Results 1 to 16 of 16
Like Tree3Likes
  • 1 Post By iCake
  • 1 Post By RedFox
  • 1 Post By Nikolya

Thread: Russian feminine nouns that end with -а

  1. #1
    Подающий надежды оратор
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    27
    Rep Power
    5

    Russian feminine nouns that end with -а

    I have a question regarding the pronunciation of feminine nouns that end with -а. For example, аватара (underlining the stress) or avatar in Russian,

    аватара (sing. nom. case) vs. аватаре (sing. dat. case)

    Are both of the pronunciation homonyms? Or maybe аватаре is pronounced more like аватари in Standard Russian?

  2. #2
    Властелин iCake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Siberia, the Earth
    Posts
    1,174
    Rep Power
    28
    That's a very good question. I for one can't say what the unstressed vowels in there exactly sound like. I think it's true for most, if not all, Russians. The only thing I'm fairly sure about is that аватара and аватаре don't sound the same.
    Antonio1986 likes this.
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

  3. #3
    Властелин
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Russia
    Posts
    1,038
    Rep Power
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by Karavanshchik View Post
    Or maybe аватаре is pronounced more like аватари in Standard Russian?
    correct. very close.

    аватара - close to 'shwa' in Engl.
    аватаре - close to e in 'pen'

  4. #4
    Почтенный гражданин
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    710
    Rep Power
    26
    /e/ and /i/ merge in most unstressed positions (e.g. лиса 'fox' and леса 'forests' are pronounced [lʲɪˈsa]).
    Some speakers distinguish /e/ and /i/ in the ending position, though. (звери vs о звере)

    See Russian phonology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for details.
    iCake likes this.

  5. #5
    Властелин iCake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Siberia, the Earth
    Posts
    1,174
    Rep Power
    28
    RedFox

    Yeah, I think you're right about the merging thing. For example, I remember learning this rule back in school. Like what's right в дороги or в дороге. What was curious is that a lot of people had a great deal of trouble with this, but for me it was like "Come on. Can't you guys just hear it? I certainly can."

    It brings back memories
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

  6. #6
    Подающий надежды оратор
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    27
    Rep Power
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by alexsms View Post
    correct. very close.

    аватара - close to 'shwa' in Engl.
    аватаре - close to e in 'pen'
    So let me transliterate it in IPA

    аватара = [ɐvɐˈtarʲə]
    аватаре = [ɐvɐˈtarʲɪ]

    (underlined "а" is the stress)

  7. #7
    Властелин iCake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Siberia, the Earth
    Posts
    1,174
    Rep Power
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by Karavanshchik View Post
    So let me transliterate it in IPA

    аватара = [ɐvɐˈtarʲə]
    аватаре = [ɐvɐˈtarʲɪ]

    (underlined "а" is the stress)
    I'm not sure but it's probably more like

    аватара [əvəˈtarə]

    аватаре [əvəˈtare] - r should be soft here
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

  8. #8
    Почтенный гражданин
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    710
    Rep Power
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by Karavanshchik View Post
    аватара = [ɐvɐˈtarʲə]
    [...rə]
    [r] is hard here.

  9. #9
    Подающий надежды оратор
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    27
    Rep Power
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by iCake View Post
    I'm not sure but it's probably more like

    аватара [əvəˈtarə]

    аватаре [əvəˈtare] - r should be soft here
    Quote Originally Posted by RedFox View Post
    [...rə]
    [r] is hard here.
    Sorry, I meant.

    аватара = [ɐvɐˈtarə]
    аватари = [ɐvɐˈtarʲɪ]
    аватаре = [ɐvɐˈtarʲə]

    Got confused.

  10. #10
    Властелин iCake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Siberia, the Earth
    Posts
    1,174
    Rep Power
    28
    Still think all unstressed "a"s are schwas
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

  11. #11
    Подающий надежды оратор
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    27
    Rep Power
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by iCake View Post
    Still think all unstressed "a"s are schwas
    For all practical purposes, unstressed "а"s are either [ɐ] or [ə]. I can't disagree with you on that one.

  12. #12
    Почтенный гражданин
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    710
    Rep Power
    26
    Although iCake says he can distinguish -и and -е in the ending position, and there actually are minor differences in pronunciation in different areas of the country, I believe the standard language tends to fully merge these unstressed phonemes. (Except for such cases as желание, сиденье, приключение and so on.)

    Letters е/и in тучи, лиса, леса, кое-где, ниже and море aren't required to be pronounced differently, neither has one to able to distinguish them to understand Russian.

  13. #13
    Подающий надежды оратор Nikolya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    14
    Rep Power
    3
    The rules of reduction are actually quite simple, at least on a phonological level. There are four groups of vowels to remember: 1) those that are reduced to /ʊ/ (у, ю), 2) those that are reduced to /ɨ/, 3) those that are reduced to /ɪ/ (е, и, я), and 4) those that are reduced to /ɐ/ or /ə/ (о, а). Next, it is important in which syllable the vowel is found: whether it precedes the stressed syllable (i.e. pre-tonic) or is found elsewhere.

    Group 1 (у, ю):
    These are always pronounced /ʊ/.

    Group 2 (э):
    These are always pronounced /ɨ/.

    Group 3 (е, и, я):
    These are pronounced /ɪ/,
    though я is pronounced /ə/ word-finally.

    Group 4 (о, а):
    These are pronounced /ɐ/ when preceding the stressed syllable.
    These are pronounced /ə/ when found elsewhere.


    Note that on a phonetic level there are more subtle distinctions among the vowels, but most normal learners do not need to know these rules (or care to learn them). The rules above are sufficient for most, and the subtle distinctions will eventually be picked up by the learner when exposed to spoken Russian.

  14. #14
    Почтенный гражданин
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    710
    Rep Power
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by Nikolya View Post
    Group 2 (е, э, и, я):
    These are always pronounced /ɪ/.
    Except for я in endings:
    Катя [ˈkatʲæ] vs Кати[ˈkatʲɪ]
    дача [ˈdaʨæ] vs дачи [ˈdaʨɪ]

    For about unstressed э, i.e. [ɛ] after a hard consonant, after a vowel or at the beginning of a word, it is rather rare and can be found only in loanwords:
    экран, эфир, коэффициент, муэдзин, диэлектрик.
    It is normally reduced from [ɛ] to [ɨ] or [ɘ], but not to [ɪ]:
    [ɨkˈran]
    [ɨˈfʲir]
    [kəɨfʲɪʦɨˈɛnt]
    [mʊɨˈdzʲin]

    Exception: иэ as in [dʲɪ.ɪˈlʲektrʲɪk], ɪ + ɨ is assimilated to ɪ + ɪ.

  15. #15
    Подающий надежды оратор Nikolya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    14
    Rep Power
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by RedFox View Post
    Except for я in endings:
    Катя [ˈkatʲæ] vs Кати[ˈkatʲɪ]
    дача [ˈdaʨæ] vs дачи [ˈdaʨɪ]

    For about unstressed э, i.e. [ɛ] after a hard consonant, after a vowel or at the beginning of a word, it is rather rare and can be found only in loanwords:
    экран, эфир, коэффициент, муэдзин, диэлектрик.
    It is normally reduced from [ɛ] to [ɨ] or [ɘ], but not to [ɪ]:
    [ɨkˈran]
    [ɨˈfʲir]
    [kəɨfʲɪʦɨˈɛnt]
    [mʊɨˈdzʲin]

    Exception: иэ as in [dʲɪ.ɪˈlʲektrʲɪk], ɪ + ɨ is assimilated to ɪ + ɪ.
    I was a bit too quick when it comes to the vowel я, it is pronounced /ə/ in final positions. And what I wrote about the vowel э is wrong, it is of course reduced to /ɨ/ - like you said - not /ɪ/. I tried to keep it on a phonological level, so that it might be easier for a learner to understand. However, the word-final /ə/-reduction is found on a phonological level, and should therefore be included, my bad.

    I have corrected my post.
    RedFox likes this.

  16. #16
    Увлечённый спикер
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Russia
    Posts
    40
    Rep Power
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Karavanshchik View Post
    I have a question regarding the pronunciation of feminine nouns that end with -а. For example, аватара (underlining the stress) or avatar in Russian,

    аватара (sing. nom. case) vs. аватаре (sing. dat. case)

    Are both of the pronunciation homonyms? Or maybe аватаре is pronounced more like аватари in Standard Russian?
    (Didn't read whole thread, aslo I'm not linguist at all. But I am Russian, so I tried to understand difference by myself. Hope, this will be helpfull)
    For the most part, `аватАра` и `аватАре` are pronounced similar. You don't need to give attention to it.
    But the light difference exists.
    For example, if `аватар` means small user's picture on forum, then:
    `У тебя нет аватАра` - pronounces with strength in it. Guess, it's something like `fIght`
    `Что это у тебя на аватАре?` - pronounces softer than former one. It has nothing to do with exclusions or rules. It's because `е` in the end is "soft" sound, which makes `р` softer, and vice versa. So, `аватАре` gets his softness from `е`.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 44
    Last Post: June 20th, 2011, 07:47 PM
  2. Why Seoul is feminine? Is 'ship' always feminine?
    By alexsms in forum Learn English - Грамматика, переводы, словарный запас
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: May 16th, 2011, 11:36 AM
  3. Replies: 6
    Last Post: April 7th, 2011, 02:49 AM
  4. Can u Explain me about Russian Nouns
    By ahmed sujau in forum Grammar and Vocabulary
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: March 27th, 2009, 09:36 PM
  5. businesswoman - feminine forms of nouns
    By basurero in forum Grammar and Vocabulary
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: February 17th, 2006, 12:31 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Russian Lessons                           

Russian Tests and Quizzes            

Russian Vocabulary