случай случаи

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by James Bates, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. James Bates Banned

    English America
    Is there any audible difference between слу́чай and its plural, слу́чаи? I know the former is pronounced such that it rhymes with Русский. Could a native help me out? I'd really appreciate it!
  2. Budspok Senior Member

    Lübertsy, Russian Federation
    In случаи "у" is pronounced a bit longer like in English "move".
  3. James Bates Banned

    English America
    Thank you! :)
  4. learnerr Senior Member

    No difference at all in the first syllable, there is a difference in the last part. In the singular, the last sound is a semivowel and is barely heard, in the plural the sound is longer, and is a vowel on its own. Neither word rhymes with "русский".
  5. James Bates Banned

    English America
    I thought the end of русский sounded the same as the end of слу́чай
  6. learnerr Senior Member

    That's a question to me whether they sound the same (my ear strongly opposes this hearing, yet I may guess myself to be a bad-hearer when phonology and phonetics are concerned); but even if they do, the problem is that the consonants after the stressed vowels sound very different in the two words. So, they don't rhyme in any case.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  7. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    In reality of course, the listener doesn't need to depend on hearing any difference in pronunciation between singular случай and plural случаи to grasp the sense, because under normal conversational circumstances neither word would be said in isolation from other grammatical markers - either stated or implied. If the listener hears a (masculine, obviously) nominative or accusative singular grammatical marker (e.g такой, этот, интересный etc.) or a singular verb in the preceding words (such as произошёл этот ...), he knows he must be hearing случай, not случаи, and ditto for the plural случаи.
  8. learnerr Senior Member

    - Что вас беспокоит?
    - Случаи бешенства!

    The difference is clear. One is two syllables, another is three. Sure, it's not poetry, so the number of syllables is not as important as it might be, but still the difference is audible.
  9. James Bates Banned

    English America
    Thank you! By the way, "one is two syllables, the other is three" is how we say it :)
  10. learnerr Senior Member

    Thank you for the correction!
  11. viesis Senior Member

    Yes, there is audible difference. I pronounce "случай" as [случи(й)], and "случаи" as [случии]. In the latter, "и" is noticeably longer.
  12. learnerr Senior Member

    Well, to me, the two juxtaposed vowels in the plural word are very different. They certainly are not instances of the same vowel.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  13. viesis Senior Member

    Well, here's what wiktionary tells about this word http://ru.wiktionary.org/wiki/случай. Note the IPA of singular and plural form.
  14. learnerr Senior Member

    I listened to the examples of pronunciation in the two wiktionaries, they sound foreign to me. Obviously, this depends on something.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013

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