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The Lesser Polish dialect (Polish: dialekt małopolski) is a cluster of regional varieties of the Polish language around the Lesser Poland historical region. The exact area is difficult to delineate due to the expansion its features and the existence of transitional subdialects.
The common traits of the Lesser Polish dialect include:
- voiceless-to-voicing shift, including word boundaries (niosłeś->nióześ, kot leci -> kod_leci)
- differentiated nasalisation (or lack thereof) of ą and ę in different parts of the area
- pronunciation of -enka suffix (typical of many feminine nouns) as εŋka rather than εnka ("dziewczynka", "sukienka")
- A more aggressive merger of stop+fricative consonant clusters into affricates. This happens in standard Polish before obstruents ( "drzwi" → "dżwi"), but in Lesser Polish, it may happen before sonorants, including vowels: trzysta ('three hundred') is pronounced as czysta ('clean' fem.) vs. "cz-szysta" in colloquial Standard or "t-szysta" in "hypercorrect" speech.
- frequent usage of initial syllable stress, also oxytonic stress in vocative case (as opposed to paroxytonic stress common in other varieties of Polish)
- frequent usage of grammatical particle "że" in imperative mood ("weźże" vs. "weź" - take)
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