General Information
Native name:slovenščina
Writing system:Latin
(Slovene Alphabet)
Language family:Indo-European
South Slavic
Western South Slavic
ISO 639-1:sl
First language:2.5 million
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Slovene or Slovenian is a South Slavic language.

Geographic DistributionEdit

Official Language inEdit

  • Slovenia

Recognized minority language in Edit

  • Austria
  • Hungary
  • Italy



Front Near-front Central Near-back Back Slovenian vowel chart-1-
Close i u
Close-mid e o
Mid ə
Open-mid ɛ ɔ
Open a


Bilabial Labio-
Dental Alveolar Post-
Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m (ɱ) n (ŋ)
Plosive p  b t  d k  g
Fricative f s  z ʃ  ʒ x  (ɣ)
Affricate t͡s  (d͡z) t͡ʃ  d͡ʒ
Approximant Plain ʋ j
Lateral l
Labialized (ʍ)  (w)
Trill r

Voiced obstruents (/b/, /d/, /g/, /z/, /ʒ/, /d͡ʒ/) are devoiced at the end of words unless immediately followed by a word beginning with a vowel or a voiced consonant. In consonant clusters, voicing distinction is neutralized and all consonants in the cluster assimilate the voicing of the rightmost consonant. In such environments, [ɣ] and [d͡z] may occur as voiced allophones of /x/ and /t͡s/, respectively (e.g. vŕh drevésa [ʋərɣ drɛˈʋesa] and muc Bóbi [mud͡z 'bobi].)

[ŋ] is an allophone of /n/ before velar consonants (e.g. in bánka ['baŋka] and sangvínik [saŋ'gʋinik].)

[ɱ] is an allophone of /m/ before /f/ and /ʋ/ (e.g. in simfoníja [siɱfɔ'nija] and trámvaj ['traɱʋaj].)

/ʋ/ has several allophones depending on context:

  • Before a vowel: [ʋ] (vôda [ʋɔda])
  • At the end of a syllable or before a consonant: [] (pav [pau̯])
  • At the beginning of a syllable before a voiced consonant: [w] (vbod [wbɔt])
  • At the beginning of a syllable before a voiceless consonant: [ʍ] (vsak [ʍsak])

The preposition v is always bound to the following word; however its phonetic realization follows the normal phonological rules for /ʋ/.


Grammatical categoriesEdit

Gender (Spol)Edit

Three genders are distinguished in Slovene:

  • Masculine
  • Feminine
  • Neuter

Nouns possess one of the three genders, while adjectives as well as participles and gerunds come in the forms of all three genders.

Number (Število)Edit

Slovene uses three numbers:

  • Singular
  • Dual
  • Plural

Slovenian is one of the few languages that have fully preserved the dual number.

Case (Sklon)Edit

The Slovenian language has six cases:

  • Nominative
  • Genitive
  • Dative
  • Accusative
  • Locative
  • Instrumental

Degrees of comparison (Stopnja)Edit

Just like English, Slovene adjectives and adverbs have the three degrees of comparison:

  • Positive
  • Comparative
  • Superlative

Definitiveness (Določnost)Edit

Slovene does not have any articles that would indicate definitiveness, but it can be expressed in a limited amount of words. The nominative singular positive of most masculine adjectives comes in two forms: the definite and the indefinite form. The definite form is characterized by the ending -i that conveys the definitiveness of the noun that the adjective belongs to, while the indefinite form lacks such an ending, which means that the noun the adjective refers to is not definite.

Animacy (Živost)Edit

Animacy is only distinguished in a minor aspect, of which most speakers of Slovene are unaware. When declining masculine nouns of the first conjugation, one finds that if the reference of a noun is animate, its accusative is the same as its genitive, while if the reference of the noun is not animate, the accusative is the same as the nominative of the noun.

Aspect (Vid)Edit

Slovene distinguishes the perfective and imperfective aspects. It does so by having perfective and imperfective verbs. Perfective verbs usually have a prefixed preposition, which, along with making the verb finite, also changes the meaning a bit.

Mood and Tense (Naklon in čas)Edit

Slovene has three moods and four tenses, though not all tenses appear in all the moods.

  • Indicative
    • Present
    • Preterite
    • Future
    • Pluperfect
  • Conditional
    • Present
    • Preterite
  • Imperative
    • Present

The pluperfect tense is nowadays considered archaic and is rarely used in speech.

Voice (Način)Edit

Two voices are distinguished in Slovenian:

  • Active
  • Passive

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