Several Clarified Cases in the Transcription of Žemaitian Subdialects by IPA Symbols

  • Rima Bakšienė
Keywords: phonetics, transcription, International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), Lithuanian dialects, Žemaitian


    Dialectologists have discussed the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols for the transcription of Lithuanian dialects since 2017, the IPA collection for Standard Lithuanian was also approved in 2021, but until now, the possibilities of Aukštaitian transcription have been examined in more detail, and less attention has been paid to Žemaitian subdialects. The article addresses the questions of transcribing the Žemaitian subdialects of the Lithuanian language by the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), revises certain symbols from the earlier set of the IPA symbols for the sounds of Lithuanian dialects presented in 2017 and ways of transcribing.

    In terms of transcribing, the system of vocalism and especially of prosody in Žemaitian subdialects is more complex than Aukštaitian; the Žemaitian pitch accents have different characteristics. These differences are most relevant when transcribing diphthongs, which are characterized by a particularly high variability. The article gives many examples of transcribing the syllables, which contain diphthongs and bear different pitch accents. After more in-depth studies on dialectal phonology are conducted in the future and more theoretical works are generalized, the transcription of Lithuanian dialects by the IPA symbols will be further revised.