Sunday, April 7, 2013

Swedish o

The o of Swedish has four main pronunciations.  This is unusual because most Swedish vowels only have two different pronunciations.  The o is a special vowel.

When the o is long, it often sounds very much like the u of many languages such as German and Spanish.  However, the Swedish o is pronounced with more lip rounding.  An example of this o is the word ros (rose).  In certain cases, long o sounds similar to the English o of home, but the Swedish vowel is a monophthong rather than a diphthong  This sound often occurs in loanwords.  An example is the word telefon (telephone).

When the o is short, it is often pronounced like the o in the English word cold.  An example is the word tolv (twelve).  In certain cases, short o sounds like the English vowel in put.  An example is the past participle trott (believed).

The Swedish word kort is interesting.  When pronounced with the long vowel of ros (rose), it means map, but when it is pronounced with the short vowel of tolv (twelve), it means short.

The Swedish o is a vowel with four different pronunciations.  This is also the case for the Norwegian o.  This vowel has more pronunciations than in many other languages.

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