The Accent


Serbian has four accents which occur on vowels. They can be long or short, with rising or falling tones. Thus a rising accent can be either long-rising (') or short- -rising (`), and a faxling accent can be eithei long-falling (~) or short-falling (``).
  1. The long-rising accent (') is long, the tone of the voice rising very high before the beginning of the next syllable:
    	ruka 	(hand)
    	vrata 	(door)		
    	pismo 	(letter)
    	
  2. The short-rising accent (`) is short, the tone of the voice rising slightly:
    	zzena 	(woman)
    	pero 	(pen)		
    	voda 	(water)
    	
  3. The long-rising accent (') is long, the tone of the voice falling sharply:
    	sin 	(son)		
    	zub 	(tooth)	
    	rad 	(work)
    	
  4. The short-falling accent (") is very shorr, the tone of the voice falling abruptly:
    	sport 	(sport)		
    	brat 	(brother)	
    	hleb 	(bread)
    	
  5. A word can have only one of the four accents.
    a. Monosyllabic words always have a falling accerit, long of short:
    	sin 	(son)		
    	rad 	(work)
    	brat 	(brother)	
    	hleb 	(bread)
    	
    b. Disyllabic words may have any of the four accents on the first syllable, and none on the second:
    	pismo 	(letter)
    	pivo 	(beer)		
    	zzena 	(woman)
    	soba 	(room)	
    	
    c. Polysyllabic words may have any of the four accents on any syllable, but none on the final, which is never accented. The inteimmediste syllabics may have only a short-rising or a long-rising accent:
    	republika 	(republic)
    	Beograd 	(Belgiade)	
    	gospodin 	(gentleman)
    	ccokolada 	(chocolate)
    	trideset 	(thirty)
    	Amerikanac 	(American)
    	
  6. Unaccented syllables are either short or long. A long syllable is marked by vowel length (-) which occurs only after the accentcd syllable. There may be several lengths in one word.
    	januar 		(January)	
    	dvadeset 	(twenty)		
    	Jugoslavija 	(Yugoslavia)		
    	
  7. There are some words which are not accented. These are: prepositions, conjunctions, the negative particle ne and enclitics.

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