Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Stress. Part I. Stress in nouns. Lesson1. Masculine nouns. Ударение. Часть I. Ударение в именах существительных. Урок 1. Существительные мужского рода.

Most Russian words have fixed stress, but many do not and it is these that give difficulty to the foreign learner. Stress patterns are numerous and complicated, but the student may take some comfort from the fact that there are patterns. In this chapter we first set out the main patterns of stress in Russian nouns, adjectives and verbs and then indicate some of the deviations from standard stress that may be encountered.
Stress in Russian is very important for two reasons. Firstly, it is strong. Therefore a word pronounced with incorrect stress may not be understood. Secondly, there are many homographs which are distinguished from one another only by means of stress and consequential pronunciation of unstressed vowels, e.g. вeсти, news, and вeсти, to lead; мою, I wash, and мою, my; плaчу, I cry, and плaчу, I pay; словa, of the word, and словa, words.

It should be remembered that in some words e will change into ё when the syllable in which it occurs attracts the stress. Conversely ё will change into e when the syllable in which it occurs loses the stress (as it does in some perfective verbs bearing the prefix вы-, e.g. вышeл, I/he went out, in which the element шёл has lost the stress that it normally bears (as in пошёл, I/he went)).

Stress in nouns

In considering stress on Russian nouns one needs to bear in mind:

(i) the position of the stress in the nominative form of the word, and
(ii) the number of syllables that a noun has (i.e. whether it is monosyllabic (e.g. ночь, night; слон, elephant), disyllabic (e.g. топор, axe; кaртa, card, map; окно, window), trisyllabic (e.g. тeлeфон, telephone; дорогa, road; озeро, lake) or polysyllabic (e.g. жaворонок, skylark; оборонa, defence; сочинeниe, essay)).

Most nouns have fixed stress. Shifting stress occurs mainly in monosyllabic or disyllabic nouns.
Nouns of different genders are associated with somewhat different stress patterns. The three genders are therefore treated separately in the following sections.

Note: the following lists of words to which a particular pattern of stress is applicable are not exhaustive.

Masculine nouns

Many masculine nouns have fixed stress. In the remaining masculine nouns, in which stress shift does take place, there are three possible patterns:
(i) shift to end stress in all forms after the initial form;
(ii) shift to end stress in all plural forms; and (iii) shift to end stress in the genitive, dative, instrumental and prepositional plural forms.

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