Prilep-Bitola Dialect
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Prilep-Bitola Dialect
Dialectal divisions of Macedonia.

The Prilep-Bitola dialect (Macedonian: - , Prilepsko-bitolski dijalekt) is a member of the central subgroup of the western group of dialects of Macedonian. This dialect is spoken in much of the Pelagonia region (more specifically, the Bitola, Prilep, Kru?evo and Demir Hisar municipalities), as well as by the Macedonian-speaking minority population in and around Florina (Lerin)[1][2] in neighbouring Greek Macedonia. The Prilep-Bitola dialect, along with other peripheral west-central dialects, provides much of the basis for modern Standard Macedonian.[3] Prestige dialects have developed in the cities of Bitola and Prilep.

Phonological characteristics

The phonological characteristics of the Bitola-Prilep dialect which can also be found in the other peripheral dialects are:

r?ka > ? /'raka/ ('hand')
  • except for the Prilep sub-dialects, Bitola sub-dialects have two phonemic lateral consonants (/?/ and /l/, continuants of Proto-Slavic *l and *?):
ex. Proto-Slavic *k?u > ['klut] in Bitola sub-dialects, ['k?ut] in Prilep sub-dialects
  • while most Macedonian dialects have a phonemic /f/ (in loanwords), many sub-dialects of the Prilep-Bitola dialect--with the exception of urban prestige dialects--instead have /v/:
Megleno-Romanian fustan /'fustan/ > /'vustan/ ('ladies' dress')
Ottoman Turkish ? /'futa/ > ? /'vuta/ ('apron')
Ottoman Turkish ? /'fu?na/ > /'vurna/ ('bakehouse, masonry oven')
  • the palatal affricates are typically prepalatalized: /'sv?ca/ ('candle') is realized as ['sv?jca], ? /'ma/ ('border, frontier') is realized as ['m?j?a] and in Prilep, especially in younger speakers as ['sv?jta] and ['m?jda];
    • a similar features occurs with the palatal nasal: /'jad/ ('food') is realized as ['jad?jn?];
  • the etymological /v/ in initial position has been lost in a number of instances:
    • in the sequences *vs- and *vz-, as is the case in the standard; e.g. /s?/ ('all') from the earlier *, ? /'z?ma/ ('to take') from the earlier *;
    • in a handful of words where the pronunciation was "evened up" with that of their antonyms: /'natr?/ from the earlier /'vnatr?/ ('inside') as per /'nadv?r/ ('outside'), ? /'nu/ from the earlier /'mnu/ ('much, a lot') as per /'malku/ ('a little');
  • intervocalic consonant elision is typical of this dialect, and elided forms are in free variation with non-elided forms:
    • elision of the intervocalic /v/:
      • in the plural forms of monosyllabic nouns, e.g. ?(?)?:[4]
/'l?b?vi/ -> /'l?b?i/ (realized as ['l?b?i?] ~ ['l?b?j])
  • and in most other positions, e.g. (?):[5]
/'t?var/ -> /'t?ar/ (realized as [t?a?r])
  • certain short words (conjunctions, pronouns, determiners, etc.) have undergone further elision, ex.:
/'sa/ (-> /'s?a/) -> [sa(:)] ('now')
*/'t?va/ (-> /'t?a/) -> [t?(:)] (indic. pron. 'that')
/'ka/ (-> /'k?a/) -> [k?(:)] (interr. pron. 'when')
  • insertion of /t/ and /d/ into consonant clusters -/sr/- and -/zr/-, respectively; for example, /stram/ from the earlier /sram/ (?, 'shame') and /zdr?l/ from the earlier /zr?l/ (?, 'ripe').
  • use of /v/ instead of the archaic /x/? (strah) > (strav; fear);
  • In the sub-dialect of Bukovo-Orehovo, especially among the oldest generations:
    • while [?] is an allophone of /l/ in most dialects (occurring in all positions except before front vowels and /j/), in this dialect [?] is used instead; ex.:
[a:] for ['ava] (, 'head') and ['s?ama] for ['s?ama] (, 'straw')
    • the phoneme /a/ mutates (is raised) to [] ([æ] ~ [?]) when preceding an affricate or iotated consonant with the exception of suffixes; ex.:
? /'ta?a/ ('cup') is realized as ['ta]
? /'?aba/ ('frog') is realized as ['ba]
    • the Proto-Slavic syllabic *l? has reflexed into /?/, e.g. *s?ln?ce > /'s?nt?s?/ ('sun'), *v?lk? > /v?k/ ('wolf').

Morphological characteristics

  • tripartite definite article pertaining to the position of the object (see Macedonian grammar);
  • use of the preposition (vo) or ? (v);
  • use of the grammatical construction have + past participle (imam raboteno; I have worked);
  • merger of thematic ?-group verbs to ?-group verbs; e.g. ? /'jade/ -> ? /'jadi/ (3P sg. PRS of 'to eat');
  • the third-person personal pronouns: , //?, (?), /? (he, she, it, they);
    • some of the outermost dialects of the Lerin subdialect have , , , ;
  • imperfective verbs are typically derived from perfective verbs by means of the suffix - (e.g. and ?) in Bitola dialects, but standard - in Prilep dialects;
  • 'expansion' where other dialects have palatalization: ("to fall", sing. present third-person) versus the standard ?;
  • use of the oblique form for proper names;[6]
  • no distinction between masculine and feminine short possessive pronouns, i.e. consistent use of and for both genders, in Bitola dialects, but they are used in the plural third person in Prilep;
  • use of -? and -? instead of the standard - for the gerund, in older speakers, e.g. ? (while walking).

Typical words

  • ? (/'tup?/) 'girl'
  • (/'pr/), (/'prska/) 'recently, lately'
  • (/'m?distra/) 'seamstress'
  • ? (/'b?ndisa/) 'to have a liking for something or someone', 'to fancy'
  • (/'surat/) 'face'
  • (/'plusn?/) 'to fire (a rifle)'
  • (/'kapnat/) 'exhausted'
  • (/'?r?da/) 'plank', 'beam (of wood)'


  1. ^ author missing. ? . ? j?, 1983, XXXIV, . 23-49.
  2. ^ Hill, Peter (1991). The Dialect of Gorno Kalenik. Columbus, OH: Slavica Publishers. ISBN 9780893572174 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Lunt, Horace G. (1951). "Makedonska gramatika by Krume Kepeski". Language. 27 (2): 180-187. doi:10.2307/410435. JSTOR 410435.
  4. ^ Koneski, Bla?e ( ?) (1967). Gramatika na makedonskiot literaturen jazik (in Macedonian). Skopje: Kultura. p. 68.
  5. ^ Koneski, Bla?e ( ?) (1986). Istorija na makedonskiot jazik (in Macedonian). Skopje: Kultura. p. 21.
  6. ^ Friedman, Victor (1998), Macedonian: Comparative Grammar, Slavic and East European Language Research Center (SEELRC), p. 22

External links

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