Shumen dialect

The Shumen dialect is a Bulgarian dialect, member of the Moesian dialects. It is one of the best preserved Moesian dialects and is spoken in the regions of Shumen and Kaspichan.

Phonological and morphological characteristics

  • The reflex of Old Church Slavonic ѣ in a stressed syllable is я (ʲa) before a hard syllable (бʲaл) and broad е (æ) before a soft syllable (бæли). In an unstressed syllable, the reflex is, however, only я (ʲa): врʲaме'на vs. formal Bulgarian време'на (times)
  • Complete loss of x /x/ in all positions. It is replaced by either f or v: фулера vs. formal Bulgarian холера (cholera)
  • The masculine definite article is о (stressed) and у (unstressed) instead of formal Bulgarian –ът/ъ (гърˈбо, ˈстолу instead of гърˈбът, ˈстолът)
  • Preserved traces of Old Bulgarian ы (ɨ): сын vs. formal Bulgarian син (son). This makes the Shumen dialect extremely archaic as (ɨ) is considered to be the original pronunciation of Old Church Slavonic ы
  • Transition of a into e after a soft (palatal) consonant and before a soft syllable: шапка-шепки vs. Standard Bulgarian шапка-шапки (hat-hats)
  • Large number of o reflexes of Old Church Slavonic ъ in a suffix position (as in the Southwestern Bulgarian dialects) and subsequent reduction of o into у: напредук vs. Standard Bulgarian напредък (progress)
  • Labialisation of и into ʲу: пʲупер vs. Standard Bulgarian пипер (pepper)
  • Elision of syllables, vowels and consonants, usually in frequently used words: рапта vs. Standard Bulgarian работа (work)
  • A large number of lexical peculiarities, e.g. жерка vs. common Bulgarian воденица (watermill)

For other phonological and morphological characteristics that are typical for all Moesian dialects, cf. article.


Стойков, Стойко: Българска диалектология, Акад. изд. "Проф. Марин Дринов", 2006, с. 105-106

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