The chart below shows how the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Swedish pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. The transcription system is based primarily on Central Standard Swedish. See Swedish phonology for details about pronunciation.
- In many of the dialects that have an apical rhotic consonant, a recursive sandhi process of retroflexion occurs, and clusters of /r/ and dental consonants /rd/, /rl/, /rn/, /rs/, /rt/ produce retroflex consonant realisations: [ɖ], [ɭ], [ɳ], [ʂ], [ʈ]. In dialects with a guttural R, such as Southern Swedish, they are [ʁd], [ʁl], [ʁn], [ʁs], [ʁt]. Nevertheless, retroflexion might occur in some varieties of Finland Swedish, especially among young speakers and in fast speech.
- Swedish /ɧ/ varies regionally and is sometimes [xʷ], [ɸˠ], or [ʂ].
- /r/ varies considerably in different dialects: it is pronounced alveolar or similarly (a trilled r when articulated clearly or in slow or formal speech; in normal speech, usually a tapped r or an alveolar approximant) in virtually all dialects (most consistently [r] in Finland), but in South Swedish dialects, it is uvular, similar to the Parisian French r. At the beginning of a syllable, it can also be pronounced as a fricative [ʒ], as in English genre or vision.
- The quality of the vowels tends to change a lot between Finland dialects and those of Sweden, especially Southern and Central Sweden. In general terms, /ɑː/ is realised more often as [ɒː] in Sweden and as a true [ɑː] in Finland. In the area of Helsinki (Helsingfors) it may be fully centralised [äː]. No difference in the vowel quality occurs in Finland Swedish.
- Before /r/, the quality of non-high front vowels is changed: the unrounded vowels /ɛ/ and /ɛː/ are lowered to [æ] and [æː], whereas the rounded /œ/ and /øː/ are lowered to open-mid [œ] and [œː]. For simplicity, no distinction is made between the mid [œ˔] and the open-mid [œ], with both being transcribed as ⟨œ⟩. Note that younger speakers use lower allophones [ɶ] and [ɶː].
- [ɔ, oː, œ, œː, øː, ʏ, yː] are protruded vowels, while [ɵ, ʉ, ʉː, ʊ, uː] are compressed.
- [ɵ] and [ʉ] are unstressed allophones of a single phoneme /ɵ/ (stressed /ɵ/ is always realized as [ɵ]):
- [ɵ] is used in all closed syllables (as in kultur [kɵlˈtʉːr]) but also in some open syllables, as in musikal . Some cases involve resyllabification caused by retroflexion, which makes the syllable open, as in kurtisan ;
- [ʉ] appears only in open syllables. In some cases, [ʉ] is the only possible realization, as in känguru , such as when /ɵ/ appears in hiatus, as in duell ;
- In other cases, [ɵ] is in free variation with [ʉ] so musik can be pronounced as [mɵˈsiːk] or [mʉˈsiːk] (Riad (2014:28-29)). For simplicity, only [ɵ] will be used.
- The distinction between compressed [ʉ] and protruded [ʏ] is particularly difficult to hear for non-native speakers:
- The distinction between compressed [ʉː] and protruded [yː] is particularly difficult to hear for non-native speakers:
- Meaning "the duck".
- Placed before the stressed syllable. For words with the second toneme, ⟨²⟩ will be used instead of the primary stress mark, and ⟨ˌ⟩ to indicate the secondary stress when more than one syllable follows.
- The variety of Swedish spoken on the Åland Islands usually resembles phonetically speaking the dialects of the Uppland area rather than Finland Swedish, but the pitch accent is largely missing.
- Finland Swedish, as well as a few accents of Mainland Sweden, have a simple primary stress rather than a contrastive pitch accent. In such accents, anden meaning 'wild duck' and anden meaning 'spirit' are pronounced identically.
- Meaning "the spirit".
- Consonants tend to geminate after a stressed short vowel.
- Engstrand, Olle (1999), "Swedish", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the usage of the International Phonetic Alphabet., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 140–142, ISBN 0-521-63751-1
- Reuter, Mikael (1971). "Vokalerna i finlandsvenska: En instrumentell analys och ett försök till systematisering enligt särdrag". Studier i nordisk filologi (in Swedish). Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland. 46: 240–249.
- Riad, Tomas (2014), The Phonology of Swedish, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-954357-1