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%.