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Russian Language, Its Phonology and Acquisition Essay


English and Russian languages both belong to the Indo-European languages; however, American English and Russian have different language families and branches. Russian is a part of the East Slavic branch of the Slavic family. There are a lot of dissimilarities in these languages, for instance, in the Russian language, “a noun has a variation in gender, number, and case, an adjective has to comply with its modified object in gender, number, and case, and a numeral also shares variation in number” (Liu, 2010, p. 3). The dissimilarities that are present in these languages are primarily illustrated in phonetics, syntax, morphology, lexicon, and numerous other visible features.

A distinctive aspect of the phonology of the Russian language is the broad spectrum of consonant clusters that are adopted by the language. In the case of a typological viewpoint, these consonant clusters are significant and noticeable due to their length and their uncommon phonotactics. The Russian language authorizes the implementation of the clusters with a greater length than most of the standard languages, which are four or fewer consonants in every commencement and coda of any given word. For example, the consonant clusters in Russian language could be seen in вскрыл [‘fskril] (‘he opened’) and in чёрств [t∫orstf] (‘stagnant’). The Russian language acts by the Sonority Sequencing Principle in most conditions except at the word edges. Most unusual is the fact that the Russian language allows sonorant-obstruent sequences that contravene with the Sonority Sequencing Principle not only at the beginning of the word, for example, ртуть [rtutj] (‘mercury’), and at the end of the word, for example, жезл [ᶾezl] (‘wand’). The presence of these processes in the given words most likely would indicate that the phonological structure of the Russian language is not dependent on the consistent standards of syllable-level organization, which is characteristic of the languages that support the convoluted onsets and codas. Nonetheless, a more accurate “examination of the origins of SSP-violations, their distribution, and the morpho-phonological behavior of the words which contain them, reveals that Russian phonology is generally sensitive to a sonority hierarchy in which the liquids play an important role as a subclass of the sonorants” (Proctor, 2009, p. 127). These phenomena could be evaluated and comprehended only through an archival framework; as a result, the diachronic advancement of the syllable arrangement of the Russian language needs to be illustrated separately.

The intonation patterns in the Russian language have been arranged so that mentions the intonation pattern as an ‘intonation construction’, or ‘интонационные конструкции’ (ИК). In the Russian language, there are five fundamental intonation patterns: for declarative sentences and statements; for questions that include a question word; for questions without a question word; for unfinished questions that frequently begin with an ‘A…’; and for assertions that could be presented both straightforwardly and indirectly. According to the study of Andrey Zaliznyak, the Russian language contains six stress patterns of the deterioration of the nouns, which includes four derived forms. “Patterns a/c/e (or odd-numbered) have stem stress in the singular. Patterns b/d/f and variants (or even-numbered) have ending stress in the singular. In a and b, the plural is like singular. In c and d, it’s the opposite. In e and f, the plural has moving stress: ending stress, except the nominative plural with stem stress. The variant patterns (b’, d’, f’, f”) are all ending-stressed in the singular except for one case: accusative singular in d’ and f’, instrumental singular in b’ and f”” (Zaliznyak, 1977, p. 121).

There are several types of language acquisition: phonological, lexical, acquisition of nominal categories, acquisition of verbal categories, and syntactic approach towards acquisition. Children that learn the Russian language tend to begin with open syllables, as well as children that learn American English. The basic parts of words both pretonic and stressed are learned previously, both by Russian and English speaking children. On the contrary, post-tonic parts of words are adjourned until a child reaches the age of four. An acknowledged obtaining of post-tonic parts of words is detected between the age of four and six. Vinarskaja et al. (1977) illustrate that dissimilar levels of reduction come into sight in the first place in the pre-tonic speech sounds. Post-tonic decreased vowels are always depicted by the use of the schwa (Vinarskaja et al. 1977). Furthermore, the conclusion of observing the acquisition among children certifies the upper limit of two-syllable words around the age of three. Nevertheless, the precision of language learning becomes better over time not only of children that learn to speak Russian but also in English-speaking children, implementing the progression of the given children concerning the phonological structure of a word on the mature adult level at a proportionate rate. The syntactical elements of the Russian language are quite distinct from those of the American English language. There are numerous examples of the application of erroneous intonations with nouns by the native speakers of the Russian language. Moreover, native speakers tend to determine the grammatical gender system differently by the means of abolishing the primary differentiations between genders; moreover, native speakers often apply the plurality of nouns inaccurately. For example: у них есть два стол (‘they have two tables’) instead of у них есть два стола (‘they have two tables’).

Pragmatics is connected to the applicable implementation of the Russian language in assorted situations, where the prominence relies persistently on the application of the Russian language in the context. Chen (1996) states that “pragmatics takes the viewpoint of language users, especially of the choices they make, the sociocultural constraints they encounter in using the language, and the effects their language has on the interlocutor” (p. 3). Russian and American English illustrate different inclinations for compliance in transmission and conversation. For example, in American English, the main role belongs to the register; while the native speakers of the Russian language prefer the application of the address pronouns to evaluate the essence of the relations between the conversationalists. The Russian language requires a broad knowledge of every pronoun and its applicable purpose, and the situation was to use this specific pronoun. The native speaker of the Russian language has the opportunity to use his or her insight to determine the right choice of pronouns, as the relations between the conversationalists are often changing and active. On the contrary, people that only learn the Russian language and whose native language does not possess a comparable aspect, do not maintain a necessary intuition to determine the right choice of pronouns (Ryazanova-Clarke, 2014). As a result, learning the Russian language may turn into a far more complicated assignment than simply understand the grammar and become proficient with vocabulary and terminology.

References

Chen, H. J. (1996). Cross-cultural comparison of English and Chinese metapragmatics in refusal. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University.

Liu, Y. (2010). Study of contrastive analysis on English and Russian in Russian teaching. Tianjin, China: Tianjin Polytechnic University.

Proctor, M. (2009). Gestural characterization of a phonological class: The liquids. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University.

Ryazanova-Clarke, L. (2014). The Russian language outside the nation. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press.

Vinarskaja, E., Lepskaja, N., & Bogomazov, G. (1977). Problems of theoretical and experimental linguistics. Moscow, Russia: Moscow University Press.

Zaliznyak, A. (1977). Grammaticheckij slovar’ russkogo jazyka [Grammatical dictionary of Russian language]. Mocsow, Russia: Russkiy Yazik.

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IvyPanda. (2020, July 25). Russian Language, Its Phonology and Acquisition. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/russian-language-its-phonology-and-acquisition/

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"Russian Language, Its Phonology and Acquisition." IvyPanda, 25 July 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/russian-language-its-phonology-and-acquisition/.

1. IvyPanda. "Russian Language, Its Phonology and Acquisition." July 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/russian-language-its-phonology-and-acquisition/.


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IvyPanda. "Russian Language, Its Phonology and Acquisition." July 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/russian-language-its-phonology-and-acquisition/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Russian Language, Its Phonology and Acquisition." July 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/russian-language-its-phonology-and-acquisition/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Russian Language, Its Phonology and Acquisition'. 25 July.

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