Vowels in Russian

One of the most difficult for students chapters in Russian language - phonetics.Quite often students make mistakes at the phonetic analysis of words, characteristic of certain sounds, phonemes.But in many respects the knowledge of phonetics - the key to a literate and cultured speech.Therefore, much attention should be paid to this issue, as the sounds.Today, we are interested in the sounds of the vowels.The letters, which they represent, will also be considered in this article.Do not go around attention and we are the general characteristics of the sound system of our language.

sounds or letters?

To begin let's deal with what exactly we will describe in this article.It is worth noting that many people believe that the Russian language has consonants and vowels.Many are even ready to argue and will vehemently defend their case.But is it?

In fact, in the Russian language such classification amenable only sounds.Letters also serve as a graphic symbol of a particular phoneme or combination of phoneme

s, as well as indicate the pronunciation of a sound.Therefore, we can not say that the letters are vowels or consonants, shock or unstressed.


proceed directly to the characterization of vowel phonemes.The Russian language has six vowels, which in turn designated ten 'vowels. "In the formation of these sounds from the mouth breaks the stream of air that does not meet with the obstacles in its path.Thus, the vowels are composed only of the voice.In contrast to consonants, they can stretch or sing.These sounds include the following: [a] [a], [v], [e], [and] [s].

vowels have the following main characteristics: number, uplift, shock or unstressed position.In addition, you can select a specific characteristic as labialization.

is also worth noting that it is the vowels are syllabic.Remember how in elementary school, children are taught to identify the syllables in a word, counting vowels "letters".

Sound - is the smallest part of the speech, which is not only the material for the formation of words, but also helps to distinguish words with a similar sound structure (for example, "fox" and "Forest" differ by only one vowel).Learning vowels and consonants such science as phonetics.

Let's analyze each of these characteristics.

stressed and unstressed

Let's start with the simplest and most important, from the standpoint of speech characteristics.Each vowel can be a shock or unstressed.The vowel sound in unstressed position sounds less clear than in shock.As for writing, then, regardless of the position to be marked by the same letter.Vowels impact on the letter can be released via accents, which stands above the letter.Often, such a designation is used in rare, less common, and dialect words.

is also worth noting that the unstressed vowel sound less clear and may act as another phoneme when transcribed.For unstressed vowel "o" may sound like "a" and "i" sound in the speech flow as the "e", in addition, sometimes vowel may disappear altogether.Wherein transcription will be different from the usual recording speech.

For example, the word "milk" in the phonetic transcription may look like this:

1. [malak`o] - transcription in the school curriculum.

2. [mlak`o] - this spelling is often used in higher educational institutions on Philology.The sign "Y" means that the sound "a" pronounces very short, almost falling out of the pronunciation of words.

note that one of the difficulties of the Russian language act is unstressed vowels.The letters designating them for a letter is not always similar to the audible sound that generates a lot of errors.If you are unsure of the correct spelling of a word, use the spelling dictionary or check the spelling of the word using the famous rules.


In Russian, there are so-called labialized sounds - "o" and "u".Some benefits may also call them labial.Their peculiarity lies in the fact that when they participate pronunciation lips, stretching forward.The rest of the vowel sounds of the Russian language does not have this feature.

letters representing vowel sounds, which have the trait in transcription written just like ordinary sounds.


in Russian on the position of the tongue in the mouth when pronouncing the sound there are three series: front, middle and rear.

If the main part of the tongue when pronouncing the sound is in the back of the mouth - then it (the sound) refers to the back row.The front row is characterized in that the vowel belonging to it, the main part of the tongue is located in the front.In the event that the pronunciation of the language occupies an intermediate position, the sound belongs to central vowel.

To what number are these or other sounds in the Russian language?

[a], [y] - the back row;

[a], [s] - medium;

[and] [e] - front.

As you can see, these characteristics are quite simple, the main thing - remember them.Given that the Russian language is not so much vowels to memorize the classification will not be difficult.


also have another characteristic vowels of the tongue during pronunciation.Here, as well as the classification of the series, there are three types of sound: low, medium and high lift.

This feature takes into account the position of the tongue against the palate.If the pronunciation of the language is as close as possible to it, it refers to the vowel sound of the upper lifting, if located in the most remote location on the palate, it is lower.If the language is in an intermediate position, it refers to the middle vowel sounds uplift.

determine which vowels are raising the Russian language:

[a] - lower;

[e], [about] - average;

[and] [s] [y] - the top.

This characteristic and classification can also be quite easy to remember.

Match sounds and letters

As already mentioned, only six vowels, but they are designated in writing ten letters.Let's discuss what letters vowels exist in the Russian language.

sound [and] may transmit the following letters: "A", "I" (phonetically [ya]).Regarding the phoneme [a], then it is referred to as the letter "o" and "e" (phonetically [yo]).Labialized [y] can also transmit two letters "y" and "w" (phonetically [dy]).The same can be said about the sound [e] it may be indicated by the letters "e" and "e" (phonetically [ye]).

other two sound [and] and [s] denotes the entire one letter - "i" and "s" respectively.That's all the so-called vowels a, o, u, i, e, w, e, f, and s.

Procedure transcription

Many students, and university students, too, have to deal with such tasks as transcribing words.Consider the algorithm, focusing on the characteristic of vowels.

order of the jobs of this type is as follows:

1. Write the word of the form in which it is given to you.

2. Next, be sure to find out what the letters "vowels" and which one is a shock.That is, you need to put the emphasis.

3. Divide words into syllables.In this we are all the same vowels.

4. Write the phonetic transcription of speech, taking into account the position of both vowels and consonants in a word, their variants (for example, in the unstressed position [o] may sound like [a]).

5. Write all the letters in a column.

6. Determine what sound or sounds schetanie represents this or that letter, and write the data in a column opposite.

7. describe the characteristics of the sound.Here we shall not dwell on the characteristic consonants, vowels otanovimsya only.In the tradition of the school indicated a relatively sound position stresses (shock or unstressed).The universities at the Philological Faculty of additional specified number and uplifting, as well as the presence of labialization sound.

8. The last step - count the number of letters and sounds to analyze the word.

As you can see, nothing complicated.If you doubt the transcription, it can always be verified by pronouncing dictionary.


In the Russian language there are six sounds that correspond to the letter of the ten letters of the alphabet.These sounds, as well as other phonemes are the building blocks from which to build the lexical units.It is because we recognize the sounds of speech, because changing even a single sound can completely change their meaning and turn it into a completely different tokens.

So, we learned what "letter" vowels: stressed and unstressed, labialized.Found that each vowel has characteristics such as number and uplift, we have learned to do a phonetic transcription.Also, find out what science studies vowels.

We hope this material will be useful not only to students, but also students of philological faculty.