Pronunciation of не

Alan Evangelista

Senior Member
Brazilian Portuguese
Hello!

I have recently learned that "не" can be pronounced stressed ([nʲe]) or unstressed ( [nʲɪ] ). What are the rules for choosing which one to use ?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    "Не" basically isn't phonetically independent, so either it attracts the stress from the following word or the word attracts the stress from it (which is much more typical). The instances where the stressed "не́" is used are "не́ был", "не́ было", "не́" + preposition + "кто"/"что" ("не́ с чем", "не́ у кого" etc.); cannot remember more by the moment.

    "Не" as a colloquial form of negative answer (= "нет") is phonetically independent and therefore also stressed, as well as a semantically and intonationally emphasized "не" (e.g. "я НЕ входил в эту дверь", where "я" may lose it stress, but both "не" and "входил" are stressed).
     
    Last edited:

    Alan Evangelista

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    "Не" as a colloquial form of negative answer (= "нет") is phonetically independent and therefore also stressed, as well as a semantically and intonationally emphasized "не"
    I assume it is only used when there is an intention of emphasizing the negation?

    Another related question: it seems to me that an unstressed "не" is sometimes pronounced together with the previous/following word as a single word (no pause). Is that so?
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I aasume it is only used when there is an intention of emphasizing the negation?
    Strongly emphasizing, yes.
    Another related question: it seems to me that an unstressed "не" is sometimes pronounced together with the previous/following word as a single word (no pause). Is that so?
    When I say it isn't phonetically independent, it naturally implies that it forms a single phonetic (although not morphological) word with a following segment, and therefore shouldn't have any pauses after it. That's why Russian speakers often have troubles deciding if they should spell "не" separately or as a part of the following word (and the rules are kind of arbitrary sometimes).
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    Negative particle не is always pronounced as a single word with the one it refers to:
    не знаю
    не хороший, а плохой
    он не дурак

    In fact, separate writing of не is just an orthographical convention, in many cases (often confused even by the natives) it's written as a single word.

    Partially cross-posted.
     

    Alan Evangelista

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    When I say it isn't phonetically independent, it naturally implies that it forms a single phonetic (although not morphological) word with a following segment, and therefore shouldn't have any pauses after it.
    Thanks for making it clear. It was not "naturally implied" to me because phonetically dependent (= clitic) words are written together with the preceding/following word in the other languages I know (eg Romance languages)
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for making it clear. It was not "naturally implied" to me because phonetically dependent (= clitic) words are written together with the preceding/following word in the other languages I know (eg Romance languages
    Not in the Slavic ones, most typically (cf. such an exemplary clitic as Polish "się"; most prepositions are also clitics in the broad meaning of the word, etc.).
     
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