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pronunciation of vowels

Posted: Apr 28th, 15, 23:38
by Canary

I'm studying Russian phonetics on my own and I'd like to know why I notice the following changes in the pronunciation of vowels:
Как дела - sounds like di-la and not dye-la
девять - sounds like dye-vyet and not dye-vyat
шоколад - she-ka-lat - sha-ka-lat

Are there any rules that explain that?


Re: pronunciation of vowels

Posted: May 29th, 15, 14:16
by LoveMyRussia

I'd say that if a vowel is stressed, in this case it is pronounced exactly as in alphabet. If it's not stressed, then it's often pronounced some other way (due to conveniece as it seems to me. e.g., if we pronounce dyevyat', it's very inconvenient in terms of articulation)

Re: pronunciation of vowels

Posted: Feb 7th, 17, 16:09
by Yevgeni
The reason is a phenomenon called “vowel reduction”. Normally, unstressed А, О, Е, Я change their articulation in the following way:
1. unstressed О and А have the same sound, closer to the first “a” in “apart”. So, “молокó” is similar to “malakó”, because the first two vowels are unstressed;
2. unstressed ЧА and ЩА become ЧИ and ЩИ respectively (часы́ => чисы́, пощади́ть => пащиди́ть);
3. but this mutation doesn’t occur at the end of the word (встре́ча, пи́ща – here ча, ща are pronounced as ча, ща);
4. unstressed Е and Я become “йи” in word initial and after vowels (еда́ => йида́, объясня́ть => абъйисня́ть);
5. after consonants unstressed Е and Я are not different from “и” (беру => биру,вязать => визать);
6. the final “-я” doesn’t become и/йи, regardless of the stress (Росси́я, ба́ня – here the final “я” doesn’t become “и”);
7. the word “шокола́д” is an exception: here the syllable “шо” sounds like “shi”: шикала́т.

In my channel Russian language learners can find some lessons about Russian pronunciation ( ... N3QEsw7oDw). The lessons about vowel reduction will be uploaded soon.
Welcome! I hope, my lessons will be helpful.