brez strahu in pomanjkanja, ''ker'' je nujno potrebno človekove pravice zavarovati z vladavino prava, da se človek v skrajni sili ne bi bil prisiljen zateči k uporu zoper tiranijo in zatiranje, ''ker'' je nujno potrebno spodbujati razvoj prijateljskih odnosov med narodi, ''ker'' so ljudstva Organizacije združenih narodov v Ustanovni listini potrdila svojo vero v temeljne človekove pravice, dostojanstvo in vrednost človeškega bitja ter v enake pravice moških in žensk ter se odločila, da bodo spodbujala družbeni napredek in boljše življenjske razmere v večji svobodi, ''ker'' so se države članice zavezale, da bodo, v sodelovanju z Organizacijo združenih narodov, zagotavljale splošno spoštovanje in upoštevanje človekovih pravic in temeljnih svoboščin, ''ker'' je skupno razumevanje teh pravic in svoboščin največjega pomena za celovito uresničitev te zaveze, ''Generalna skupščina'' ''razglaša'' Splošno deklaracijo človekovih pravic kot skupen ideal vseh ljudstev in vseh narodov z namenom, da bi vsi posamezniki in vsi organi družbe, vselej ob upoštevanju te deklaracije, z vzgojo in izobraževanjem spodbujali spoštovanje teh pravic in svoboščin ter s postopnimi državnimi in mednarodnimi ukrepi zagotovili njihovo splošno in dejansko priznanje in upoštevanje, tako med ljudstvi držav članic samih kakor tudi med ljudstvi ozemelj pod njihovo upravo.


References


Bibliography

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External links


Centre for Slovene as a Second/Foreign Language

Slovenian Phonology


Grammars


Slovene Grammar


Corpora

* Slovenian National Corpus 600 M words corpus of Slovenian FidaPLUS
200 M words corpus of Slovenian Nova beseda


Dictionaries

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Comprehensive list of the Slovene dictionaries
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Spletni Slovar (Multilingual Dictionary)
{{DEFAULTSORT:Slovene language South Slavic languages Languages of Slovenia Languages of Austria Languages of Serbia Languages of Friuli-Venezia Giulia Languages of Hungary Languages of Italy