The Polish phonemes

Previous partBack to the first page

  Front unrounded Central unrounded Back rounded
High /i/ /y/ /u/
Mid /e/   /o/
Low   /a/  
  Labial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Postdental Palatal Prevelar Velar Laryngeal
Stops Voiceless /p/   /t/       /ḱ/ /k/ /ˀ/, (/#/)
Voiced /b/   /d/       /ǵ/ /g/
Affricates Voiceless     /c/ /č/ /Š/        
Voiced     /ʒ/ /ǯ/ /ʒ́/        
Spirants Voiceless   /f/ /s/ /╣/ /Â/   /x́/ /x/  
Voiced   /v/ /z/ /ž/ /╝/     (/ɣ/)  
Sonants Oral (liquid)       /r/, /l/          
Nasal /m/   /n/   /˝/   (/ŋ́/) /ŋ/  
Semivowels Oral /w/         /′/, /j/      
Nasal (/w̃/)         (/j̃/)      

1. In brackets there are positional variants (allophones). Thus, /ɣ/ is an allophone of /x/, /w̃/ and /ŋ́/ are allophones of /ŋ/, /j̃/ is an allophone of /˝/. The laryngeal stop /ˀ/ is a marginal phoneme.
2. The juncture /#/ is a segment of speech, but it would not be right to acknowledge it as a phoneme. The status of the “palatalizing phoneme” /′/ is unclear.
3. There are not all the allophones in the table: voiceless variants of sonants and alveolar variants of /n/ and dental stops /t, d/ are absent.
4. There are 6 vowels and 34 consonants in Polish altogether (in this interpretation).


Main pagePolish grammar