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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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6 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the origin of the Latin suffix -alis/-alia?

What is the origin of the Latin suffix -alis/-alia? Can it be an Etruscan borrowing? Is Russian adjectival suffix -аль- a borrowing from Latin?
1 vote
0 answers
75 views

wh-word and adjunction (Russian as an example)

I am reading The Syntax of Russian by John Frederick Bailyn. He takes the wh-word который to be of category AP/NP. Also he assumes that adjuncts operates at the level of XP, not X-bar. Given that, if ...
2 votes
0 answers
108 views

Syntactic representation of a compound word

I want to create a syntactic representation of a compound word "стакан воды". Here, "стакан" is in the nominative and "воды" is in the genitive. Both nouns also have no ...
0 votes
3 answers
679 views

If Hebrew is not related to Slavic, why are there apparent sound correspondences?

We have Hebrew: šeš; Russian: šestʹ; Ukrainian: šistʹ; Latin: six; English: six; Hebrew: yeš; Russian: yestʹ; Ukrainian: ye, isnuye; Latin: est; English: is; Hebrew: ze; Russian: se; Ukrainian: сe [...
11 votes
3 answers
7k views

Are the vast majority of Ukrainians more proficient in Russian than Ukrainian?

An answer to a different question pointed out that the vast majority of search engine queries coming from Ukraine, before the invasion, seemed to be in Russian. That was despite the fact that the ...
1 vote
2 answers
142 views

Did Russian Peasant dialect(s) significantly differ from the "mainstream" Russian?

Richard Pipes in The Russian Revolution remarks: The peasantry was hardly affected by the westernization which had transformed Russia's elite into Europeans, and in its culture remained loyal to ...
0 votes
2 answers
103 views

The Origin of the Word 'Mammoth' [closed]

As per the Wiktionary article the origin of the world is Russian: From obsolete Russian ма́мант (mámant), modern ма́монт (mámont), probably from a Uralic language, such as Proto-Mansi *mē̮ŋ-ońt (“...
2 votes
0 answers
96 views

Do the English words “dear”, “darling” etc share a root with Russian дорогой?

The Russian has an unclear etymology. Is there a phonological reason why it can’t be from a Germanic root? Wiktionary says the Germanic root (‘diurijaz‘) is also uncertain and might come from Latin “...
18 votes
2 answers
558 views

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 ...
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is Russian the most diverged Slavic language? [closed]

Does the Russian language have more innovations and divergent development from other languages in the Slavic branch? I am asking, because I always had the feeling, that the tense and pronunciation in ...
5 votes
1 answer
270 views

From Russian/Slavonic diglossia to modern Russian (via French/Russian?)

Article Learning Russian via Latin in the 17th Century suggests that in the 17th century Russian existed in a state of diglossia, where the vernacular Russian significantly differed from the written ...
3 votes
1 answer
495 views

At some point, was г/Г pronounced in Russian like it still is in Ukrainian (somewhat akin to h/H in hotel, i.e. /h/)? Or is it purely regional?

Recently, with a few colleagues moving into our office from Russia, we have a new resident colleague with the first name Герман. Now, being German native speaker, my assumption was that the name ...
6 votes
4 answers
571 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 ...
4 votes
6 answers
1k views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
142 views

Trilled R between a vowel and a consonant

Take the Finnish word Terve /tɛrʋɛ/ as an example, how to pronounce the R which comes after a vowel and is followed by a consonant? I have listened to some samples but they just sound like a tapped R, ...
1 vote
0 answers
79 views

In Russian, why can a multisyllabic second declension noun stressed on the last syllable not get a plural in -а?

There are a few hundred nouns of the second declension in Russian that do not have a nominative plural in the expected -ы but rather in -а, e.g. город-города. This ending is also invariably stressed. ...
2 votes
2 answers
107 views

Epenthesis of /u/ before the syllabic sonorant "l"

Why does Old Russian have epenthesis of /u/ only before the syllabic sonorant "l"? (before the syllabic sonorants "r,m,n" the epenthesis is /i/)? I thought earlier that only Proto-...
3 votes
1 answer
410 views

Relation between Russian "пока" and Czech "zatím"

I have noticed that the Russian word пока means the same as zatím in Czech in both meanings. The first is as a conjunction and the second use means goodbye. I am aware that in Czech the equivalent ...
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

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,...
36 votes
5 answers
9k views

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?
2 votes
1 answer
88 views

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 ...
11 votes
5 answers
3k views

What are the main accents of modern Russian among native speakers?

Before I had heard any spoken, Russian was one of my favorite languages. I used to have fun just reading Russian dictionaries, and I thought I'd soon learn to speak it. But when I tried to find some ...
3 votes
2 answers
309 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
282 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
300 views

Are the Russian уж (a kind of snake) and узко (narrow) related?

According to Mallory we have the following PIE words: a̯enghu̯is snake (> уж) a̯enĝhus narrow (> узко) a̯enĝhnos fear, constriction (> ужас) This hints at that the words could be related if ...
8 votes
2 answers
517 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 ...
2 votes
5 answers
6k views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
168 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
222 views

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?
3 votes
2 answers
187 views

/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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
484 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
99 views

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.,...
3 votes
1 answer
394 views

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 ...
9 votes
1 answer
501 views

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, ...
5 votes
2 answers
708 views

Are the Russian "фрязин" and Thai "ฝรั่ง" (farang) related?

In old Russian the word фрязин ([fr'az'in], apostrophe means a soft consonant) was used to denote a westerner. Although the word is not used any more, it is kept as part of some place names, such as a ...
3 votes
0 answers
177 views

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"? ...
4 votes
1 answer
217 views

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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
185 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
281 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
124 views

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 ...
52 votes
13 answers
15k views

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 '...
19 votes
2 answers
10k 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
67 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
562 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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
735 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, ...
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
220 views

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 ...
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

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 [...
3 votes
0 answers
159 views

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 ...