Questions tagged [russian]

An East Slavic language spoken mainly in Russia and neighbouring territories. For non-linguistic questions about the Russian language, visit our sister site Russian Language Stack Exchange (or Русский язык Stack Exchange, if you are proficient in Russian).

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Why is there a Second Palatalization in personal nouns but not in non-personal nouns in Nominative Plural in Slavic languages

Using Polish as an example, why in personal nouns like "robotnik>robotnicy" or "włoch>włosi" Second Palatalization takes place in the nominative plural, but in non-personal ...
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35 votes
5 answers
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How similar are Ukrainian and Russian?

How similar are the Ukrainian and Russian languages? For example, can I reasonably expect that anybody from Ukraine would be able to understand spoken Russian or be able to read a Russian text?
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2 votes
1 answer
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How to count the number of unique words (lemmas) in a Russian text?

Here's the problem: I have a large deck of Anki flashcards which I memorize. I would like to know how many unique Russian words (lemmas) I have in my entire collection. What I need is some kind of ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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How can I find the frequency for the Russian word "чем-нибудь"?

I've tried searching for the word "чем-нибудь"on the 20,000 word list I found on Wikipedia. You can link directly to it here. For the sake of thoroughness, I even searched the larger 50,...
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2 votes
1 answer
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The easiest model for mapping Hindi oblique case onto Slavic languages' case systems

How can Hindi Oblique case be mapped into Slavic cases of languages such as Polish or Russian? My intuition is that Oblique case stands for all the Polish cases, except the nominative. That is, for ...
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1 vote
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şapka and шапка - which way did the hat travel? [closed]

The russian and turkish words for hat : şapka and шапка are very similar. It makes me suspect that one language borrowed it from the other. Which way did the hat travel?
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1 answer
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How to find allophones and phonemes in a foreign language?

I have problems with finding allophones and phonemes in foreign languages. My paper says this: Consider the phones [e], [æ] and [ɛ] in the Russian data. Are they allophones of a single phoneme, or do ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Central – lateral dichotomy for labiodentals

In the IPA chart, there's no labiodental lateral approximant. The cell isn't even left blank, it's shaded out and therefore the articulation is judged impossible. One of the explanations is (see, e.g.,...
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2 votes
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Diphthongoids and diphthongs

In Russian linguistics, there's a term дифтонгоид (diphthongoid). For example, in textbook Современный русский литературный язык (Modern Standard Russian) by S.V. Knjazev and S.K. Pozharitskaya, it is ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How would've the Old Novgorodian language looked like?

I need help reconstructing the Old Novgorodian words for "earth", "hand", "bee" and "bird nest". I'm not good at linguistics at all and don't really understand ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Do Russian-Ukrainian bilinguals or speakers immersed in both languages switch between the pair [ʂ ʐ] and [ʃ ʒ] when they switch between the languages?

In Russian phonology there are [ʂ ʐ], while in Ukrainian phonology there are [ʃ ʒ]. The two sets sound quite identical phonetically, while the articulation positions of the two sets are different. So, ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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/ɫ/ interacting with /ɨ/ in Russian: Pharyngealized, uvularized or velarized?

In the Russian language: /ɫ/ is pharyngealized /ɨ/ velarizes the preceding consonant. In words such as лысый, /ˈɫɨsɨj/, is ɫ velarized, uvularized or pharyngealized? I was unable to find any ...
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Are Russian words пять (five), пясть (fist), пятка (heel) related? What about English "fist"?

I wonder whether the PIE word for five in fact meant "fist", in other words, when people counted, they closed their fingers and when they obtained the closed fist, it was "five"? ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Is there a phonological division in Slavic languages as important as the La Spezia-Rimini line? If not, is there a most important partition anyway?

All divisions of Slavic languages based on phonological criteria that I have seen so far are rather minor and/or localized (e.g. spirantization (Czech, Ukrainian) or not (Russian, Polish) of g). Is ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Is increased loudness a necessary characteristic of the stress in Russian?

According to wikipedia's definition of stress: That emphasis is typically caused by such properties as increased loudness and vowel length, full articulation of the vowel, and changes in tone. In ...
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Why are some Russian and Swedish words so strikingly similar? Два - två, по-шведски - på svenska, etc

Hur säger man ... på svenska? This common Swedish phrase means: How do you say ... in Swedish? As a student learning Russian, I instantly saw a striking similarity with the Russian language. Russians ...
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4 votes
5 answers
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Why does Russian not vary from region to region?

We know that English varies from one country to another. Even within US, there are different accents (Baltimore, Texas, Kentucky, New York, etc). But why Russian does not vary despite the large ...
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2 votes
1 answer
218 views

Modern theories of Russian syntax

Western linguistics seems to be dominated by the Chomskian transformational generative grammar and its offshoots. My attempts to familiarize myself with these theories however always leave me under ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Does understanding in Russian imply understanding in English? [closed]

I am a native Russian speaker. There is a Past Continuous as well as a Past Simple tense in Russian, does that mean that my brain understands how the tenses work in English too? (English is not my ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Data on causatives in Russian and Turkish needed!

I'm working on a comparative syntactic project on the notion 'causative', either morphologically marked or non-marked. References like Haspelmath (1987) provide some (brief) data on the notion of ...
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1 answer
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Is there a General European English Accent?

I have noticed my former trainer from Estonia, fellow students from Poland and Italy, even Khabib from UFC who comes from Dagestan speak with this accent. Here is a video of khabib from remote ...
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2 votes
1 answer
436 views

Are the English word "charm" and Russian word "чары" etymologically related?

Do "charm" and "чары" share a common etymological root? (NB: "чары" is a Russian plural noun meaning "magic" or "charm." Also note that the English noun "charms" has historically meant magic or ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Is Russian "там [холодно]" a case of degrammaticalization?

In Russian, one can ask "там холодно?", literally is it cold there? and "там" is assumed to refer to outside (unless a suitable referent is in the context). The construction can be used in other ...
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14 votes
0 answers
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When did other slavic nations adopt the Latin-inspired look of printed Cyrillic pioneered in Russia?

Russian Emperor Peter I famously reformed the Cyrillic script in Russia, where, among other changes, he redesigned the letterforms to more closely resemble the look of the modern Latin script. Here ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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How to find words to other languages that have no clear translation in English

For a work of fiction, I have a character who speaks Russian, German and Hungarian, none of which I speak. The character wrote a fictional novel that appears only in its English translation, but the ...
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5 votes
4 answers
305 views

Which languages have absorbed the most vocabulary from Russian, and which languages have influenced its vocabulary?

I'm a student of formal linguistics and Russian language, my question has been surprisingly hard to google -- I've studied a little Ukrainian, and I've read that its structurally similar to Russian ...
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0 votes
2 answers
249 views

Can "da" phrase endings used in Russian and Kannada be traced back to the same origin (as in usage, not like cognates)?

Example: Can you get me a coffee da , get off the computer, da even just give me a name, da in Kannada English code switched sentence. And Cosmo in Gaurdians of the Galaxy new Comic series can give ...
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8 votes
2 answers
428 views

Why is the verb "to need" and "to observe" always imperfective in Slavic languages?

I have been reading into Balto-Slavic languages and come across a problem. "To need" is always imperfective. If I use the imperfective past verb, "to need," I am going to be still, presently needing ...
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6 votes
5 answers
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On the phonetics of Russian ы

I have just started an Intensivkurs of Russian. What really struck me is the ubiquitous palatalization, but what I find most difficult is wrapping my head around the sound represented by ы. To me it ...
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7 votes
0 answers
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Combinatory Categorial Grammar (комбинаторная категориальная грамматика) developments and lexicon for Russian language?

I am trying to apply Cornell Semantic Parsing framwork https://github.com/cornell-lic/spf (implementation of Combinatory Categorial Grammars CCG) to Russian language. This framework takes natural ...
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19 votes
2 answers
8k views

What is the function of the soft sign (Ь) in Russian?

After some searching, I'm still unsure about what function the soft sign (Ь) performs in Russian. I have read that it indicates declension, palatisation, and iotation in different contexts, but with ...
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4 votes
2 answers
885 views

Origin of the word/root 'del'

As I was contemplating the Norwegian word "del," which means "part" or "portion," it occurred to me that there is the same root in Russian, and that it means the same thing. I looked up "del" and "...
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2 votes
2 answers
267 views

Are Polish-> Russan translations generally better than Polish->English?

I speak Russian natively, but 95% of what I read is in English. Which translation of a Polish book should I read, Russian or English? The question may sound strange, but I mostly prefer English ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Has Russian to Spanish transliteration changed much over the centuries?

I want to know which norms might have governed the spelling of some Russian names which were written down in Spanish around around 1750 - 1850. A number of formal standards exist today, such as ISO 9, ...
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4 votes
1 answer
209 views

Pronunciation of ѧ and я in Old Novgorodian

In the first Wikipedia example of the Old Novgorod dialect https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Novgorod_dialect both little yus ѧ and the new я is used. Is it just a random spelling difference? Do I ...
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5 votes
4 answers
692 views

American English speakers needing subtitles more often

I often ask my American English native speaker friends this question: When watching a movie in American English, do you turn the subtitles on? Quite a lot of them say that they always do ("in ...
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1 vote
0 answers
55 views

Russian "crude" translation into English for Theatre Purpose [closed]

I am a playwright/performer and need help with writing a "broken" English version from a native Russian speaker of the following. Please note the show I am doing is in the Ridiculous Theatrical ...
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5 votes
1 answer
582 views

What phonological process changes е to ё in Russian?

I've been studying Russian for years now, but the one thing that I can't seem to wrap my mind around is why would the sound е je come to be pronounced like ё jo in certain circumstances? Obviously, ...
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11 votes
2 answers
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Why don't minimal pairs like "быть" and "бить" prove that /ɨ/ and /i/ are separate phonemes in Russian?

In analyses of Russian, there's a dispute about whether the vowels /ɨ/ and /i/ (typically represented in the orthography as "ы" and "и", respectively) are separate phonemes, or if [...
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3 votes
3 answers
782 views

What is the origin of the instrumental case of predicate in predicative nominals in Polish/Russian?

The syntax of predicative nominals and predicative adjectives in ancient IE languages and, as far as I know, almost every modern one : Subject (NOMINATIVE) + copula + predicate (NOMINATIVE) In ...
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1 vote
2 answers
460 views

Сoncept of an attribute usesd by Russian grammarians

Note: This is cross-posted on ELL.se at Сoncept of an attribute used by Russian grammarians. I need to know all the attributes in theese sentences and how they are expressed.The problem is that ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
318 views

Was there s-mobile in the PIE root for dog?

I have noticed a striking similarity between the French word chien meaning dog and Russian word щенок "puppy", the both words pronounced exactly the same way except the deminutive suffix -ок in the ...
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54 votes
13 answers
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Do unschooled people use cases correctly, e.g. in Germany and in Russia?

I wonder if the case system is devised/imposed by literates and not really natural: it is said that the vulgar Latin that most people really used didn't have e.g. the cases (or all of them) of the '...
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5 votes
1 answer
384 views

Origin of Russian class 6 and class 10 verbs

In Russian, class 10 contains only a handful of verbs ending in either -олоть or -ороть. On the other hand, looking at the list in Wiktionary, class 6 contains only one verbs in -рать (орать) and ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
139 views

Unknown language on back of paintings [closed]

Can you clarify what language these writings are in and what they say?
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0 votes
2 answers
366 views

Theory behind the semantics of predicates

My goal is to build semantic representation of Russian sentences, i.e. to extract verb predicates and fill in the actant words. The tool I have is some kind of a shallow syntactic parser which works ...
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6 votes
3 answers
375 views

Is there some intrinsic relationship between the nominative plural and genitive singular?

In Latin the similarity between the nominative plural and genitive singular is most striking: First: porta (Nom/Sing) and portae (Nom/Pl), portae (Gen/Sing) and portarum (Gen/Pl) Second: servus (Nom/...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Resources on 'Siberian language'

Siberian language (Ru) is an artificial language project which used to have its wiki pages. Unfortunately, due to the bizzare political processes in modern Russia, the pages were deleted and the ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
170 views

What are other 'tacit perfectiveness/imperfectiveness event markers' in Russian? [closed]

I have discovered that making a communicative wishing constructions (like in 'have a good trip' or 'merry Christmas') in Russian, they use different structures depending on perfectiveness/...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Two words for "now" in Russian [closed]

There are two russian words for "now": сейчас and теперь. How does the use of these words differ? Is one of them more formal than the other? Which one is the most commonly used word? ...
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