Upper Carniolan dialect

The Upper Carniolan dialect (gorenjsko narečje,[1] gorenjščina[2]) is a major Slovene dialect in the Upper Carniolan dialect group. It is spoken in most (but not all) of Upper Carniola. It is one of the two central Slovene dialects and was also used as a written language from the 17th century onwards, and especially in the second half of the 18th century.[3]

Phonological and morphological characteristics

The Upper Carniolan dialect has a pitch accent, the usual circumflex advancement, and two accentual retractions with some exceptions. It has eight monophthongal accented vowels, as in standard Slovene. In preaccentual position there is narrowing of o and e, and akanye in postaccentual position. There is extensive syncope, partial development of g to [γ], general preservation of bilabial w, and general hardening of soft l and n. There is extensive morphophonemic alternation (l > w and k g h > č j/ž š), spirantization and devoicing of stops in word-final position (e.g., d > s), and simplification of šč to š. Neuter nouns become masculine, the ending -om becomes -am, the u-stem conjugation is robust, and there is a long infinitive (ending in ).[3]


  1. Smole, Vera. 1998. "Slovenska narečja." Enciklopedija Slovenije vol. 12, pp. 1–5. Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga, p. 2.
  2. Logar, Tine. 1996. Dialektološke in jezikovnozgodovinske razprave. Ljubljana: SAZU, p. 12.
  3. 1 2 Toporišič, Jože. 1992. Enciklopedija slovenskega jezika. Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, pp. 52–53.

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