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INTRODUCTION This work is a practical reference guide to the sounds, internal structure, and grammatical forms of Russian inflected words, intended for both advanced students of the language and for prospective teachers of it. Alongside explicit structural descriptions of Russian inflectional categories, types, subtypes, and irregularities, reference is made to most words with regard to which questions concerning stress or inflection are apt to arise. Special attention is paid to the phonetics of grammatical endings, information regarding which is often found only in more specialized works. In addition to questions of a general sort, such as What are the vowels or consonants of Russian? How many noun declensions or verb conjugations are there? Which verbs exhibit the determinate-indeterminate distinction ?, and so on, one will find here answers to such specific questions as: What is the stress pattern of с ‘wall’, and what other nouns are like it? Which first-declension nouns, like с ‘candle’, have genitive plural in - ? Which soft-stem masculine nouns, like к  ‘stallion’, have pluralshifting stress? Which verbs, like д ‘give’, have past-shifting stress? Which verbs belong to the    ‘wash’ class? and many other such practical questions. The better one’s knowledge of Russian, the more such questions arise, and the more important it becomes to acquire mastery over them, especially if one is a teacher responsible, as it were, for the language in front of one’s students. Most of the essential information about Russian declension and conjugation can be compressed in small print on both sides of a single sheet of paper. However, it was considered important here to provide a sourcebook in which examples of inflectional and stress types can be found in abundance. This book arose in part because I found that easily available works on Russian word formation provided inadequate discussion of issues involved in making various important descriptive decisions, making the works less suitable for use on the graduate level. Consequently, a special aspect of the present work is the discussion of issues in Russian grammatical analysis. Difficulties in analysis are not papered over, watered down, or answered in a doctrinaire way (I hope), but are discussed from a variety of interpretive 2 INTRODUCTION angles. Analyses are provided which help to identify the component parts of words: prefixes, roots, and suffixes, with particular attention to the systematic interconnections between the structure of words, their sound componentry , and their eventual spelling. For the sake of descriptive completeness, chapters are devoted to pronominal adjectives, pronouns, and numerals, even though these word classes present no special structural interest, at least not to this author. All in all, most attention is given to the structure of nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Teachers will find the approach taken here to verb conjugation to be compatible with the presentational strategies of almost any current Russian textbook. Conjugation is presented initially from a traditional principalparts perspective, leading to a more technical single-form presentation. As to the matter of word-stress, in the body of the text I rely on an adaptation of the ABC system first designed by Leonard Bloomfield and later expanded on by N. A. Fedyanina and others. I myself prefer the diacritic notation also described, and I would encourage the reader to become familiar with it as well. I did not care to force this system on the reader here, feeling it might detract from the appreciation of other points. DESCRIPTIVE PHILOSOPHY There are many ways to approach questions of Russian sound-structure and its interaction with the morphology. One of the things that makes descriptive Russian phonology and morphology so interesting is that there is no agreement among linguists on many of the basic terms, items, and concerns of description. Linguists disagree over such basic things as how many Russian vowel phonemes there are, or whether a phonemic level even exists ; whether the unstressed vowel reductions should be described from the phonemic system or from a more abstract morphophonemic system, or some from one and others from the other; whether consonant softness is mostly basic or mostly derived; whether the verb has one or more than one basic stem; and many other such things. Such a seemingly simple matter as the Russian imperative inspires markedly different descriptive solutions, even among linguists working within the same general methodological framework. The particular decisions I ultimately reach regarding one matter or another are sure to satisfy some readers more, others less (and, of course, any reader is free to come to his or her own independent conclusions based on...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780893577971
Related ISBN
9780893572976
MARC Record
OCLC
809317397
Launched on MUSE
2012-06-08
Language
English
Open Access
No
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