Slavic Languages and Literatures | Russian Phonetics
R403 | ALL | Richter


The course R403, Russian Phonetics, has a triple aim. First, it familiarizes the student with the phonological structure of modern Russian. Second, it prepares the student to teach Russian pronunciation to others. And third, it enables the student scienti
fically to improve his own pronunciation--if such improvement is needed.

The course begins with a rapid reading of C. Buchanan, A Programed Introduction to Linguistics, Heath, 1963, to present to the student basic linguistic concepts and terminology used in the course. Then begin regular reading assignments in P.I. Avanesov, R
usskoe literaturnoe proiznoshenie, (Moscow: 1984), which is read in its entirety. E.A. Bryzgunova, Zvuki i intonacii russkoj rechi (Moscow: 1977), and Wm. S. Hamilton, Introduction to Russian Phonology and Word Structure, Slavica Publishers, 1980, are als
o used in the course.

Class time is first devoted to a series of lectures by the instructor on the Russian phonological system, including intonation. When these are completed, extensive perception exercises are done in class to increase students' acuity in discerning and ident
ifying pronunciation errors, both phonetic and intonational.

All students (except native speakers of Russian) are required to record a text in Russian at the beginning of the course, which is analyzed in detail by the instructor. Students re-record the same text at the end of the course, enabling the instructor to
evaluate improvement in their pronunciation. Students are also required to do two detailed analyses of American students reading a text in Russian, identifying and categorizing their errors.

Students are further expected to attain proficiency in the use of phonetic transcription. Classroom exercises are employed toward that end.

A midterm examination and a final examination are given, each consisting of both written and oral parts. The midterm is more practical in emphasis (discernment of errors, identification of intonational types, use of transcription), while the final adds th
eoretical questions. There are no pop" quizzes. Test scores will count for 75% of the final grade. Class participation and attendance will count for the remaining 25%.