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Polish phonology

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Polish phonology
Polish has six oral vowels (all monophthongs) and two nasal vowels. The oral vowels are /i/ (spelled i), /ɨ/ (spelled y), /ɛ/ (spelled e), /a/ (spelled a), /ɔ/ (spelled o) and /u/ (spelled u or ó). The nasal vowels are /ɛ̃/ (spelled ę) and /ɔ̃/ (spelled ą).

The Polish consonant system shows more complexity: its characteristic features include the series of affricate and palatal consonants that resulted from four Proto-Slavic palatalizations and two further palatalizations that took place in Polish and Belarusian. The full set of consonants, together with their most common spellings, can be presented as follows (although other phonological analyses exist):

stops /p/ (p), /b/ (b), /t/ (t), /d/ (d), /k/ (k), /ɡ/ (g), and the palatalized forms /kʲ/ (ki) and /ɡʲ/ (gi)
fricatives /f/ (f), /v/ (w), /s/ (s), /z/ (z), /ʂ/ (sz), /ʐ/ (ż, rz), the alveolo-palatals /ɕ/ (ś, si) and /ʑ/ (ź, zi), and /x/ (ch, h) and /xʲ/ (chi, hi)
affricates /ts/ (c), /dz/ (dz), /tʂ/ (cz), /dʐ/ (dż), /tɕ/ (ć, ci), /dʑ/ (dź, dzi) (these are written here without ties for browser display compatibility, although Polish does distinguish between affricates as in czy, and stop–fricative clusters as in trzy)
nasals /m/ (m), /n/ (n), /ɲ/ (ń, ni)
approximants /l/ (l), /j/ (j), /w/ (ł)
trill /r/ (r)
Neutralization occurs between voiced–voiceless consonant pairs in certain environments: at the end of words (where devoicing occurs), and in certain consonant clusters (where assimilation occurs). For details, see Voicing and devoicing in the article on Polish phonology.

Most Polish words are paroxytones (that is, the stress falls on the second-to-last syllable of a polysyllabic word), although there are exceptions.

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