Slavic Languages and Literatures | Russian Phonetics
R403 | 4003 | 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
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
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%.