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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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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 '...
newinterested's user avatar
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?
Martin's user avatar
  • 461
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 ...
Mad Banners's user avatar
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 ...
Arnold's user avatar
  • 281
14 votes
3 answers
772 views

Do Spanish speakers prefer certain words for certain aspects, like in Russian?

In an effort to clearly delineate durar and tardar to my Spanish students, I have been searching for some usage notes and I was not satisfied with anything I found. Instead, I was wondering if these ...
Ryan David Ward's user avatar
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 ...
MWB's user avatar
  • 1,122
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why IPA does not indicate "soft" consonants in English?

I am a native Russian speaker. Sometimes I encounter English speakers who are trying to learn Russian and wonder how to pronounce "soft" consonants. At the same time while learning English I noticed ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 6,663
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 ...
magnetar's user avatar
  • 516
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 [...
Peter Olson's user avatar
  • 1,412
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 ...
Zlar Vixen's user avatar
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, ...
wodemingzi's user avatar
  • 1,067
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 ...
Anon's user avatar
  • 81
7 votes
1 answer
736 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, ...
Ryan David Ward's user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
188 views

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 ...
TomR's user avatar
  • 499
6 votes
4 answers
573 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 ...
user173361's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
2k views

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 ...
eslukas's user avatar
  • 295
6 votes
3 answers
513 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/...
Ryan David Ward's user avatar
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?
Anixx's user avatar
  • 6,663
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,...
LISA's user avatar
  • 313
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 ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 6,663
5 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
user376034's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
1k 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 "...
Tatiana Racheva's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
291 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 ...
Vladimir F Героям слава's user avatar
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 ...
wodemingzi's user avatar
  • 1,067
5 votes
1 answer
271 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 ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 980
5 votes
1 answer
412 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 ...
osbdpspsno's user avatar
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 ...
Constantin Werner's user avatar
4 votes
8 answers
2k views

Do I need to learn Esperanto? [closed]

I am native Armenian speaker. I know Russian from childhood. Recent years English became my second language and I am using it in everywhere except interaction with friends. Now I want to learn Italian....
TIKSN's user avatar
  • 320
4 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
czypsu's user avatar
  • 1,426
4 votes
1 answer
218 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 ...
theoremseeker's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
221 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 ...
Keelan's user avatar
  • 4,221
3 votes
1 answer
501 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 ...
0xC0000022L's user avatar
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 ...
MCCCS's user avatar
  • 279
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 ...
skywalker's user avatar
  • 141
3 votes
1 answer
397 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 ...
MMastro1610's user avatar
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 ...
Ark-kun's user avatar
  • 139
3 votes
1 answer
334 views

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 ...
Manjusri's user avatar
  • 2,781
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"? ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 6,663
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 ...
Chris Wilson's user avatar
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 ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
  • 391
2 votes
1 answer
283 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 ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 980
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-...
Добрыня Простов's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
563 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 ...
dpc's user avatar
  • 37
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

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? ...
Daniel R's user avatar
  • 192
2 votes
1 answer
157 views

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, ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
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 ...
Gensch's user avatar
  • 23
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 ...
Isa's user avatar
  • 123
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 ...
GA1's user avatar
  • 1,189
2 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are apostrophes and hyphens punctuation marks?

The question is: Would you classify apostrophes and hyphens as punctuation marks? Now, Webster and a lot of other sources define them as punctuation marks. I know for sure that in Russian linguistics ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
109 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 ...
pindakazen's user avatar