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Appendix:Hungarian pronunciation assimilation

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Assimilation in pronunciationEdit

This appendix describes the rules of phonetic assimilation in pronunciation of Hungarian.

Pronunciation of written Hungarian is, for the most part, easy once one learns to pronounce the consonants and vowels since words are pronounced as written. The main exceptions are due to voicing and devoicing of consonants causing the spelling and pronunciation to diverge.

Unfortunately, some of the IPA transcription produced even by native speakers do not accurately reflect the change in pronunciation caused by different assimilation mechanism. It is therefore necessary and useful to list the different cases of assimilation to assist both editors and readers to manage this tricky subject by providing sufficient examples of correct IPA transcriptions.

For a deeper explanation of the rules refer to the Wikipedia article [1]

Voicing and devoicing of consonantsEdit

Consonants can be classified as voiced and unvoiced. [2]

Unvoiced p t k f sz s c cs ty h
Voiced b d g v z zs dz dzs gy j ly m n ny l r
  • Unvoiced consonants (except h) become voiced when preceding voiced consonants (except j, ly, m, n, ny, l, r, v).
    pdal [ˈneːbdɒl] folk song - in pronunciation the unvoiced consonant p becomes its voiced pair [b]
  • Voiced consonants (except j, ly, m, n, ny, l, r) are devoiced when preceding unvoiced consonants.
    bfej [ˈlaːpfɛj] foot - in pronunciation the voiced consonant b becomes its unvoiced pair [p]
  • If the cluster contains a pair of consonant which is the voiced/devoiced counterpart of the other then the result is a long consonant sound:
    adtam ['ɒɒm] I gave

It is a partial assimilation, meaning only one part of the consonant cluster is modified.

In a cluster of consonants ending in an obstruent, all obstruents change their voicing according to the last one of the sequence.

  • barackdzsem ['bɒrɒdzɡdʒɛm] ~ ['bɒrɒdzdʒːɛm] apricot jam

The assimilation rules are the following.

Devoicing of voiced consonantsEdit

Voiced consonants (except j, ly, m, n, ny, l, r) are devoiced when preceding unvoiced consonants.

p t k f sz s c cs ty h
b bp [pː] bt [pt] bk [pk] bf [pf] bsz [ps] bs [pʃ] bc [pt͡s] bcs [pt͡ʃ] bty [pc] bh [ph]
zsebpénz dobtam zsebkendő bfej rabszolga rabság bcenti habcsók btyű dobhártya
d dp [tp] dt [tː] dk [tk] df [tf] dsz [ts] ds [tʃ] dc [t͡sː] dcs [tt͡ʃ] dty [cː] dh [th]
zöldpaprika adta
mondta
fáradt
vodka családfő földszint
tudsz
szabadság családcentrikus szabadcsapat vadtyúk adhat
buddhista
g gp [kp] gt [kt] gk [kː] gf [kf] gsz [ks] gs [kʃ] gc [kt͡s] gcs [kt͡ʃ] gty [kc] gh [kh]
gpedig gtön megkap hangfal
megfelel
fogsz
legszebb
jogsértés újságcikk gcsál rengeteg tyúk meghat
v vp [fp] vt [ft] vk [fk] vf [fː] vsz [fs] vs [fʃ] vc [ft͡s] vcs [ft͡ʃ] vty [fc] vh [fh]
könyvpiac szívtelen könyvklub évfolyam évszak
vsz
könyvsiker ? vcső ? vhit
z zp [sp] zt [st] zk [sk] zf [sf] zsz [sː] zs [ʃː] zc [st͡s] zcs [st͡ʃ] zty [sc] zh [sh]
zpont pénztár intézkedés szárazföld zszintes zsor zcélú zcsepp z tyúk zhoz
zs zsp [ʃp] zst [ʃt] zsk [ʃk] zsf [ʃf] zssz [ʃs] zss [ʃː] zsc [ʃt͡s] zscs [ʃt͡ʃ] zsty [ʃc] zsh [ʃh]
rizspehely rizst rozskenyér rizsföld törzsszám garázssor ánizscukorka darázscsípés ? törzshely
dz dzp [t͡sp] dzt [t͡st] dzk [t͡sk] dzf [t͡sf] dzsz [t͡ss] dzs [t͡sʃ] dzc [t͡sː] dzcs [t͡st͡ʃ] dzty [t͡sc] dzh [t͡sh]
? belopództak ódzkodik ? ? ? ? ? ? edzhet
dzs dzsp [t͡ʃp] dzst [t͡ʃt] dzsk [t͡ʃk] dzsf [t͡ʃf] dzssz [t͡ʃs] dzss [t͡ʃʃ] dzsc [t͡ʃt͡s] dzscs [t͡ʃː] dzsty [t͡ʃc] dzsh [t͡ʃh]
bridzsprogram bridzstől bridzskönyv a bridzs fő célja bridzsszövetség bridzssport a bridzs célja bridzscsapat ? bridzshez
gy gyp [cp] gyt [ct] gyk [ck] gyf [cf] gysz [cs] gys [cʃ] gyc [ct͡s] gycs [ct͡ʃ] gyty [cː] gyh [ch]
nagypapa ágytól
hegytető
nagykövet
egykor
egyféle
ügyfél
egyszer egység Nagycenk hegycsúcs gyöngytyúk egyház
hagyhat

b /b/ → /p/Edit

  • bcs [pt͡ʃ]
    habcsók [ˈhɒpt͡ʃoːk] meringue
  • bty [pc]
    btyű [ˈlaːpcyː] socks with sleeves for the toes
  • bh [ph]
    dobhártya [ˈdophaːrcɒ] eardrum

d /d/ → [t]Edit

  • dh [th]
    adhat [ˈɒthɒt] s/he can give
  • dt [tː]
    adtam [ˈɒɒm] I gave

g /g/ → [k]Edit

  • gt [kt]
    fogtam [ˈfoktɒm] I held (it)
    gtön [ˈrøktøn] immediately
  • gs [kʃ]
    jogsértés [ˈjoeːrteːʃ] violation of rights

v /v/ → [f]Edit

  • vt [ft]
    szívtam [ˈsiːftɒm] I smoked/sucked (it)
    szívtelen [ˈsiːftɛlɛn] heartless
  • vcs [ft͡ʃ]
    vcső [ˈtaːft͡ʃøː] binoculars

z /z/ → [s]Edit

zs /ʒ/ → [ʃ]Edit

dz /d͡z/ → [t͡s]Edit

  • dzh [t͡sh]
    edzhet [ˈɛt͡shɛt] s/he can train

dzs /d͡ʒ/ → [t͡ʃ]Edit

  • dzst [t͡ʃt]
    bridzstől [ˈbrit͡ʃtøːl] from bridge <game of cards>

gy /ɟ/ → [c]Edit

  • gyt [ct]
    ágytól [ˈaːctoːl] from (a) bed
  • gys [cʃ]
    egység [ˈɛeːɡ] unity

Voicing of unvoiced consonantsEdit

Unvoiced consonants (except h) become voiced when preceding voiced consonants (except j, ly, m, n, ny, l, r, v).

b d g z zs dz dzs gy
p pb [bː] pd [bd] pg [bg] pz [bz] pzs [bʒ] pdz [bd͡z] pdzs [bd͡ʒ] pgy [bɟ]
alapbér pdal pgazdaság pzés kapzsi ? terepdzseki pgyár
t tb [db] td [dː] tg [dg] tz [dz] tzs [dʒ] tdz [d͡zː] tdzs [d͡ʒː] tgy [dɟ]
képzeletbeli tdimenziós tgerinc sötétzöld kabátzseb ? pamutdzsörzé iratgyűjtő
k kb [gb] kd [gd] kg [gː] kz [gz] kzs [gʒ] kdz [gd͡z] kdzs [gd͡ʒ] kgy [gɟ]
ajándékbolt ablakdeszka kgubó alakzat homokzsák ? gyerekdzseki gyermekgyógyász
f fb [vb] fd [vd] fg [vg] fz [vz] fzs [vʒ] fdz [vd͡z] fdzs [fd͡ʒ] fgy [vɟ]
széfben csúfdal afgán ? ? ? golfdzseki széfgyártás
sz szb [zb] szd [zd] szg [zg] szz [zː] szzs [zʒ] szdz [zd͡z] szdzs [zd͡ʒ] szgy [zɟ]
horgászbot csúszda fűrészgép gyászzene horgászzsinór ? kamaszdzseki viaszgyertya
s sb [ʒb] sd [ʒd] sg [ʒg] sz [ʒz] szs [ʒː] sdz [ʒd͡z] sdzs [ʒd͡ʒ] sgy [ʒɟ]
kevésbé mosdik basszusgitár nyílászáró sertészsír ? városdzsungel vasgyár
c cb [d͡zb] cd [d͡zd] cg [d͡zg] cz [d͡zz] czs [d͡zʒ] cdz [d͡zː] cdzs [d͡zd͡ʒ] cgy [d͡zɟ]
párducbőr cdarab piacgazdaság tánczene arczsába ? árbocdzsungel nyolcgyermekes
cs csb [d͡ʒb] csd [d͡ʒd] csg [d͡ʒg] csz [d͡ʒz] cszs [d͡ʒʒ] csdz [d͡ʒd͡z] csdzs [d͡ʒː] csgy [d͡ʒɟ]
barkácsbolt gubacsdarázs tolmácsgép kavicszátony csúcszsaru ? narancsdzsem abroncsgyártás
ty tyb [ɟb] tyd [ɟd] tyg [ɟg] tyz [ɟz] tyzs [ɟʒ] tydz [ɟd͡z] tydzs [ɟd͡ʒ] tygy [ɟː]
pontyból ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

p /p/ → [b]Edit

  • pz [bz]
    alapzat [ˈɒlɒbzɒt] base(ment)
    pzés [ˈkeːbzeːʃ] formation
  • pdz [bd͡z]
    alapdzadzíki [ˈɒlɒbd͡zɒd͡ziːki] standard tzatziki
  • pd [bd]
    csapda [ˈt͡ʃɒbdɒ] trap
    pdal [ˈneːbdɒl] folk song
    kalapdoboz ['kɒlɒbdoboz] hatbox
  • pgy [bɟ]
    pgyár [ˈɡeːaːr] machine factory

t /t/ → [d]Edit

  • tg [dg]
    állítgat [ˈaːlːiːdgɒt] s/he constantly adjusts
  • tb [db]
    futball [ˈfudbɒlː] soccer
    tből [ˈheːdbøːl] from seven
    kertben [ˈkerdben] in (a) garden

k /k/ → [g]Edit

  • kb [gb]
    zsákból [ˈʒaːɡboːl] out of (a) bag

s /ʃ/ → [ʒ]Edit

c /t͡s/ → [d͡z]Edit

  • cb [d͡zb]
    ketrecben ['kɛtrɛd͡zbɛn] in (a) cage

cs /t͡ʃ/ → [d͡ʒ]Edit

  • csb [d͡ʒb]
    ácsból ['aːd͡ʒboːl] from (a) carpenter

sz /s/ → [z]Edit

  • sz + b [zb]
    buszban [ˈbuzbɒn] in (a) bus
    szből [ˈmeːzbøːl] out of lime
  • sz + z [zː]
    gyászzene [ˈɟaːɛnɛ] funeral music

f /f/ → [v]Edit

  • fb [vb]
    széfben [ˈseːvbɛn] in (a) safe

ty /c/ → [ɟ]Edit

  • tyb [ɟb]
    pintyből [ˈpiɲɟbøːl] from (a) finch
    pontyból [ˈpoɲɟboːl] from (a) carp

Assimilation of sibilantsEdit

Hissing sibilants (sz, z) when preceding hushing sibilants (s, zs) become hushing sibilants (the above voicing and devoicing rules also apply if applicable).

sz [s] → [ʃ]Edit

sz [s] → [ʒ]Edit

z → [ʃ]Edit

  • z + s [ʃ] → [ʃː]
    igazság [ˈigɒʃːaːg] truth
    zség [ˈkøʃːeːg] village, community
    nehézség [ˈnɛheːʃːeːg] difficulty

z → [ʒ]Edit

  • z + zs [ʒ] → [ʒː]
    tíz zsák [ˈtiːʒːaːk] ten bags

Lengthening of consonants before jEdit

Between two vowels the consonant clusters dj, gyj, tj, tyj, nj, nyj are pronounced long, but if they are between a consonant and a vowel, they are pronounced short.

d + j → [ɟː]Edit

adja [ˈɒɟːɒ] - he/she gives something

d + j → [ɟ]Edit

földje [ˈfølɟɛ] - his/her land

gy [ɟ] + j → [ɟː]Edit

hagyjátok [ˈhɒɟːaːtok] - leave it

t + j → [cː]Edit

tja [ˈlaːɒ] - he/she sees it
mutatja [ˈmutɒɒ] - he/she shows

t + j → [c]Edit

kertje [ˈkɛrcɛ] - his/her garden

ty [c] + j → [cː]Edit

atyja [ˈɒɒ] - his/her father
tyja [ˈbaːɒ] - his/her older brother

n + j → [ɲː]Edit

kívánjuk [ˈkiːvaːɲːuk] - we wish

n + j → [ɲ]Edit

westernje [ˈvɛstɛrɲɛ] his/her western movie

ny [ɲ] + j → [ɲː]Edit

anyja [ˈɒɲːɒ] - his/her mother
nyja [ˈhaːɲːɒ] - he/she throws something

Nasal place assimilationEdit

n → [m]Edit

n → [ŋ]Edit

  • nk [ŋk]
    munka [ˈmuŋkɒ] work
  • ng [ŋg]
    angol [ˈɒŋɡol] English

n → [ɲ]Edit

  • nty [ɲc]
    pinty [piɲc] finch
  • ntj [ɲc]
    bontja [ˈboɲcɒ] s/he takes something apart
  • nty [ɲɟ]
    angyalɲɟɒl] angel
  • ndj [ɲɟ]
    mondjuk [ˈmoɲɟuk] let's say
  • n + ny [ɲː]
    magánnyomozó [ˈmɒɡaːɲːomozoː] private detective
    japán nyelv [ˈjɒpaːɲːɛlv] Japanese language

Full assimilationEdit

l + r → [rː]Edit

álruha [ˈaːuhɒ] - disguise
balra [ˈbɒɒ] - to the left
lre [ˈfeːɛ] - to the side

l + j → [jː]Edit

tanulj [ˈtɒnu] - learn!

ll + j → [jː]Edit

hallja [ˈhɒɒ] - he/she can hear it

t + sz [s] → [t͡sː]Edit

tszik [ˈjaːt͡sːik] - he/she is playing
metsz [ˈmɛt͡sː]

t + sz [s] → [t͡s]Edit

Bratszk [ˈbrɒt͡sk] - Bratsk

d + sz [s] → [t͡sː]Edit

másodszor [ˈmaːʃot͡sːor] - the second time

t + s [ʃ] → [t͡ʃː]Edit

barátság [ˈbɒraːt͡ʃːaːg] - friendship

t + s [ʃ] → [t͡ʃ]Edit

mentség [ˈmɛnt͡ʃeːg] - excuse

d + s [ʃ] → [t͡ʃː]Edit

szabadság [ˈsɒbɒt͡ʃːaːg] - freedom

Consonant clustersEdit

If more than two consonants follow each other in a word, the middle consonant will not be pronounced.

  • ndt [nt]
    mondta [ˈmontɒ] s/he said
  • ndny [ɲː]
    mindnyájan [ˈmiɲːaːjɒn] all of us

ReferencesEdit