Yet Another Russian Pronunciation Thread... On Mon, Jan 15, 2007 at 10:38:45PM +0200, Isaac Penzev wrote: > H. S. Teoh wrote: > > > > > > The same is true for Russian and Ukrainian speakers. I still am > > > > not sure about the precise quality of English /V/. > > > > > > I thought [V] was the reduced phone of the Russian /a/ and /o/ > > > phonemes? So I thought <kholodylnik> was [xVlV'd15nik]. > > [...] > > > > That's what I thought, too. I'm not too sure about the precise value > > of [V], but a "lax [a]" is certainly what happens in Russian words > > such as хорошо [xVrV"So:] and большое [bVl^j"So:j@], at least to my > > ears. > > The correct pronunciation: > холодильник [x@5V"d;il;n;ik] > хорошо [x@rV"So] > большое [bVl;"Soj@] > where [;] stands for palatalization [_j]. Hmm. I have trouble with IPA [@], because it seems to have different values depending on language! The [@] in English seems to be lower than, say, the [@] in Malay (in such words as _kerana_ [k@ranV]). It always sounded to me as having sortof an [V]-like value. > 1. No length distinction. OK. > 2. /o/ and /a/ indeed merge in unstressed positions, but have > allophonic [V] only in the Grade 1 reduction (that is, the first > prestressed syllable, and the final open one). Otherwise it is [@]. What about /ja/? Recently I've been wondering how to distinguish between the verb endings -ит and -ят when unstressed. Does -ят reduce to [jit] or does it remain something like [j@t] in order to be distinguished from -ит [jit]? > 3. Most speakers perceive unstressed /o/ as if it "alternates" with > /a/. That is why we usually perceive [V] as a variant of [a]. I also hear [V] as allophonic to [a], although I can tell the difference if I was consciously listening for it. > We all know that precise IPA values differ from language to language. > I hear *Russian* [V] as in the IPA chart, but the *GA* [V] sound like > , while the *RP* [V] is definitely  for me (and I indeed > pronounce _but_ as [b7t], and still nobody complains), OTOH the > *Portuguese*  is more like [&] for me, while the *German*  is a > pharyngalized [a]... Am I deaf? [...] I have the same problem too! The IPA [@] gives me trouble, 'cos different people (esp. across languages) pronounce it differently. I have heard it said that even phoneticians do get their vowels biased from their L1, even after professional training in phonetics. For example, some people pronounce [e] which sounds to my ears like [E], whereas Daniel Jones (whose pronunciation is supposed to be the "official" pronunciation of the cardinal vowels) pronounces it closer to what I perceive as [e]. It could be that we're hopelessly biased by our L1, and perhaps by unconscious past associations of L1 vowels with IPA vowels, so that we can't reach 100% agreement. T -- Let's eat some disquits while we format the biskettes.