Lower Carniolan dialect

The Lower Carniolan dialect (dolenjsko narečje,[1] dolenjščina[2]) is a major Slovene dialect in the Lower Carniolan dialect group. It is one of the two central Slovene dialects and was the original foundation for standard Slovene along with the Ljubljana urban dialect.[3] It is spoken in most of Lower Carniola (southeast of Ljubljana) as far west as Cerknica and including the settlements of Grosuplje and Ribnica, and encompassing the area of the Eastern Lower Carniolan subdialect.

Historically it was also spoken in Ljubljana because in the past the Ljubljana dialect displayed features more similar with the Lower Carniolan dialect group.[4] However, it gradually grew closer to the Upper Carniola dialect group as a consequence of migration from Upper Carniola into Ljubljana in the 19th and 20th centuries. Ljubljana mostly expanded to the north, gradually incorporating many villages that were historically part of Upper Carniola, and so its dialect shifted closer to the Upper Carniolan dialects.

Phonological and morphological characteristics

The Lower Carniolan dialect generally has a pitch accent. It is characterized by extensive ei, ie, and uo diphthongs developed from long vowels as well as an a-colored semivowel. The change o > u (ukanje) occurs in the dialect, as well as some degree of akanye. There is a high degree of syncope, vowel mutation caused by soft consonants, final short accented syllables, a short infinitive, and relatively well-preserved quantitative differences between long and short syllables.[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. 42.
  3. Toporišič, Jože. 1992. Enciklopedija slovenskega jezika. Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, p. 25.
  4. Rigler, Jakob (1968). "Osnove Trubarjevega jezika". Slovenski jezik in slovstvo. 5: 166.

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