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Thread: Hypercorrection in Russian?

  1. #21
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    Re: Hypercorrection in Russian?

    So there is no "chic" pronounciation in Russian at all?
    Then how are people able to be snobbish?!
    I don't see why they have to...

    I know all Russians say that there are no dialects and that is absolutely mind-boggling to me...
    It's not entirely correct, those who live in the East can easily distinguish some Moskovites or people from central regions by their dialect. Besides, some of those who live in the South have very clearly distinguishable accent (somewhat funny at times).

    Honestly, I think dialects/accents will come back, gradually.
    No, they won't, just because there weren't any, except those cases I mentioned above.

    It must just be that all those years of socialism erased it, or?
    It's absolutely amazing how you, westerners, can blame anything on "all those years of socialism".
    If my post contains errors of any kind, I'd appreciate anyone setting me straight.

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    Re: Hypercorrection in Russian?

    Quote Originally Posted by Selexin

    It must just be that all those years of socialism erased it, or?
    It's absolutely amazing how you, westerners, can blame anything on "all those years of socialism".
    Yes "us" westerners because the West consists of a homogenous monolithic mass of people who blame everything on socialism:

    typical western dialogue:
    "WTF we just got a flat tire"
    "I blame socialism"

    ... anyway the statement was neutral ... is the absence of regional accents something that must be "blamed" on something?

    And are you suggesting that before the "years of socialism" instituted compulsory standardised mass education there were absolutely no regional or class accents in the vast Russian Empire?

    cheers
    If I was kiddin' you, I'd be wearin' a fez and no pants. (Lennie Briscoe)

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    Re: Hypercorrection in Russian?

    Russian linguists in the 19th century named two well-formed dialects in Russian Empire - Ukrainian and Belorussian. Unfortunately, they are different languages now.

    But there were (and to some extent still are) three more dialect groups on the territory of modern Russia: Nothern, middle-Russian, and Southern. The difference between them was rather superficial. Moreover, elite and educated people spoke mostly in middle-Russian or in French, while "dialect-speakers" were peasants, Cossacks, hunters, etc.

    The most noticable differences (apart from some local "slang") were:
    а) Nothern - "оканье" and sometimes "еканье" (i.e. unstressed "o"/"e" were not reduced, and were enunciated clearly). Now you'll hardly meet anyone who talks like that.
    b) middle-Russian aka modern Russian - "аканье" (i.e. unstressed "o" was pronounced as "a" - according to modern rules). Some people insist that Moscovites exaggerate their "a"s too much ("акают"), but it depends. Some do, but most don't in my opinion.
    c) Southern - fricative "Г" and some other little things.This one is still alive and kicking and generally it sounds like a Ukrainian accent (which is not surprising, since Ukraine is close to these parts of Russia).

    I'm not sure if you can seriously call it a dialect, based on this little quirks in pronounciation, because vocabulary people use throughout Russia and most former Soviet republicks) is the same, due to media and standard education.

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    Re: Hypercorrection in Russian?

    ...is the absence of regional accents something that must be "blamed" on something?
    I'd rephrase the question: "is the PRESENCE of regional accents something that must be blamed on something?"
    Because I don't see natural reasons for difference in accents across one and the same country (especially a relatively small one as England), other than intentionally created conditions for that.

    And are you suggesting that before the "years of socialism" instituted compulsory standardised mass education there were absolutely no regional or class accents in the vast Russian Empire?
    There certainly were differences, but vernacular rather than dialectal, the kind of difference that exists between educated and uneducated speech. But it can't be called "accent" or "dialect".
    In fact, to be honest, there are a lot of distinguisable accents in Russia, because the country comprises a lot of nationalities with their own native tongues, but those accents are not socially induced, so, I think, this aspect doesn't count.
    If my post contains errors of any kind, I'd appreciate anyone setting me straight.

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    Re: Hypercorrection in Russian?

    Interesting discussion, and I have nothing to add. I just wanted to say that, in English, people from Moscow are referred to as Muscovites.

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    Re: Hypercorrection in Russian?

    Quote Originally Posted by Selexin
    ...is the absence of regional accents something that must be "blamed" on something?
    I'd rephrase the question: "is the PRESENCE of regional accents something that must be blamed on something?"
    Because I don't see natural reasons for difference in accents across one and the same country (especially a relatively small one as England), other than intentionally created conditions for that.
    ??
    I fail to see what you mean.
    If I was kiddin' you, I'd be wearin' a fez and no pants. (Lennie Briscoe)

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    Quote Originally Posted by starrysky View Post
    I thought both variants were correct. I mean, earlier I didn't know t can be pronounced in "often" but then I heard a lot of people do so...

    :
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    Почтенный гражданин delog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doninphxaz View Post
    ...even though technically the pronunciation or construction is incorrect. Two examples come immediately to mind: ... and saying things like “just between you and I” instead of “just between you and me.”
    Pronunciation or construction of "you and I" is technically incorrect (???). I always thought that "me" instead "I" is the colloquial speech.
    Last edited by delog; November 4th, 2010 at 12:46 PM. Reason: think -> thought
    English as a Second Language by Jeff McQuillan and Lucy Tse.

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    AFAIK "Me" is objective case.
    roughly:
    "you and I" = "ты и я" (subject)
    "you and me" = "тебя и меня", "тебе и мне", "тобой и мной" (object)
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

  10. #30
    Почтенный гражданин delog's Avatar
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    Hm... What about this:
    - Who is it?
    - It's me.
    English as a Second Language by Jeff McQuillan and Lucy Tse.

  11. #31
    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delog View Post
    Hm... What about this:
    - Who is it?
    - It's me.
    It's all right.
    It - subject (подлежащее)
    is - predicate (сказуемое)
    me - object (дополнение)

    Object requires objective case.
    Let English linguists correct me if I am wrong.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

  12. #32
    Почтенный гражданин delog's Avatar
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    Thank you. Yes, you are right that pronouns in object position must be objective case. I just have a problem with impersonal sentences.
    English as a Second Language by Jeff McQuillan and Lucy Tse.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo View Post
    It's all right.
    It - subject (подлежащее)
    is - predicate (сказуемое)
    me - object (дополнение)

    Object requires objective case.
    Let English linguists correct me if I am wrong.
    I believe in this case "me" is not an object but a predicate nominative, so the objective case cannot be justified with that. It is perfectly alright though. I'll quote an article that puts it very well:

    "What should you say on the phone: “It is me?” or “It is I?” Maybe you should just hang up the phone and send a fax.
    The rivalry between “It is me” and “It is I” is right up there with Pepsi and Coke battling for market shares.
    The “It is I” camp argues that forms of the verb to be, such as is and was, should be followed by pronouns in the nominative case. Therefore, here the pronoun would be I.
    On the other hand, the “It is me” camp counters with the argument that noun case in English has disappeared. Further, they contend that the pronoun case has become so weakened that the force of word order now overrides the force of case.
    The placement of the pronoun in the object part of the sentence “It is me” and “It is us” has become increasingly acceptable as standard usage even in boardrooms. But if you're speaking with a language purist who is likely to become offended by today's more relaxed standards of speech and writing, use the time-honored “It is I” instead of “It is me.”


    As for hypercorrection in Russian, it makes me think of elderly ladies from St. Petersburg who look like they have been working as librarians for a hundred years, and teach ballet lessons on Fridays, and faint if they hear someone say "жопа". They pronounce "э" instead of "е" in words like "пионэр", "музэй", "крэм", which sounds hilariously posh to me. There are also elderly Muscovites who would say "маленькый" and "умылса" rather than "маленький" and "умылся". See old Soviet movies and cartoons like "Аленькый (tee hee) цветочек".

    Hypercorrection is also common in wording and grammar. If you read some semi-formal texts like memos or explanatory statements you will see what I mean: the author usually has this idea that long, complicated and indecipherable equals correct and educated, hence the overuse of commas, chains of consecutive nouns in genitive case, page-long sentences that would make Leo Tolstoy weep (much like this one), and freakishly awkward derivatives like "просрачивать".

    Plus, there is a recent trend to stick to hyper-accurate pronunciation as opposed to lazy pronunciation. I admit that gobbling up half of the syllables sounds awful, but hearing "здравствуйте" (with the first "в" voiced) instead of "здрасте" or "сегодня" (yep, not "сиводня" or "сёдня" but actually "сегодня") from a person is just plain creepy. And wrong.

  14. #34
    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrs dalliard View Post
    I believe in this case "me" is not an object but a predicate nominative
    I see. Though looks like the very idea of predicate nominative is obsolete in English.

    In Russian, however, nominative is used in such constructions indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrs dalliard View Post
    Hypercorrection is also common in wording and grammar. If you read some semi-formal texts like memos or explanatory statements you will see what I mean: the author usually has this idea that long, complicated and indecipherable equals correct and educated, hence the overuse of commas, chains of consecutive nouns in genitive case, page-long sentences that would make Leo Tolstoy weep (much like this one), and freakishly awkward derivatives like "просрачивать".
    Hmmm... Didn't you mean "просрочивать", or?..
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo View Post
    Hmmm... Didn't you mean "просрочивать", or?..
    Well, that would be the correct form, not hyper-correct.
    Просрачивать, приурачивать, распогаживаться follow the existing phonetic pattern and therefore are sort of more correct than просрочивать etc... but being non-euphonious ruins it all. Although this is probably not really hypercorrection, merely a common mistake.

  16. #36
    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Hmm... And here we come to the problem "Who is guilty?" "What to do?" "What is correct?" Why following pattern is correct?

    Hypercorrection means neglecting natural language laws in favor of formal rules (forced or cooked-up). For example, masculine кофе. Natural laws follows from practicability (which is often intuitive) and tradition while hyper-rules come from oversimplified model of the language when it is considered absolute.

    For example someone may insist that "в лесе" is correct just because he learned at school only six cases.

    So. The keyword is purpose. If someone wants to make fun and said "просрачить все полимеры", then "просрочить" is hypercorrection. If someone writes an official paper "просрачить" (because of the pattern) would be hypercorrection again. Everything is relative.

    I don't think that chains of genitives or complicated sentences are the same phenomena. It is just a different style which is made for specific purposes. If someone write research report or legal paper in a colloquial manner, that will cause great problems not because of the snobbery of other people, but because such papers will be unusable - not enough exact. Still wrong style can be considered as hypercorrection sometimes...
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo View Post
    Everything is relative.
    I second that.

    I don't think that chains of genitives or complicated sentences are the same phenomena. It is just a different style which is made for specific purposes. If someone write research report or legal paper in a colloquial manner, that will cause great problems not because of the snobbery of other people, but because such papers will be unusable - not enough exact. Still wrong style can be considered as hypercorrection sometimes...
    I guess I have to agree: the канцелярит I wrote about is more pseudo than hyper-correction. "Согласно приказа" is not correct but people often think it is and make it look like it is. I just jumped at the possibility of listing all my pet peeves. And, yes, it is a different style but it doesn't take to be wrong to be special.

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