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Thread: Origins of the spelling rules

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    Origins of the spelling rules

    I am intrigued by the Russian spelling rules. Firstly, they are quite confusing, for example:
    Ы can't be written after Ш, you have to write И. But И can never be pronounced after Ш, you have to say Ы.
    Secondly, I was wodering when they came about, and why, if that can be answered. Is there any logic behind them, or is it just the way it is?

    Thirdly, are there any exceptions to the rules? English has so-called spelling rules, but there always seem to be many exceptions.
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    Re: Origins of the spelling rules

    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    I am intrigued by the Russian spelling rules. Firstly, they are quite confusing, for example:
    Ы can't be written after Ш, you have to write И. But И can never be pronounced after Ш, you have to say Ы.
    Secondly, I was wodering when they came about, and why, if that can be answered. Is there any logic behind them, or is it just the way it is?
    Thirdly, are there any exceptions to the rules? English has so-called spelling rules, but there always seem to be many exceptions.
    О себе могу сказать, что в школе никогда не задавалась этими вопросами и не помню, чтобы это делал кто-то из одноклассников. Зубрили правила и всё.
    Насколько я помню, исключений с "шы" нет. Ой, "шы" глаза режет.
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



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    There really aren't so many spelling rules in Russian. Most of them have to do with preserving the hardness/softness of a stem when cases are applied. You don't necessarily ever see the bare stem of a Russian word, so you have to learn the patterns from seeing words in cases, and inferring what the stem would be from that. I would imagine most of the "rules" came out of the spelling reforms in (1917 was it?). Before then, ъ had to be written at the end of every word that ended with a hard consonant.

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    I think Tatu is perfectly well aware of what the spelling rules are and how they work, what he is asking for is a breakdown of how they came to be.

    I'd also be interested in hearing the history behind their development, if anyone knows.

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    Arghhhh! Surprisingly, I have asked the same question on English just several days ago in English for Russians section. Can you believe I feel a bit confused on English spelling rules too? Actually I do not struggle to write words properly but the fact that no rules are taught at school just blows my mind.

    Anyway, here is what the Net tells about the history of Russian spelling: at first there were different ways of writing things. They varied a lot. People simply learned to spell from their teachers and it didn't seem any course to appear that time. As time passed spelling become more or less common throughout Russia. Still it was rather a custom then a rule. Rules itself were finally stated in 19th century as grammar books began to be published.

    Is there any logic behind them, or is it just the way it is?
    It seems to me that no logics lies behind the most of spelling in Russian. I guess this is rather a case of how it was stated and then accepted.

    are there any exceptions to the rules?
    There are LOTS of exceptions throughout Russian spelling, almost every rule seems to have an exception. The one that I happened to remember: "В корне слова после шипящих слышится "о", но пишется "ё". Исключения: шов, шорох, крыжовник, капюшон."
    No rule to be without exception (a proverb).
    Нет правил без исключений.
    Those rules which do not have any exceptions are very rare: the one you mentioned - ЖИ-ШИ пиши с буквой И, also ЧА-ЩА пиши с буквой А, ЧУ-ЩУ пиши с буквой У... By the way I remember these were logically explained at kind of this: Ж-Ш sounds are always hard ones, they could not be followed by "hardening" vowels (like Ы) which are to make consonant sound harder. This is the same for ЧА-ЩА but Ч-Щ are always soft sounds therefore they could not be folowed by softening vowels: they would be "too soft to be true" Hope this gives a little sense though it demands you to learn some Russian fonetics first .

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    Quote Originally Posted by katerinka
    Those rules which do not have any exceptions are very rare: the one you mentioned - ЖИ-ШИ пиши с буквой И, also ЧА-ЩА пиши с буквой А, ЧУ-ЩУ пиши с буквой У...
    And also ЦИ пиши с И. Исключения: цыган, цыпочки, цыплёнок, цыц.
    Gib immer 100% bei der Arbeit: 12% am Montag, 23% am Dienstag, 40% am Mittwoch, 20% am Donnerstag, 5% am Freitag ...

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    and anything that ends in -ец

    отцы (и дети!), молодцы, концы.

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    шы жы пешы с буквой ы
    Оригинал: Call me ASAP.
    Перевод: Зови меня Асапом. (С)

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    жи ши пиши с и, а жы шы - с ы!
    Gib immer 100% bei der Arbeit: 12% am Montag, 23% am Dienstag, 40% am Mittwoch, 20% am Donnerstag, 5% am Freitag ...

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    I am only referring to the
    И - Ы
    А - Я
    У - Ю
    Е - О
    rules.
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