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Letters and alphabeths in Spanish and Croatian

Zrinka Jelaska orcid id ; Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Maša Musulin ; Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 293 Kb

str. 211-239

preuzimanja: 2.948



This paper analyses graphic systems of Spanish and Croatian in order to discuss polysemous linguistic term letter in Croatian and in general. Letter means a symbol of alphabetic systems that is a basic form (without diacritics); a symbol with diacritics added to it; only a monograph; monograph and multigraph as well; a part of the alphabet; it is sometimes viewed as a synonym to graph or grapheme. When at the beginning of their acquisition Croatian learners of Spanish are faced with different alphabet and orthography in reading and writing, they are faced with somewhat different terminology as well. The Croatian alphabet includes digraphs, while the Spanish have excluded them in their newest orthography reform, and now no Spanish digraphs are named letters. Hence, the same sound, lateral palatal, which is represented by (two different) digraphs in those two languages (ll and lj) is considered a letter in Croatian but not in Spanish. While the majority of letters in both languages represent one phoneme, and the majority of phonemes are represented by one letter or one digraph, some letters represent more than one phoneme and some phonemes are represented by more than one letter. The comparison of differences show that Spanish, in spite of the fact that it is often quoted as an orthographically transparent language, is far less adapted to its own phonological system than Croatian. The paper proposes some new terms in order to solve the problem with the polysemy of term `slovo' and to make the comparison of different writing systems in reading and writing easier. The term `abecedno slovo' (alphabetic letter) is useful to point to the graphemes listed in the alphabet which shape phonological consciousness of native speaker vs. `slovo' (letter) in general, including `neabecedna slova' (non-alphabetic letters), e.g. letters not listed in the alphabet. The terms `jednočlano slovo' (one-member letter) vs. `višečlano slovo' (multimember letter) may also be useful for native speakers which include multigraphs among alphabetic letters and conceptualize multigraph as one letter. Due to some mute letters in languages, terms `grafemsko slovo' (graphemic letter) vs. `negrafemsko slovo' (non-graphemic letter) are also proposed. In Spanish h is either mute, non-graphemic letter or a part of digraph, which does not make it a grapheme but strengthens its position within the alphabet. The prototypical letter is simple (witout diacritics), single (nor multigraph), listed in the alphabet, frequent, typical for native words, and it represents just one sound. Letters that include diacritics, letters not included in the alphabet, foreign letters, letters that represent sequences of sounds, letters that represent different sounds, multigraphs, mute letters etc. are less prototypical, even marginal members of the category LETTER.

Ključne riječi

letters, sound, alphabet, Croatian, Spanish

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski španjolski

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