The Masovian dialect, also written Mazovian, is the dialect of Polish spoken in Mazovia and historically related regions, in northeastern Poland. It is the most distinct of the Polish dialects and the most expansive.
Masovian dialect (B3) among languages of Central Europe
Masovian emerged in the process of mixing the Polish and the Mazovian language existing as a separate language well until 20th century, according to various scholars. Mazovian dialects may exhibit such features as mazurzenie, liaison (intervocallic voicing of obstruents on word boundaries), and asynchronous palatal pronunciation of labial consonants (so-called softening). The Kurpie region has some of the most distinctive phonetic features due to isolation. Characteristics include:
- Depalatalization of velars before /ɛ/ and palatalization of velars before /ɛ̃/; e.g. standard Polish rękę, nogę ('arm', 'leg', in the accusative case) is rendered [ˈreŋkʲe], [ˈnoɡʲe] respectively instead of [ˈrɛŋke], [ˈnɔɡe];
- /li/ sequences realized [lɪ] instead of [lʲi];
- merger of the retroflex series sz, ż, cz, dź into the alveolar s, z, c, dz;
- /ɨ/ > /i/ before certain consonants;
- the Old Polish dual number marker -wa continues to be attached to verbs;
- the open-mid vowels /ɛ, ɔ/ are realized as close-mid [e, o];
- Standard Polish /ɔ̃/ and /ɛ̃/ merged with /u/ and /a/ respectively, in most situations;
- certain instances of a > e;
- [mʲ] > [ɲ]
Masovian dialects also contain certain vocabulary that is distinct from the standard Polish language and shares common characteristics with the Kashubian language.
Mazovian dialects include but are not limited to subdialects of:
- Barbara Bartnicka (red.): Polszczyzna Mazowsza i Podlasia. Łomża-Warszawa 1993.
- Anna Basara: Studia nad wokalizmem w gwarach Mazowsza. Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków 1965.
- Anna Cegieła: Polski Słownik terminologii i gwary teatralnej. Wrocław 1992.
- Jadwiga Chludzińska-Świątecka: Ze studiów nad słowotwórstwem gwar mazowieckich. Poradnik Językowy, z. 6, 1961, s. 253-258.
- Karol Dejna: Dialekty polskie. Ossolineum 1993.
- Barbara Falińska (red.): Gwary Mazowsza, Podlasia i Suwalszczyzny.ɴ I. Filipów, pow. Suwałki, Białystok, 2004.
- Województwo płockie. Uniwersytet Łódzki, Łódź-Płock 1984.