Parker Riley ♦ Global Scholars 2016 Symposium

Title: Sometimes Y: Phonology of Russian Vowels

Abstract: For roughly a century, linguists have been involved in a fiery dispute over the number of vowels in the Russian language. A number of the language’s features make this issue difficult to resolve. There now exist two main camps: one says that the number is six, and the other says that it is five, arguing that the former group makes an incorrect distinction between two sounds that are fundamentally the same. This presentation examines the findings of one well-known author and provides new data elicited from native speakers in Saint Petersburg in an attempt to verify findings. However, the data actually bring to light a problem with the original analysis and point toward the opposite conclusion.

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