The phoneme g is not original in Czech and is present only in foreign words. There is an official grammar rulebook declaring the inclination in locative case to be "ž" or "z", however I feel like phoneme "dz" would fit much better, even though it's not even a letter in Czech.

Example: The mages are fascinating. We talked about mages.

Official translation: Ti mágové jsou fascinující. Mluvili jsme o mázích.

My suggested language: Ti mágové jsou fascinující. Mluvili jsme o mádzích.

Example2: We use tags. We talk about tags.

Official translation: Používáme tagy. Mluvíme o tazích.

My suggested language: Používáme tagy. Mluvíme o tadzích.

  • You should consider the alternatives o mágích, o tagích. The more interesting question is whether neutral individuals (those without high-level academic knowledge of Czech language) have individual tendencies do that J prefers [g], K prefers [z], L prefers [dz] and so on – and is this set on a word-by-word basis?
    – user6726
    Feb 8, 2019 at 18:09

3 Answers 3


I assume you're following the analogy of the /k~ts/ alternations in words like kluk, klucích.

The sound /g/ is a voiced counterpart to the sound /k/, and likewise the sound /dz/ is a voiced counterpart to the sound /ts/.


Sound changes in different languages do not always fit into a regular pattern.

Consider the effect of palatalisation on Latin /k/ and /g/ (written 'c' and 'g')

In Italian, they are /tʃ/ and /dʒ/ - these are parallel.

In French, they are /s/ and /ʒ/ - note that these are not parallel.

In Spanish, they are /s/ or /θ/ (depending on the dialect), and /x/ (with some variation, I think) - again, not parallel.

You are not the first to complain that some aspect of a particular language is irregular or illogical; but languages are what they are, not what somebody thinks they should be.

  • Can you comment on the Spanish case of palatalization yielding γ? This is new information for me.
    – user6726
    Feb 8, 2019 at 17:25
  • My mistake. I meant /x/. Edited
    – Colin Fine
    Feb 8, 2019 at 17:30
  • @user6726 uvularisation is a phonetic change present in Riffian. Spanish loanwords with /k/ or /g/ are pronounced /q/ or /ʁ/. For example: cara (face) > qara ; regalo (present) > ariʁaro.
    – amegnunsen
    Feb 8, 2019 at 20:17
  • My understanding is that "ge" and "gi" with /x/ in Spanish are typically not the result of regular sound change, but either come from dialect mixing or learned borrowings/restorations. The usual development of palatalized g seems to be either /ɟ/, /j/, nothing, or /θ/ (from earlier /d͡z/). I'm basing this comment on the sound changes given on the following web page: staff.ncl.ac.uk/i.e.mackenzie/cons.htm Feb 8, 2019 at 21:00

It is not true that the phoneme g is not original in Czech.

Not even the grapheme g is not "original" in Czech. However, it was used for a different phoneme (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_orthography#Voicing_assimilation):

For historical reasons, the consonant [ɡ] is written k in Czech words like kde ('where', < Proto-Slavic *kъdě) or kdo ('who', < Proto-Slavic *kъto). This is because the letter g was historically used for the consonant [j]. The original Slavic phoneme /ɡ/ changed into /h/ in the Old-Czech period. Thus, /ɡ/ is not a separate phoneme (with a corresponding grapheme) in words of domestic origin; it occurs only in foreign words (e.g. graf, gram, etc.).

G is a normal original Czech phoneme (https://fonetika.ff.cuni.cz/en/czech-phonetics):

The Czech consonantal system has 26 phonemes, but in total at least 31 speech sounds are commonly found as their realizations. This is partly due to the fact that Czech has a very rich system of regressive voicing assimilation, which applies both within words and across the word boundary.

Czech speakers cannot pronounce two consecutive consonants which one is voiced and the other voiceless - one is always assimilated to the other. And here often k becomes [g].

Examples: kde [gde], kdo [gdo], leckdo [ledzgdo]; also listen to the audio example "5) alveolar affricates [t͡s d͡z] – cena, leckdo" on the same site.

More detailed description is also in N.S. Trubetzkoy: Studies in General Linguistics and Language Structure: https://books.google.cz/books?id=M5w94-Yx1gAC&pg=PA274&lpg=PA274&dq=czech+assimilation+of+voice+kde+gde&source=bl&ots=DjcZdP5PtQ&sig=ACfU3U3WRQ-Ud8U7ber_gC1idhERa9McwQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiY6buLyKzgAhWCFiwKHXkjBiMQ6AEwAnoECAAQAQ#v=onepage&q=gde&f=false

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To paraphrase your question, I have no clue why you feel like the alternate form of “g” should be “dz” :) "Mádzích* a tadzích sounds just... quite funny (in both the meanings of the word), but not Czech.

  • Your answer doesn't have much to do with my question
    – Probably
    Feb 8, 2019 at 17:29
  • 4
    @Probably You started your question with a false statement "The phoneme g is not original in Czech" which my answer refers to. Feb 8, 2019 at 17:46
  • @Wilson It is an interesting statement, I created a new question linguistics.stackexchange.com/q/30538/3475. Feb 14, 2019 at 7:49

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