The Southwestern Bulgarian dialects are a group of Bulgarian dialects which are located west of the yat boundary and are part of the Western Bulgarian dialects. The range of the Southwestern dialects on the territory of Bulgaria includes most of west central and southwestern Bulgaria. The Southwestern dialects border on the Northwestern dialects to the north, the Transitional dialects to the northwest and the Balkan dialects and the Rup dialects to the northeast and southeast, respectively. If the Macedonian language is regarded as a third literary form of Modern Bulgarian, then the Southwestern dialects extend west and southwest to include the Slavic dialects in Vardar Macedonia and the western half of Greek Macedonia. Should the Macedonian language be counted as a separate language, then the southernmost dialect of the group, the Blagoevgrad-Petrich or Pirin dialect, along with the corresponding variety on the Macedonian side of the border, the Maleshevo dialect, constitute a transitional dialect between Bulgarian and Macedonian. A defining characteristic of the Southwestern dialects is the gradual transition from one dialect to another, as well as to dialects which belong to other dialectal groups. For example, the Dupnitsa dialect is transitional to both the Samokov dialect and the Blagoevgrad-Petrich dialect, the Botevgrad dialect is transitional to the Eastern Bulgarian Balkan dialects, and especially to the Pirdop dialect, etc. etc.
Phonological and morphological characteristicsEdit
- Old Church Slavonic ѣ (yat) is always pronounced as ɛ vs. formal Bulgarian я/е (ʲa~ɛ) – бел/бели (white, white pl.)
- щ~жд (ʃt~ʒd) for Proto-Slavic *tʲ~*dʲ (as in Standard Bulgarian) - леща, между (lentils, between). The future tense particle is, however, different in the different dialects: ще, ше, че, к҄е, к҄у 
- The reflex of Old Church Slavonic ѫ (yus) is generally a, with the exception of the Sofia dialect where it is ъ (ə): каща vs. formal Bulgarian къща (house)
- The reflex of Old Church Slavonic ъ gradually shifts from north to south from only a to both a and o. The northern dialects (e.g. the Vratsa dialect) have only a, the central ones (e.g. the Ihtiman dialect) have mostly a with occurrences of o only in certain suffixes and prefixes, the southern ones (e.g. the Maleševo-Pirin dialect) have only o in suffixes and prefixes and some roots and a in other roots
- Preserved transition of o into e after ж /ʒ/, ш /ʃ/, ч /t͡ʃ/: ножеве vs. formal Bulgarian ножове (knives)
- Single masculine definite article -o (as in the Moesian dialects) or a (as in the Balkan Pirdop dialect), depending on the dialect: гар'бо/гар'бa vs. Standard Bulgarian гър'бът (the back).
- Widespread formation of past passive participles with -н: чуен vs. formal Bulgarian чут (heard)
- Suffix -чки instead of -шки for formation of certain adjectives: човечки vs. човешки
For the phonological and morphological characteristics of the individual dialects included in the dialectal group, cf. individual articles.
|Parameter||Maleshevo dialect||Blagoevgrad-Petrich dialect||Standard Bulgarian (based on Eastern Bulgarian)||Standard Macedonian||Dupnitsa dialect||Samokov dialect||English|
|Proto-Slavic *tʲ/*dʲ – Old Church Slavonic щ/жд (ʃt/ʒd)||шч/жџ ʃtʃ//dʒ/ (in some areas also щ/жд (ʃt/ʒd) and ќ/ѓ (c/ɟ) – лешча/межџу (in some areas леща/между or леќа/меѓу)||щ/жд (ʃt/ʒd) – леща/между||щ/жд (ʃt/ʒd) – леща/между||ќ/ѓ (c/ɟ) – леќа/меѓу||щ/жд (ʃt/ʒd) – леща/между||щ/жд (ʃt/ʒd) – леща/между||lentils/between|
|Proto-Slavic *ɡt/kt – Old Church Slavonic щ (ʃt)||ќ (c) (in some areas also щ (ʃt) – ноќ (in some areas нощ)||щ (ʃt) – нощ||щ (ʃt) – нощ||ќ (c) – ноќ||щ (ʃt) – нощ||щ (ʃt) – нощ||night|
|Old Church Slavonic ѣ (yat)||е (ɛ) – бел/бели||е (ɛ) – бел/бели||я/е (ʲa/ɛ) – бял/бели||е (ɛ) – бел/бели||е (ɛ) – бел/бели||е (ɛ) – бел/бели||white|
|Old Church Slavonic ѫ (yus), approx. ɔ̃||а (a) – маж||а (a) – маж||ъ (ɤ) – мъж||а (a) – маж||а (a) – маж||а (a) – маж||man|
|Old Church Slavonic ъ (ɤ)||о (ɔ) – сон||о (ɔ) – сон||ъ (ɤ) – сън||о (ɔ) – сон||о (ɔ) – сон||а (a) – сан||dream|
|Old Church Slavonic ръ/рь||vocalic r/ро (ɾɔ) – врох, крф||vocalic r – врх, крф||ръ/ър (ɾɤ/ɤɾ) – връх, кръв||vocalic r – врв, крв||vocalic r – врх, крф||vocalic r – врх, крф||summit, blood|
|Old Church Slavonic лъ/ль||ъ (ɤ) – съза||oл (ɔl) – солза
ъ (ɤ) – съза
|лъ/ъл (lɤ/ɤl) – сълза||oл (ɔl) – солза||vocalic l/ъ (ɤ) – слза/съза depending on region||у (u) – суза||tear|
|Old Church Slavonic x /x/||Mixed – бех, убаво||Mixed – бех, убаво||Preserved – бях, хубаво||Lost or replaced by ф/в (f/v) – бев, убаво||Mixed – бех, убаво||Mixed – бех, убаво||was, nice|
|Definite article||Single definite article – момчето||Single definite article – момчето||Single definite article – момчето||Triple definite article – момчето, момчево, момчено||Single definite article – момчето||Single definite article – момчето||the boy|
|Ending of verbs in 1st person sing. present time||а – 1st and 2nd conjugation, ам – 3rd – чета, пиша||only ам – че́там, пишам (пишувам as dialect)
пишув as well)ам
|а (я) – 1st and 2nd conjugation, ам (ям) – 3rd – чета, пиша||only ам – читам, пишувам||а – 1st and 2nd conjugation, ам – 3rd – чета, пиша||only (и/е)м – четем, пишем||(I) read, (I) write|
|Formation of past perfect tense||бeх + past participle – бех писал, бех молил||бeх + past participle – бех писал, бех молил||бях + past participle – бях писал, бях молил||имам + past passive aorist participle – имам пишувано, имам молено||бeх + past participle – бех писал, бех молил||бех + past participle – бех писал, бeх молил||(I) had read, (I) had written|
|Word stress||Dynamic – доˈбиток, пеˈре||Dynamic – доˈбиток, пеˈре||Dynamic – доˈбитък, пеˈре||Fixed antepenultimate – ˈдобиток, ˈпере||Dynamic – доˈбиток, пеˈре||Dynamic – доˈбиток, пеˈре||cattle, (he/she/it) washes|
- ^ Sussex, Roland; Paul Cubberley (2006). The Slavic Languages. Cambridge University Press. p. 510. ISBN 0-521-22315-6.
- ^ The diacritic ◌҄ indicates palatalization.
Стойков, Стойко: Българска диалектология, Акад. изд. "Проф. Марин Дринов", 2006