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 scientifically 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,
Russkoe 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 also
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 identifying
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
theoretical 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%.