Hi, I'm a PhD student in anthropology. I need to figure out how to transcribe a Serbian word phonetically. The word is BCIF - I presume this would be an initialism in English (because the series 'bc' must be spelled out in English), but in Serbian it's an acronym - it's pronounced as a word. Here's my recording of the Serbian pronunciation:
Does anyone have an idea how to transcribe this phonetically, using the IPA? Many thanks in advance.
Last edited by 5jj; 10-Jun-2013 at 20:40. Reason: My mistake - post not edited - 5jj
Last edited by 5jj; 10-Jun-2013 at 20:50. Reason: spacing
Thank you both very much. If there is a schwa, I'd say it's very slight - actually, I always experienced the pronunciation like there was no vowel whatsoever, which I found quite striking (I'm not a Serbian native speaker). So I'll probably opt for 5jj's version as a compromise...
This is why I noted that my transcription was not a phonetic one. Neither my current knowledge nor my ears are sound enough these days for me to be able to give accurate narrow phonetic transcriptions.
Slightly off-topic, but I wonder how many syllables Serbian consider that word to have. The transcriptions that Ray and I gave suggest two syllables, but (guessing again), Serbians might well think of it as a monosyllable.
Actually, I only now realise that I should have considered that in Serbian, the 'bc' /bts/ consonant cluster never naturally occurs because b is always assimilated by voicing into p in clusters - so there could be only pc /pts/. So 'BCIF' definitely couldn't be a monosyllable, and probably not even a word. It's a 'b' spelled out (the pronunciation without an added vowel conforms to the Serbian practice of spelling consonants) + 'cif' being pronounced acronymically as a monosyllable /tsi:f/. I guess this means I can't just call it an acronym - which is something I was also mulling over because I wasn't sure if I should write it with or without definite article. (I was actually hoping to find an excuse for dropping it in my writing...)
Out of curiosity (I'm a Slovak native speaker), can you give an example of those Czech and Slovak consonant clusters where you would hear the schwa and natives wouldn't?
I think I know what you mean with the first two consonants, but the first consonant is basically just a bit dragged out which might sound like a schwa to you... And about the r, I'd say that the typical trill of Slavic rolling r is just unmistakeable