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Unless otherwise noted, statements in this article refer to Standard Finnish, which is based on the dialect spoken in the former Häme Province in central south Finland.[1] Standard Finnish is used by professional speakers, such as reporters and news presenters on television.

"Consonant gradation" is the term used for a set of alternations which pervade the language, between a "strong grade" and a "weak grade". These alternations are always conditioned by both phonology and morphosyntax. The phonological factor which triggers the weak grade is the syllable structure of closed syllable. However, there are contexts where weak grade fails to occur in a closed syllable, and there are contexts where the weak grade occurs in an open syllable. Morphosyntactically, the weak grade occurs in nominals (nouns, pronouns, adjectives) usually only before case suffixes, and in verbs usually only before person agreement suffixes.

The following is a general list of strong–weak correspondences.

Strong Weak
/pp, tt, kk/ /p, t, k/
/p, t, k/ /ʋ, d, ∅~j~ʋ/
/mp, nt, ŋk/ /mm, nn, ŋŋ/
/lt, rt/ /ll, rr/

Other consonant alternations

Finnish is not really isochronic at any level. For example, huutelu ('shouting') and huuhtelu ('flushing') are distinct words, where the initial syllables huu- and huuh- are of different length. Additionally, acoustic measurements show that the first syllable of a word is longer in duration than other syllables, in addition to its phonological doubling. Thus, there ar

Certain Finnish dialects also have quantity-sensitive main stress pattern, but instead of moving the initial stress, they geminate the consonant, so that e.g. light-heavy CV.CVV becomes heavy-heavy CVCCVV, e.g. the partitive form of "fish" is pronounced kalaa in the quantity-insensitive dialects but kallaa in the quantity-sensitive ones (cf. also the examples under the "Length" section).

Secondary stress falls on the first syllable of non-initial parts of compounds, for example the compound puunaama, meaning "wooden face" (from puu, 'tree' and naama, 'face'), is pronounced [ˈpuːˌnɑː.mɑ] but puunaama, meaning "which was cleaned" (preceded by an agent in the genitive, "by someone"), is pronounced [ˈpuː.nɑː.mɑ].

Finnish is not really isochronic at any level. For example, huutelu ('shouting') and huuhtelu ('flushing') are distinct words, where the initial syllables huu- and huuh- are of different length. Additionally, acoustic measurements show that the first syllable of a word is longer in duration than other syllables, in addition to its phonological doubling. Thus, there are four distinct phonetic lengths.

Sandhi

Finnish sandhi is extremely frequent, appearing between many words and morphemes, in formal standard language and in everyday spoken language. In most registers, it is never written down; only dialectal transcriptions preserve it, the rest settling for a morphemic notation. There are two processes. The first is simple assimilation with respect to place of articulation (e.g. np > mp). The second is predictive gemination of initial consonants on morpheme boundaries.

Simple phonetic incomplete assimilations include: