Croatian speech soundscape
As students of linguistics at Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb, Croatia, we were asked to support Language Landscape in the best way we could - by taking part in it and submitting our own recordings. Since we find that a child's mind works in ways far more agreeable than those of dull adults, we hereby provide an insight into this interesting world of language and/or language acquisition.
Present-day Zagreb speech is in contact with old Zagreb Kajkavian and Shtokavian dialect and that is the reason why present-day Zagreb speech is not anymore pure Kajkavian dialect which it used to be, but it is more the mixture of Kajkavian and Shtokavian. Basic characteristics of this dialect that can be heard on our recordings are: there is no big difference between č [t͡ʃ ] and ć [t͡ɕ], dž [d͡ʒ] and đ [d͡ʑ], vowels are more open, sometimes there is no difference between different reflexions of jat (ije/je) and accentuation of words is not used as it should be by the rules of standard accentuation – accent on the last syllable. Another interesting fact is generation difference in speech: children (Hrvoje and Borna) aspirate, while adults do not, and, on the other hand, only adults ( Fran and Milan) form nj [ɲ]. Considering that our recordings are based on reading, and not the spontaneous speech, not all the features of Zagreb speech could be expressed. When children read the text, you can notice that they stutter, that they have not yet learned to control their breathing during the reading and that they do not pay attention to the pronunciation, i.e. expression of the text is more important to them than the content. To the children of that age priority is to read the text correctly and then after that to understand it.