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The complex dialectal variation of Bulgarian is best described within three major categories; the detailed description below follows this outline.

       The rubric Phonology describes the sound system of a dialect. Because the current forms ("reflexes") of historical Slavic vowels divide the region so systematically, they are used as cover symbols for current lexical distribution of these sounds.
       The rubric Accent notes systematic differences in accent placement from the standard language; these are usually associated with grammatically-defined groups.
       The rubric Morphology describes features of nouns, pronouns and verbs that differ from the standard language in particularly noteworthy ways. 
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Dialect Group:
Description of the dialect group: 


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            Within the larger region of Southwestern Bulgarian dialects, the southernmost section is represented on this site by the Petrič group, with the two villages of Gorna Krušica (GK) and Skrŭt (S). Many authors, including those of the dialect map created at the Institute for Bulgarian Language (, do not distinguish the Petrič group from the Blagoevgrad dialect group. However, because these two villages are so far from Blagoevgrad, and because there is a precedent for labeling the Petrič group as separate (Stojkov 1993: 159 – though even he notes that it is “very similar” to the Blagoevgrad dialect), the Petrič dialect is viewed here as a separate group. 

            The list below summarizes the salient features of the Petrič dialect group. It is based on the speech of the two villages represented on the site, with examples taken from the texts presented on this site.

            Abbreviations: the capital letter refers to the village, as noted above; the following number identifies the text from that village (e.g. GK1 = Gorna Krušica 1, S2 = Skrŭt 2), and the number after the colon identifies the line within the text where the cited form occurs.



• The historical Slavic vowel “jat” usually appears as /e/ except after the consonant /c/ where it appears as /a/.

            Examples: namèsto (GK1: 22), nèkoj (GK1: 97), mlèko (1: 23) // cadìlka (GK2: 24), càl (S2: 79)

    Since this dialect is located near the major “jat isogloss” it is not surprising to find sporadic forms with /’a/ for “jat”.

            Example: gol’àmi (S2: 108)

• The historical Slavic vowel “back nasal” appears as /a/.

            Examples: stàpa (GK2: 6), oràt (GK2: 21), poràčva (S1: 22), vàgle (S3: 78)

• The historical Slavic vowel “back jer” appears as /a/ or /o/ in root morphemes, and as /o/ in affixes and in the definite article.

            Examples: làžeš (S1: 43), navònka (S1: 200) // sobèremè (GK1: 7), takòf (GK1: 83), pisòk (S1: 162) // balkàno (GK3: 50), lèbo (S1: 28)

• The historical Slavic vowel “front jer” appears as /e/.

            Examples: tèmnoto (GK3: 23), ošèl (S1: 38)

• Early South Slavic syllabic /r/ appears as /rɤ/, and early South Slavic syllabic /l/ appears as /ɤ/.

            Examples: vrɤtìme (GK1: 22), krɤ̀pi (GK1: 38), brɤ̀kat (S2: 22), drɤ̀veni (S2: 32) // vɤ̀nata (GK3: 37)

• The consonant /x/ is preserved word-finally; elsewhere it is lost.

            Examples: udarìx (GK1: 156), nìx (GK2: 31), odìh (S1: 53) // òdi (GK1: 148), lèbo (S1: 28), òro (S1: 89)

• The behavior of /x/ in past tense verbal endings before a consonant is different in the two villages. In Skrŭt it disappears or is replaced by /j/, while in Gorna Krušica it is sometimes preserved. More frequently it disappears, having caused lengthening of the preceding vowel.

            Examples: odìme (S2: 11), edèjme (S3: 13), pòstejme (S3: 28) // sčepkàxme (GK3: 35), vìka:me (GK1: 20), kàzva:me (GK1: 29)

     There appears in both villages to be a correlation between verbal tense and behavior of /x/: forms in which it is lost are those of the aorist, while those in which it is replaced by /j/ or lengthening are those of the imperfect. There is too little data to make a categorical claim, however.

• Palatal consonants may appear in word final position.

            Examples: dèn’ (S2: 154), ògin’ (S3: 78)

• There may be anticipation of softness with the softness remaining on the consonant.

            Example: tigàjn’ (S3: 22)

• Soft /t’/ is replaced by soft /k’/.

            Examples: svàk’ata (GK1: 135), pàk’o (S3: 85)

• The sequence /vn/ is assimilated to /mn/.

            Example: glamnìte (S2: 25)

• In Skrŭt the consonant /j/ is lost when it occurs between two vowels.

            Examples: mòa (S2: 16), nèa (S2: 151), pèat (S2: 85)



• There is frequent occurrence of double accent.

            Examples: ùlicìte (GK1: 5), tàpanèto (S2: 32), svàbvitè le (GK1: 2)

• The accent is retracted in many disyllabic feminine and neuter nouns.

            Examples: òfce (GK2: 22), kòzi (GK2: 22), dèca (GK1: 44), òro (S1: 89), mèso (S2: 48)

• The accent is retracted from the theme vowel in many verbs from the 2nd conjugation.

            Examples: ròdi (GK2: 38), issùšime (GK: 25), gòdat (S2: 7), svàri (S3: 45)

• The accent is retracted to initial syllable in 1st person singular present tense forms.

            Examples: pèča (GK2: 19), ìzvadàm (GK2: 21)

• The accent is retracted to the initial syllable in the imperative forms.

            Examples: òdi (GK1: 148), dròbi (S3: 40)

•The accent advances to the theme vowel in aorist forms and L-participles, including in the presence of a syllabic prefix.

            Examples: odìl (S1: 7), pobegnàl (S1: 62), slagàli (GK1: 4)



• The forms of personal pronouns are frequently different. Examples:

            1st singular nominative jàs (GK1: 86, S1: 18),

            3rd singular nominative masculine òn (S1: 32)

            3rd singular nominative feminine onà (GK1: 137)

            1st plural nominative nìeka (GK1: 50)

            3rd plural nominative  onì (GK1: 134)

            3rd plural accusative nìx (GK2: 31, S1: 77)

            3rd plural accusative short form i (S2:150)

• The accent placement in third person nominative pronouns differs between the two villages.

            Examples: onà (GK1: 137), onì (GK1: 132) // òna (S1: 12), òni (S1: 87)

• The plural of masculine nouns is /-e/ or /-je/.

            Examples: kazàne (GK1: 12), peškìrje (GK1: 7), ribàre (S1: 65)

• The masculine singular definite article is /-o/.

            Examples: svèkaro (GK1: 85), ògino (S1: 25)

• The masculine plural article is /-to/.

            Examples: stanovèto (GK1: 36), tapanàreto (S2: 42)

• The ending in 1st person singular present tense for verbs of 1st and 2d conjugation is /-a/ for all unprefixed verbs. For prefixed verbs it is also /-a/ in S, but it is /-am/ in GK.

            Examples: kàža (S1: 1), ìda (S1: 18), mèsa (GK2: 2), pèča (GK2: 19) // navàl’a (S1: 55), òdnesàm (GK2: 25), ìstkaam (GK3: 25)

• Verbs of the 2nd conjugation have hard consonants preceding the endings of 1st singular and 3rd plural present tense forms.  

            Examples: òženàm (GK2: 26), kànat (S2: 41)

 • The ending in 1st person plural present tense for verbs of 1st and 2d conjugation is /-me/, though sometimes also /-m/.

            Examples: tkàeme (GK1: 5), sèdneme (GK1: 10), òdime (S1: 18) // dòim (S3: 14), izlèzem (S3: 20)

• The future particle is ke or ki.

            Examples: ke fànete (GK1: 129), ki dòe (S1: 9)

• Passive participles are formed with the suffix /-n/.

            Example: sèjan (S3: 60)

• The present stem is used in aorist forms, L-participles, and passive participles in some verb classes.

            Examples: pokažàx (GK3: 10), mažàli (GK1: 97), zanìženi (S1: 37), kažàli (S1: 87)

• Intransitive verbs can be used as transitive.

            Example: ki go zàspiš (S1: 20)



• In Skrŭt there is a theme vowel generalization for 1st and 2nd conjugation verbs, to /-i-/ in 2nd singular forms and /-e-/ in 3rd singular forms.

            Examples: srètniš (S1: 141) // gàle (S1: 38), pròste (S1: 93)

• In Gorna Krušica the morpheme /-še-/ is incorporated into all plural forms of the imperfect tense.

            Example: zìmašèa (GK3: 32)

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Recommended Model for Citations

Bulgarian Dialectology as Living Tradition [2016] (, visited on 1 March 2016)
Babjak 1: 13-15. In: Bulgarian Dialectology as Living Tradition [2016] (, visited on 1 March 2016)

Location | by Dr. Radut