delicious recipe
resep masakan indonesia
resep masakan indonesia
Adi Sucipto News and Entertainment

The Unattainable Standard — Zagreb Dialect Meets Standard Croatian Accentuation

Mate Kapović


The paper discusses the accentual accommodation by speakers of the urban dialect of Zagreb (the capital of Croatia), which has a dynamic free accent, to the Standard Croatian (Neo-Štokavian) pitch accent (with rising and falling tones). The accommodation occurs in formal settings — the basis of this research is the corpus of 16 one-hour interviews with native Zagreb dialect speakers (8 male, 8 female) from a TV show on Croatian national television (HRT). The Zagreb dialect speakers cannot fully reproduce the prescribed standard accentuation, so they only approximate it by inconsistently changing the place of stress. The level of accommodation varies among speakers. The prescribed Croatian standard accentuation is different than in languages like English, because it cannot be acquired fully by many speakers due mainly to reasons of phonetic complexity. The basics of the Zagreb dialect accentuation and its complex relation to the standard language accentuation (due to many innovations in the dialect and a range of conservative and innovative varieties) are also analyzed. This paper is the first to describe the phenomenon in detail, based on concrete data.


Zagreb dialect; Croatian; accent; accentuation; standard language; accommodation

Full Text:



Auer P., “Mobility, Contact and Accommodation,” in: C. Llamas, L. Mullany, P. Stockwell, eds., The Routledge Companion to Sociolinguistics, London, New York, 2007, 109–115.

Bell A., “Language style as audience design,” in: Language in Society, 13, 1984, 145–204.

Bell A., “Style and Linguistic Repertoir,” in: C. Llamas, L. Mullany, P. Stockwell, eds., The Routledge Companion to Sociolinguistics, London, New York, 2007, 95–100.

Girdenis A., Theoretical Foundations of Lithuanian Phonology, Vilnius, 2014.

Greenberg M. L., A Historical Phonology of the Slovene Language, Heidelberg, 2000.

Haraguchi Sh., “Accent,” in: N. Tsujimura, ed., The Handbook of Japanese Linguistics, Malden, Oxford, 1999, 1–30.

Kapović M., “The Linguistic Influence of Big Cities,” Rasprave Instituta za hrvatski jezik i jezikoslovlje, 30, 2004, 97–105 (cited according to: Portal of Scientific Journals of Croatia: https://hrcak.srce. hr/; last access on: 24.05.2018).

Kapović M., “Croatian Standard Language – Evolution or Revolution? Problems of Croatian Orthography and Orthoepy,” Jezikoslovlje, 8 (1), 2007, 61–76 (cited according to: Portal of Scientific Journals of Croatia:; last ac­ cess on: 24.05.2018).

Kapović M., Who does Language Belong to?, Zagreb, 2011 (cited according to: Hrvatska znanstvena bibliografija:; last access on: 24.05.2018).

Kapović M., “Language, Ideology and Politics in Croatia,” in: Slavia centralis, 4 (2), 2011, 45–56 (cited according to: KU ScholarWorks (https://; last access on: 24.05.2018).

Kapović M., The History of Croatian Accentuation. Phonetics, Zagreb, 2015 (cited according to: Hrvatska znanstvena bibliografija: https://bib.irb. hr/; last access on: 24.05.2018).

Labov W., Principles of Linguistic Change. Volume 2: Social Factors, Malden, Oxford, 2001.

Labov W., The Social Stratification of English in New York City, New York, 2009.

Lehiste I., Ivić P., Accent in Serbocroatian: an experimental study, Ann Arbor, 1963.

Lehiste I., Ivić P. Prozodija reči i rečenice u srpsko-hrvatskom jeziku, Sremski Karlovci, Novi Sad, 1996 [trans. of: Lehiste I., Ivić P., Word and Sentence Prosody in Serbocroatian, Cambridge, 1986]

Magner T. F., A Zagreb Kajkavian Dialect, University Park, 1966.

Milroy L., Gordon M., Sociolinguistics. Method and Interpretation, Malden, 2003.

Shibatani M., The Languages of Japan, Cambridge, 1990.

Šojat A., “Turopoljski govori”, in: Hrvatski dijalektološki zbornik, 6, 1982, 317–493.

Šojat A. et al., Zagrebački kaj. Govor grada i prigradskih naselja, Zagreb, 1998.

Tagliamonte S. A., Analysing Sociolinguistic Variation, Cambridge, 2006.

Toporišič J., Slovenska slovnica, Maribor, 2004.

Young S., “Baltic,” in: M. Kapović, ed., The Indo-European Languages, London, New York, 2017, 486–518.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Mate Kapović

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.