Appendix:Norwegian pronunciation

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This is a guide to pronunciation of Norwegian.

Consonants[edit]

Plosives[edit]

Phoneme Transcription, example and translation
p par, /pɑːr/, "pair; couple"
b bok, /buːk/, "book"
t tam, /tam:/ invalid IPA characters (:), replace : with ː, "tame"
ʈ vært, /ʋæʈː/, "been"
d dam, /dam:/ invalid IPA characters (:), replace : with ː, "pond"
ɖ burde, /'bʉɖə/ invalid IPA characters ('), replace ' with ˈ, "should; ought to"
k katt, /katː/, "cat"
g invalid IPA characters (g), replace g with ɡ god, /guː/ invalid IPA characters (g), replace g with ɡ, "good"

/p, t, k/ are all aspirated and pronounced almost identical to the equivalent English sounds. /b, d, g/ are distinctly voiced, moreso than the English equivalents of most dialects.

Fricatives[edit]

Phoneme Transcription, example and translation
f fot, /fuːt/, "foot"
ʋ våt, /ʋoːt/, "wet"
s sol, /suːl/, "sun"
ʂ torsdag, /toːʂdag/ invalid IPA characters (g), replace g with ɡ, Thursday
ʃ sju, /ʃʉː/, "seven"
ç kjapp, /çapː/, "fast"
j jord, /juːr/, "soil"
h han, /hɑnː/, "he"

/r/[edit]

Phoneme Transcription, example and translation
r rød, /røː/, "red"

The pronunciation of /r/ varies in the various dialects. In eastern dialects the pronunciation is more forward, [r] or [ɾ] while the pronunciation in western dialects is further back, [ʁ] [χ].

In most dialects /s, t, d, n, l/ merge with /r/ into retroflex assimilations [ʂ, ɖ, ʈ, ɳ, ɭ].

Laterals[edit]

Phoneme Transcription, example and translation
l "land", /lɑnː/, "country"

Nasals[edit]

Phoneme Transcription, example and translation
m "mann", /mɑnː/, "man"
n "nese", /ˈneːsə/, "nose"
ŋ "lang", /lɑŋː/, "long"

Vowels[edit]

Long vowels
Phoneme Transcription, example and translation
ʉː
æː
ɑː
øː
Short vowels
Phoneme Transcription, example and translation
ɪ
ʏ
ʉ
ɛ
ɑ
œ
ʊ
ɔ
ə
Diphthongs
Phoneme Transcription, example and translation
æʉ
æɪ
œʏ

Stress and tonemes[edit]

Most dialects of Norwegian separate between two distinct tonemes. The way they are realised differs considerably between different dialects. The table gives only a few examples.

Stress and tone
IPA Examples Examples of realisation
[ˈ] bønder
[ˈbønːər]
[ˈbønːəʁ]
Tone 1 / acute accent:
  • low-rising tone in Oslo and Trondheim: [ˈbø̀nːə̌r]
  • falling-low tone in Bergen: [ˈbø̂nːə̀ʁ]
  • rising-falling tone in Stavanger: [ˈbø̌nːɔ̂ʁ]
  • simple primary stress in certain accents: [ˈbønːər][1]
[²] bønner
[²bønːər]
[²bønːəʁ]
Tone 2 / grave accent:
  • falling-rising tone in Oslo and Trondheim: [ˈbø̂nːə̌r]
  • rising-falling tone in Bergen: [ˈbø̌nːə̂ʁ]
  • falling-falling tone in Stavanger: [ˈbø̂nːɔ̂ʁ]
  • simple primary stress in certain accents: [ˈbønːər][1]
  1. 1.0 1.1 A few dialects have a simple primary stress rather than a contrastive pitch accent. In those accents, bønder (meaning 'farmers') and bønner (meaning 'beans') are pronounced exactly the same.