How well do you know Russian pronunciation?

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9 Questions

What is the total number of vowel phonemes in Russian language?


How many consonants are there in Russian language?


What is the total number of sets of consonants in Russian language?


Which vowel in Russian language becomes [ɨ] when a preceding consonant is hard?


What is the mid vowel in Russian language pronounced as?


What is the difference between stressed and unstressed vowels in Russian language?

Stressed vowels are longer and more intense

What is the total number of letters in the Russian alphabet?


What is the method used for simplifying consonant clusters in Russian language?


What is the role of pitch accent in indicating stress in Russian language?


Study Notes

Sounds and Pronunciation of the Russian Language

  • Russian has 5 to 6 vowel phonemes, with some dispute over whether /ɨ/ is separate from /i/.

  • Russian has 34 consonants, which can be divided into two types: hard and soft.

  • Russian distinguishes hard consonants from soft consonants and from iotated consonants, making 4 sets in total.

  • Russian has vowel reduction in unstressed syllables, with only 3 phonemes distinguished after hard consonants and only 2 after soft consonants.

  • /i/ is retracted to [ɨ] when a preceding consonant is hard.

  • /e/ only follows unpaired and soft consonants, and /a/ becomes [æ] between soft consonants.

  • /o/ is a mid vowel [o̞], but it can be a more open [ɔ] for some speakers.

  • /u/ is centralized to [ʉ] between soft consonants.

  • Unstressed vowels are typically shorter than stressed vowels and tend to undergo mergers for most dialects.

  • Unstressed /o ~ a/ can have a less-reduced allophone [ʌ] alongside a more-reduced allophone [ə].

  • There are some exceptions to vowel-reduction rules, such as the pronunciation of unstressed /u/.

  • There is some dispute over the phonemicity of certain vowels in Russian, as well as the classification of /j/ as a consonant or semivowel.

  • Russian has 34 consonants, with some disputed phonemes.Phonology of Russian

  • Russian has a soft-hard distinction for velar consonants, which is allophonic, meaning that they become soft before front vowels unless there is a word boundary, in which case they are hard.

  • Soft consonants are separate phonemes in their own right and are closer to the underlying structure of Russian.

  • Voiced consonants are devoiced word-finally unless the next word begins with a voiced obstruent.

  • Voicing assimilation applies across word-boundaries when there is no pause between words, and voicing or devoicing is determined by that of the final obstruent in the sequence.

  • Paired consonants are normally soft before /j/ (paired consonants come in a hard-soft pair).

  • Before hard dental consonants, /r/, labial and dental consonants are hard.

  • Softening is stronger inside the word root and between root and suffix; it is weaker between prefix and root and weak or absent between a preposition and the word following.

  • In addition to this, dental fricatives conform to the place of articulation (not just the palatalization) of following postalveolars.

  • Paired consonants preceding another consonant often inherit softness from it.

  • Russian has fewer phonotactic restrictions on consonants than many other languages, allowing for clusters that would be difficult for English speakers.

  • Consonant cluster simplification in Russian includes degemination, syncope, dissimilation, and weak vowel insertion.

  • The simplifications of consonant clusters are done selectively.Pronunciation and spelling in Russian

  • Russian pronunciation is based on the Cyrillic alphabet.

  • The Russian alphabet has 33 letters, with 10 vowels, 21 consonants, and 2 letters that do not designate any sounds.

  • Russian consonants can be hard or soft, which affects the pronunciation of vowels that follow them.

  • Russian vowels can be stressed or unstressed, with stressed syllables being pronounced with a longer duration and more intense pronunciation.

  • Consonant clusters in Russian are often simplified through syncope, or the dropping of a vowel between two consonants.

  • Another method of dealing with consonant clusters is inserting an epenthetic vowel, which is pronounced and spelled as ⟨о⟩ after most prepositions and prefixes that normally end in a hard consonant.

  • Stress in Russian is phonemic and unpredictable, with stress being determined by the interplay between the morphemes in a word.

  • Generally, only one syllable in a word is stressed, but compound words can have multiple stresses, with the last one being primary.

  • There are numerous ways in which Russian spelling does not match pronunciation, with some consonants still being spelled even though they are no longer pronounced.

  • Vowels in Russian can velarize or labialize consonants that precede them.

  • A weak palatal offglide may occur between certain soft consonants and back vowels.

  • Pitch accent has only a minimal role in indicating stress in Russian.

Test your knowledge of the sounds and pronunciation of the Russian language with this informative quiz! From the soft-hard distinction of consonants to the complexities of vowel reduction in unstressed syllables, this quiz covers it all. Challenge yourself to identify phonemes, understand the rules of voicing assimilation, and recognize the phonemicity of certain vowels. You'll also get to test your knowledge of Russian spelling and stress patterns. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced learner, this quiz is a great way

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