What would have happened if it had been a situation in which the words are not written but spoken?. Is there a way in which "lila", the colour, and "lilla", the size adjective, can be distinguished? The pronunciation sounds similar as well.
They sound very different to a native speaker. The i is long in lila and short in lilla, and the second l sound is short in lila and longer in lilla.
But, how good is the computer generated speech for this sentence (clicking on play at the tope of this discussion)? Could we really tell it was saying "lilla" and not "lila" in the dictation exercise? The "l" does not sound long to me.
When spoken in isolation, "lilla" would have accent 2 (grave accent), but we don't always have that clue in a fluid delivery. In hindsight, I could have clicked on the "slow" pronunciation before submitting my answer, but I don't always do that, when it seems I heard the fast version clearly.
Thanks, Arnauti, for your confirmation. I went back and listened to this sentence a few more times. Although it is not as clear as the "lilla" example on Forvo, I can convince myself that I hear a longish "l" now.
I also listened to "lila" on Forvo, and I find it even more helpful to listen for the long vowel before the short "l"., since the long "i" is very distinctive in that it gets compressed into a "j" sound at the end. This is brought out clearly in a pronunciation of "den lilla lila lådan".
By the way, Arnauti, Forvo has only one pronunciation each of the singles words "lilla" and "lila". What about adding yours to their database?
I understand why we need the 'den', but I am lost as to how choose whether to put 'de/den/det'
That's just how Swedish grammar is. A few adjectives like "Hela" usually don't use the "Den/Det/De", but for the most part, it would sound odd if you just left it off.
Why is it lilla and not små? I understand that små is plural but usually we use plural for definites.
how do you tell the difference between lila (purple) and lilla (small) when listening to Swedish? is it just context, or is there a slightly different pronunciation?