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

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%.