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Hello,

> > >         It represents [j] (most of the time) although there
> > > are a couple of instances
> > > in which it can be realized as a diphthong, usually vowel +
> > > [i].
> >
> > Not in my lect.
>
>         Just out of curiousity, where abouts in Russia are
> you? I knew once, but
> forgot.

Moscow that'd be.

>         In any case, when I was in St. Pete, I don't think I
> ever heard a diphthong,
> but I have a vague memory of some Russian speaker telling me
> about other
> Russian dialects (we were on the topic of "funny-sounding
> dialects).

Well many dialects preserve the older [ji] , as does literary Ukrainian
and which Russian simplifies to [i]. Don't know whether this is of
relevance.

> > > In word final cases, it most definitely is
> > > [j], as in /tSaj/ (tea).
> >
> > Errm, not quite. In many cases, you'll hear an
> approximant-ish [C] in
> > pre-pausal position.
>
>         Eh? Are you saying that it is realized as [tSaC]?

Not exactly [], but yes.

[...]
>         Well, I am neither a native speaker (so all the
> native speakers tend to speak
> s l o w l y  f o r  t h e  f o r e i g n e r) and I lack (alas!) a
> spectogram. I will definitely keep my ear open, however. Just out of
> curiousity, how do you pronounce "shch"--the Russian guides
> here all say it's
> like "freSH CHeese," but I've only heard it as [S:]; for instance,
> [jE"S:_jo].

Just that. The former is dialectal (and again the norm in Ukrainian).

Pavel
--
Pavel Iosad               [log in to unmask]

Is mall a mharcaicheas am fear a bheachdaicheas
                 --Scottish proverb