Thursday, April 25, 2013

Russian Orthoepy. Resources.

Russian stresses can be maddening. There is hardly any pattern and they can shift depending on the grammatical form, the presence of a preposition which creates a liaison with the noun, or simply because of social and educational background of the speaker. Languagehat once mentioned the word коротко (short) that can have stresses on each of the o-s.

'Correct' stressing is highly valued among educated Russians, it's a sign of being 'one of us.'

Most ordinary dictionaries give stresses. And there is a number of print and online dictionaries and websites specifically dealing with standard and non-standard stresses and pronunciation.

Here is a short list.

Avanesov's Orthoepic Dictionary - navigable scan of the print version.

Rosenthal's Dictionary of the Complexities of the Russian Language - navigable scan of the print edition. This is one of the most widely used dictionaries.
(Словарь трудностей русского языка)

Reznichenko's Orthoepic Dictionary of the Russian Language - another navigable scan of the printed book.

Zarva's Russian Literary Stress - also a scan, emphasis on 'correct' stresses in words.
(Русское словесное ударение) website search engine gives a selection of entries for the word with stressed vowel in red. The above example with коротко, when searched, does not appear with the third variant (short adjective) where the stress is on the last o. Dictionary of Stresses. - is a popular Russian search enginge, that also includes multiple language translation option (words only). Dictionary of Stresses is based on Zarva's printed dictionary. (Ударение.инфо) - a Russian website specifically dealing with stresses and pronunciation. An expanded list of printed dictionaries of stresses is here. The site has a Поиск слова (Search the word) window but it takes you to the search page.

Among the printed dictionaries one of the most authoritative is the Ageenko/Zarva Dictionary of Stresses for the Employees of Radio and Television (Агеенко Ф. Л., Зарва М. В. Словарь ударений для работников радио и телевидения / Под ред. К. И. Былинского. М., 1960; 6-е изд. испр. и доп. Под ред. Д. Э. Розенталя. М., 1985.). The 1960 edition is still used and there was an updated edition in 1985. This dictionary may be the biggest influence in instilling stress standards since it is used by radio and tv editors, announcers and presenters. I couldn't find it online. If you see it somewhere please let me know. 

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