Danish 101

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The sound system of Danish is in many ways unique among the world's languages. It is quite prone to considerable reduction and assimilation of both consonants and vowels even in very formal standard language. A rare feature is the presence of a prosodic feature called stød in Danish (lit. "push; thrust"), which is a form of laryngealization or creaky voice, and can in certain minimal pairs be the only distinguishing feature. Stød is a Danish development of the common Scandinavian word accents found in most dialects of Norwegian and Swedish, including the national standard languages, but which are tonal accents.


Unlike the neighboring Mainland Scandinavian languages Swedish and Norwegian, the prosody of Danish does not have phonemic pitch. Stress is phonemic in and distinguishes words like such as ['bilist] "cheapest" and [bi'list] "car driver".

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