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Thread: Stress with Single Syllable Words

  1. #1
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    Stress with Single Syllable Words

    Hello!

    When a word has just one syllable with 1 vowel isn't that vowel automatically stressed? I have a book with Russian colloquialisms and one that is covered is: не за что, which is supposed to mean "Don't mention it." The author points out the importance of proper stress with this particular example saying it should be pronounced: NYE za chto (stress on CAPS) as opposed to nye za CHTO which means something like "No way, no how."

    The problem for me is that this is not a 3 syllable word. It is three one syllable words. Stress isn't so much emphasizing a syllable as it is determining how to pronounce the vowel and aren't all of the vowels pronounced as stressed?

    How would one say "Don't mention it" vs "No way, no how?"

    Many thanks!

    Randy

  2. #2
    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    Re: Stress with Single Syllable Words

    The author is right,
    НЕ за что pronounced fast sounds like a single нЕзашто with the 1-st syllable stressed.
    And if you stress the "не за ЧТО" it will turn into ни за что (no way) due to the unstressed Е in не.
    Another month ends. All targets met. All systems working. All customers satisfied. All staff eagerly enthusiastic. All pigs fed and ready to fly.

  3. #3
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    Re: Stress with Single Syllable Words

    Yes, a vowel in a one syllable word is automatically stressed (in fact, it's impossible to pronounce it without stressing..).
    But in a fast speech a group of words (or some standard expressions) get mingled together and are pronounced as a one word, with only one vowel stressed. The same often goes for "не" + other words. For example "не знаю" is pronounced as "низнАю" (and not as "нЕ знАю"). These changes in pronounciation are related to rhythmic patterns in language - if you've studied French you probably know what I'm talking about.

    The info in your book is correct.
    не за что (pronounced as "нЕзашта") = you are welcome/don't mention it
    ни за что (pronounced as "низаштО") = No way, no how

    Please note that these expressions are spelled differently (не vs. ни).

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    Re: Stress with Single Syllable Words

    Does this occur often in Russian? Where multiple words are treated as one grammatically? I was wondering how would someone interpret me if I hadn't found this out and stressed the vowels in all of the words? I'm assuming it would be taken in context. I wouldn't say no way after I helped someone and they only thanked me!

    Thanks for the replies!

  5. #5
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    Re: Stress with Single Syllable Words

    We pronounce a preposition or a particle as a part of a word it belongs to. It doesn't depend on speed of speech. Usually they are unstressed and stress falls on the main word. Sometimes, for example in some set expressions, a preposition can be stressed and the main word unstressed. I don't think other words can merge this way even in fast speech.

    You can consider "не за что" as a single three-syllable word with the stress on the first one. "Ни за что" is another word with the stress on the third syllable.
    Налево пойдёшь - коня потеряешь, направо пойдёшь - сам голову сложишь.
    Прямой путь не предлагать!

  6. #6
    Подающий надежды оратор
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    Re: Stress with Single Syllable Words

    Is there a list of instances where the preposition or particle is stressed? I come across examples from time to time but generally promptly forget them. Here's a few off the top of my head:

    за руку
    до смерти
    на уши
    по уши

    Any more, please?

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    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Re: Stress with Single Syllable Words

    Пó воду, (но по грибы, по дровá, за цветáми).


    Нá гору. Мы взбирались нá гору, но Мы ночевали на горé.


    úз дому.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHwDhk78wDw

    Кто тебя выдумал,
    Звёздная страна?
    Снится мне издавна,
    Снится мне она.
    Выйду я úз дому,
    Выйду я úз дому,
    Прямо за пристанью
    Бьётся волна.

    Ветреным вечером
    Смолкнут крики птиц.
    Лёгкий замечу я
    Свет из-под ресниц.
    Тихо навстречу мне,
    Тихо навстречу мне,
    Выйдет доверчивый
    Маленький принц.

    Самое главное-
    Сказку не спугнуть.
    Миру бескрайнему
    Окна распахнуть.
    Мчится мой парусник,
    Мчится мой парусник,
    Мчится мой парусник,
    В сказочный путь.

    Где же вы, где же вы,
    Счастья острова?
    Где побережия
    Света и добра?
    Там, где с надеждами,
    Там, где с надеждами
    Самые нежные
    Дружат слова.

    Кто тебя выдумал,
    Звёздная страна?
    Снится мне издавна
    Снится мне она.
    Выйду я úз дому,
    Выйду я úз дому,
    Прямо за пристанью
    Бьётся волна.
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



  8. #8
    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Re: Stress with Single Syllable Words

    There are many prep.-noun combinations which can be pronounced either with the stress on the preposition or with the stress on the noun. "за руку", "до смерти", etc. can be used in both ways with the style slightly changed. Putting stress on the preposition often makes phrase archaic, or poetic, or folklore-like ore something.

    Also stress on the preposition can mean that these phrase should be understood as an idiom, not literally. Namely "на уши" most probably will be used in idioms like "вешать лапшу на уши" or "поставить на уши".
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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