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Russian orthography (was: A perfect day ...)

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Friday, January 28, 2000, 15:53
Christophe Grandsire wrote:

> I think you're right. /ij/ is exactly the sound of *fille*, and gn is a > palatal n. But as Russian has palatalization of all (or nearly all?)
Russian has a four-way contrast between: hard cons + vowel, written cons + non-iotified vowel soft cons + vowel, written cons + iotified vowel hard cons + /j/ + vowel, written cons + HARD SIGN U+044A + iotified vowel soft cons + /j/ + vowel, written cons + SOFT SIGN U+044C + iotified vowel The "non-iotified vowels" are A (U+0410), E (U+042D), YERU (U+044B), O (U+041E), and U (U+0423); the corresponding "iotified vowels" are YA (U+044F), IE (U+0435), I (U+0438), IO (U+0401), YU (U+044E). Note that IE is the one that looks like Latin "E". There is also a quality difference (front vs. central) between I and YERU. However, the four consonants TSE (U+0446), SHA (U+0448), CHE (U+0447), SHCHA (U+0449) are special cases: the first two are always hard, the second two always soft, but all four are always written with A, IE, I, O, U following. Initial /j/ + vowel is written with an iotified vowel; final soft consonants are written consonant + SOFT SIGN. -- Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies! || John Cowan <jcowan@...> Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau, || Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau, || Und trank die Milch vom Paradies. -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)