IC6

C.S.Hy

Senior Member
Mandarin Chinese
I'm not sure if ИК, IC (Интонационная Конструкция, Intonation Construction) is taught as a basic concept to students in Russia. I'd suppose not, as it doesn't seem to be necessary for the natives.

It's taught to Russian learners that there are 7 basic ICs. The IC6 is like

↗Ветер теплый (kept at a continuous high pitch)!

And the IC5 is like

↗Какая ↘прелесть!

Could you please tell me what the differences between the two ICs are: meanings/nuances and/or contexts?
 
  • splinny

    New Member
    Russian - Russia
    Second one (with emphasized Какая) sounds kind of sarcastic (Прелесть is positive word, while such a phrase fits negative context "What a disaster"). But if you say it with normal intonation it would sound positive "What a charm"

    *if only I got the idea of arrows correctly*
     

    splinny

    New Member
    Russian - Russia
    wikipedia:

    ИК-1: нисходящий тон на гласном центра; используется при выражении завершённости повествовательного предложения;
    ИК-2: нисходящий тон в сочетании с некоторым усилением словесного ударения на гласном центра; реализуется в вопросах с вопросительными словами;
    ИК-3: восходящий тон с последующим падением; типична для вопросов без вопросительных слов ( Вы были в театре?);
    ИК-4: нисходяще-восходящий тон; используется в сопоставительных вопросах (Я иду. А Вы?);
    ИК-5: сочетание восходящего, ровного и нисходящего тонов (имеется два центра: на гласном первого центра тон повышается, на гласном второго центра — понижается); используется для выражения и усиления оценки в предложениях с местоименными словами (Какой сегодня день!)
    ИК-6: сочетание восходящего и ровного тонов; сфера использования данной конструкции включает как оценочные восклицания (Какой вечер тёплый!), так и выражение недоумения (Какие у них обычаи?);
    ИК-7: сочетание восходящего тона со смычкой голосовых связок в конце артикуляции гласного центра, что отличает ИК-7 от ИК-3; данная конструкция служит выражению экспрессивной оценки (Какой он отличник! 'Он не отличник').

    Your IC5 example matches ИК-7 from this article.
     

    C.S.Hy

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    The arrows are indicating the direction of pitch changes.
     
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    Vadim K

    Senior Member
    Russian - Russia
    The IC6 is like

    Какой ветер теплый ! (kept at a continuous high pitch)

    And the IC5 is like

    ↗Какая ↘прелесть!

    No, Russian native speakers don't study intonation constructions in school. And there is also no general agreement on how many intonation constructions there are in Russian. Some believe there are only five intonations, others believe there are seven ones.

    If I understand right, you are asking about the difference in intonation constructions between the intonations 5 and 6, which, for example, I can seen in this link https://marjulia.livejournal.com/123957.html

    If so, you can find a description of the difference between them at this link https://scicenter.online/russkiy-yazyik-scicenter/tipyi-intonatsionnyih-konstruktsiy-122761.html
     

    pimlicodude

    Senior Member
    British English
    No, Russian native speakers don't study intonation constructions in school. And there is also no general agreement on how many intonation constructions there are in Russian. Some believe there are only five intonations, others believe there are seven ones.

    If I understand right, you are asking about the difference in intonation constructions between the intonations 5 and 6, which, for example, I can seen in this link Интонация: типы интонационных конструкций

    If so, you can find a description of the difference between them at this link https://scicenter.online/russkiy-yazyik-scicenter/tipyi-intonatsionnyih-konstruktsiy-122761.html
    Intonation should be regularly studied as part of learning a language. Most English native speakers who open their mouths in Russian find that their intonation is received by badly native speakers. And Russian native speakers speaking English usually find their English is coloured by incorrect intonation, although some types of foreign accented English can be charming, or even perceived as "sexy" by English native speakers (particularly e.g. French people speaking English, but some Russians may 'benefit' from this effect also).
     

    Vadim K

    Senior Member
    Russian - Russia
    Intonation should be regularly studied as part of learning a language. Most English native speakers who open their mouths in Russian find that their intonation is received by badly native speakers. And Russian native speakers speaking English usually find their English is coloured by incorrect intonation, although some types of foreign accented English can be charming, or even perceived as "sexy" by English native speakers (particularly e.g. French people speaking English, but some Russians may 'benefit' from this effect also).

    Ok. Then I have a question. Here is a link to a video with many intonations and accents of native English speakers -

    Which of these intonations should I learn as part of learning English? ;)
     

    pimlicodude

    Senior Member
    British English
    Ok. Then I have a question. Here is a link to a video with many intonations and accents of native English speakers -

    Which of these intonations should I learn as part of learning English? ;)
    Well, that is hardly the "Gotcha" question you think it is, because it is well-known that when you study English you have to decide which major dialect to emulate. All of the native dialects sound like natural English - the fact that they differ among themselves does not in any way mean that learners of English can use any pronunciation and intonation system they feel like and still sound like near-natives. [Not all of the accents shown in that video are of native English anyway. I don't regard the 2nd example - Jamaican English - as being a quality variant at all. Is Russian as spoken in Tajikistan/Georgia, etc, considered to be a standard variety of the language?]

    Er... the Moscow accent and the Vologda accent (with o-kanie) are different, SO THEREFORE Russian spoken with an English accent and no attempt to emulate native speakers is valid too. That is what you're saying. (Excuse me if I misunderstood you.}
     
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    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Is Russian as spoken in Tajikistan/Georgia, etc, considered to be a standard variety of the language?
    The Russian language of Dagestan would be a better analogue, since it's the local lingua franca which everybody speaks (and has to speak everyday in the local cities and towns); one can hardly say the same about the Russian language in Tajikistan or Georgia, where no more than 30% of the people can properly speak Russian.
     

    pimlicodude

    Senior Member
    British English
    The Russian language of Dagestan would be a better analogue, since it's the local lingua franca which everybody speaks (and has to speak everyday in the local cities and towns); one can hardly say the same about the Russian language in Tajikistan or Georgia, where no more than 30% of the people can properly speak Russian.
    Can you hear the difference when a Daghestani speaks Russian? My impression is that the Russian education system is more insistently prescriptivist that anywhere in the Anglophone world, and so people of other nationalities in Russia probably are strongly encouraged to speak with as standard an accent as possible - so maybe the accent is slight????
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Can you hear the difference when a Daghestani speaks Russian?
    90% of the time - instantly. Some calques from the local languages are not uncommon either (take the characteristic reinforcing expression "же есть", for instance).
    My impression is that the Russian education system is more insistently prescriptivist that anywhere in the Anglophone world
    People mostly learn the language from their parents and peers, not at school (where you basically just learn the spelling and some elements of the literary language - more or less succesfully). Yes, for South Russian rural speakers you can root out yakanye and the fricative gh and the result will be pretty normal standard Russian phonetically. When Russian is just the lingua franca for the native speakers of some entirely unrelated languages, though, and the actual presence of native Russian speakers is negligible...
     
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    C.S.Hy

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    Is it possible for the following sentence as exclamatory to be spoken in IC5?

    Поми↗доры ↘спелые!

    (The arrows are indicating the direction of pitch changes).


    If yes, what meanings or emotions may it be carrying?
     
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    nizzebro

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Is it possible for the following sentence as exclamatory to be spoken in IC5?

    Поми↗доры ↘спелые!

    (The arrows are indicating the direction of pitch changes).


    If yes, what meanings or emotions may it be carrying?
    If I understand these contours correctly, it could bee.g. part of an enumeration where all items are good, like:
    "Ка↗кая ↘прелесть этот рынок: у них и огур↗цы ↘большие, и поми↗доры (-) ↘спелые, и продав↗цы ↘улыбаются... "

    Or, as taken separately, it could be as well a usual focus shift ((it is) tomatoes that are ripe, (not something else)) - but, spoken in such manner where the speaker rams it down the listener's mind, but not aggressively - rather with some restraint (women often use this technique - gently insisting, as if addressing a child): "Это помидоры спелые, дружок; а вот яблоки ещё не спелые".

    Actually I find the whole concept of categorizing such contours a questionable and even misleading approach. From what I can see, it does not distinguish clearly between the informational structure as such (as topic and comment), and, other specific factors as modality expressed in the speaker's attitude, emotions etc - which in fact is the subject of additional pitch rise, while the former is mostly based on that the stressed vowel in a focused word gets wider pitch variation than it is in an unfocused one.
     
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    pimlicodude

    Senior Member
    British English
    @pimlicodude
    Is there anything about the Russian intonation that makes you feel special? Or is there anything you feel particularly different from the intonation of English?
    @pimlicodude
    Yes, there is. The falling intonation in statements is very different to English and makes Russian people sound less cheerful. The rising intonation in questions is also different to English. But I don't know how many intonation contours there are in English, so it is a difficult question to answer. Have you studied intonation contours in English?
     
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    C.S.Hy

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    Sorry, I did not. Maybe later.

    What strikes me as special is that when a (focus) word is said in a falling intonation, the highest pitch is not often falling on the stressed vowel,as in English, but on the first one prior to it. For examle (Edit: capital letter for the highest pitched vowel [←stressed vowel] in a word),

    интОна́ция/интонА́ция
    кОро́бк/корО́бк
    капИта́л/капитА́л
    стОли́ца/столИ́ца
     
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    pimlicodude

    Senior Member
    British English
    There is a PDF at https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/37773049.pdf on Russian vs English intonation.
    They explain there that in questions the Russian intonation peaks near the beginning of the sentence and then drops off a lot. In English the peak is often near the end.

    ИГРАЕТ Вильям на пианино? Peak intonation is on играет.
    Can William play the PIANO? Peak intonation is on piano.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    They explain there that in questions the Russian intonation peaks near the beginning of the sentence and then drops off a lot. In English the peak is often near the end.
    That really does depend on the question.
    In wh-questions, the highest pitch normally falls on the stressed syllable of the interrogative word (which *is* normally located near the beginning), after which the tone abruptly falls. The second, lower raise may occur on the pragmatically focused word, if there's any (typically it's at the end of the sentence, but the intonation itself isn't really tied to the end of the sentence, nor to its beginning, to that matter).
    In general questions, the highest tone (with the abrupt post-tonic fall again) will normally happen in the word which the question adresses:
    Это твоя РУЧКА? - Is it your pen?
    ЭТО твоя ручка? - ~Your pen, is it this one?
    Это ТВОЯ ручка? - Is this pen yours?

    That being said, a lot of things can affect the basic intonation in a sentence.
     

    nizzebro

    Senior Member
    Russian
    What strikes me as special is that when a (focus) word is said in a falling intonation, the highest pitch is not often falling on the stressed vowel,as in English, but on the first one prior to it. For examle(capital letters for stressed vowels),

    интОна́ция/интонА́ция
    кОро́бк/корО́бк
    капИта́л/капитА́л
    стОли́ца/столИ́ца
    Because the idea of stressed vowel, at least in Russian, as such has nothing to do with these contours. It is not about the average of pitch value shown in the spectra as a result of an integral transform as FFT. Rather the point is the relative difference between the highest and the lowest value as it develops in time in the bounds of the syllable, along with some other factors possible, such as stretching the vowel's length and/or increasing the pressure.
    The speaker might implement the stressed 'а' in интонация by starting from the pitch of 'o' and quickly dropping it down - so that the following 'и' gets muted in a lack of sound energy; or, they could pronounce it in a more energetic manner where the pitch has yet its own decent spike on 'а' (usually too short for basic frequency analysis tools). One way or another, the stressed vowel normally does not start with a clearly lower pitch - rather it is the same value as before or even higher.

    Just pay attention to the way they use to read verses aloud, e.g. Mayakovsky as an extreme example - he pronounces each word in an exaggerated manner and keeps in general the same pitch - but, he stretches the stressed syllables, and, there are pitch slides on them.
    You can speak using a really monotonous, robotic voice, but, as long as you use pitch alteration to highlight the stressed syllables, along with delays between words - all your words will be recognized. But, to provide focusing as that in Awwal's examples above, you have to heighten the pitch for the entire slide a little bit, and in case of question you have to add a real pitch contour on top of that - such that affects the neighbors as well, pulling up the "tail" that follows the focused word.
     
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    C.S.Hy

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    There are repeated statements by English speakers that Russian sounds more monotonous than English.

    A sudden feeling occured to me after I'd raised the question about the highest point of pitch in a Russian word, that it's probably right the phenomenon that the highest point of pitch is often not falling on the stressed vowel of a Russian (focus) word within a falling intonation has been giving the impression to the English speakers that Russian utterances sound more monotonous.

    A possible senario is that an English speaker hears a Russian utterance and perceives the vowel (syllable) with the highest pitch and decides in the English way that it's the stressed vowel (syllable) , but then finds out it's not, thus the feeling of monotony.

    I'm not sure, but I don't think the Russian speak within a narrower range of pitch or with less change in pitch.

    [By the way, the focus word/syllable in Chinese is shown up by a lengthened vowel (along with more tension and a wider range of pitch change if the syllable has a rising or falling tone)].
     
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    pimlicodude

    Senior Member
    British English
    No, intonation has nothing to do with the word stress.

    What it is is that to many English speakers the intonation of statements in Russian, with a falling intonation, sounds almost depressed, and dovetails with comments about "Russians not smiling", etc E.g. меня зовут Иван (falling), мне 28 лет (falling), я живу в Москве (falling), etc. If that little introduction about yourself was said in English, each sentence would have a slight rise on it, thus sounding intonation-wise like the twittering of birds (щебетание птиц).

    Of course, Russian is not monotonous, and Russian intonation has its own logic. And Russians do smile (maybe not inanely, бессодержательно, like English people, who smile at all strangers in the street). So that's what it is.
     

    C.S.Hy

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    I suppose that Russian and Chinese share the same way for the native speakers to perceive the stressed vowel/syllable, but sometimes it's still a problem for me to determine which is the stressed vowel/syllable in a Russian word. 🙄🙄

    Maybe English speakers are more confused? 😂 😂

    It'll be helpful if we get the way or intuition in which the Russian perceive the stressed vowel/syllable in Russian.
     
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    pimlicodude

    Senior Member
    British English
    I suppose that Russian and Chinese share the same way for the native speakers to perceive the stressed vowel/syllable, but sometimes it's still a problem for me to determine which is the stressed vowel/syllable. 🙄🙄

    Maybe English speakers are more confused? 😂 😂

    It'll be helpful if we get the way or intuition in which the Russian perceive the stressed vowel/syllable in Russian.
    Word stress and sentence intonation are actually two separate subjects (although they do intersect).
     
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    Sobakus

    Senior Member
    That soviet-school ИК classification with up and down arrows is completely inadequate for describing the intonation of Russian, and probably of any language at all. I've encountered it on many occasions over many years, and even as a native speaker most of the time I'm left in the dark as to the exact intonation the writer has in mind. Sometimes the audio recordings attached to the descriptions were surprising or even plainly incorrect or unfitting to the actual utterance and context desctribed. I strongly advise against using it in any capacity, but especially for teaching purposes.

    The most popular framework for transcribing intonation currently is ToBI. It's been applied to many languages, including Chinese. Tonal events in it are divided into three levels: non-nuclear phrase accents, nuclear phrase accents, and boundary tones. This system isn't perfect either of course, but at least it's relatively adequate; its transcriptions are usually supplied with fundamental frequency graphs that make it easy to associate the transcription with the graph.

    Many of the more specialised websites that used to host introductions to ToBI for English seem to be down as if by some conspiracy (though many are probably archived), but I've found a workable practical intro with audio recordings and graphs here:
    Odé C. (2008), Transcription of Russian intonation, ToRI is an example of this system applied to Russian. This is what I suggest that people try and use in this thread. The next best solution is to find ready-made recordings and/or fundamental frequency graphs, or produce them anew; and it's possible to use languages other than Russian by way of example. But the up-down arrow/ИК system is simply useless for this and will lead even the natives to confusion.
     

    pimlicodude

    Senior Member
    British English
    That soviet-school ИК classification with up and down arrows is completely inadequate for describing the intonation of Russian, and probably of any language at all. I've encountered it on many occasions over many years, and even as a native speaker most of the time I'm left in the dark as to the exact intonation the writer has in mind. Sometimes the audio recordings attached to the descriptions were surprising or even plainly incorrect or unfitting to the actual utterance and context desctribed. I strongly advise against using it in any capacity, but especially for teaching purposes.

    The most popular framework for transcribing intonation currently is ToBI. It's been applied to many languages, including Chinese. Tonal events in it are divided into three levels: non-nuclear phrase accents, nuclear phrase accents, and boundary tones. This system isn't perfect either of course, but at least it's relatively adequate; its transcriptions are usually supplied with fundamental frequency graphs that make it easy to associate the transcription with the graph.

    Many of the more specialised websites that used to host introductions to ToBI for English seem to be down as if by some conspiracy (though many are probably archived), but I've found a workable practical intro with audio recordings and graphs here:
    Odé C. (2008), Transcription of Russian intonation, ToRI is an example of this system applied to Russian. This is what I suggest that people try and use in this thread. The next best solution is to find ready-made recordings and/or fundamental frequency graphs, or produce them anew; and it's possible to use languages other than Russian by way of example. But the up-down arrow/ИК system is simply useless for this and will lead even the natives to confusion.
    Sobakus, I've never been able to work out what the asterisk means in H* and L* in such transcription. This is probably because I just scan such books, without reading in detail, but do you know what the asterisk means?
     

    Sobakus

    Senior Member
    Sobakus, I've never been able to work out what the asterisk means in H* and L* in such transcription. This is probably because I just scan such books, without reading in detail, but do you know what the asterisk means?
    It stands for the nuclear pitch accent, which is like the intonational head that can bear a dependent complement (maybe even several, e.g. in Chinese). This allows for describing different combinations of H and L tones that together constitute bitonal pitch contours impressionistically described as low-rise (L*+H), high-fall (H*+L), delayed rise (L+H*) etc. The difficult part is telling these bitonal contours from conbinations of simple accents + boundary tones.

    This ties in to the discussion above about Russian utterances often starting with a high tone and having a low tone in the accented syllable – this is especially noticeable in final-accented words. Hence зима́ would have the %H L* L% contour, with %H corresponding to the relatively high initial-boundary tone, L* to the relatively low nuclear (main) pitch accent, and L% to the equally low final-boundary tone. The ToRI-illustrating paper describes this contour as follows:
    1656520410479.png

    And its pitch graph as:
    1656520583204.png

    This is one example how using ToBI can drastically simplify the present discussion.
     
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    Sobakus

    Senior Member
    Managed to find the website that goes with that paper – ToRI, a free interactive research tool and learning module by Cecilia Odé. Start by clicking on Symbols in the top bar, and then check the individual types in the left-hand menu under the Pitch accents dropdown. Audio recordings and pitch graphs all provided, and even what looks like a full Russian translation of the website!
     
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    pimlicodude

    Senior Member
    British English

    C.S.Hy

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    I love the ToBI system that Sobakus presented here. I knew there was such a thing, but didn't ever think to study it before your post. I've read bearly more than one page from a link you offered.

    ----An accent-lending pitch movement is a pitch movement realized in such a way that a hearer perceives prominence on the syllable in which it occurs and thus perceives a pitch accent on that syllable. ----

    Does "lending" in this sentence mean "giving, adding or imparting"? Why is this word needed there?
     
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